The Crazy Road to Arizona (Adam, Nathan, Amanda)

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As I stated before, the next couple days of this journey to Arizona became crazy, extreme, and downright stupid….and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I was a day ahead of schedule at this point in time, and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I called up Laura and ask her what I should do now that I am heading towards Arizona. She told me I should head to the Grand Canyon in Arizona and take lots of pictures, and that’s what I did. Most of the drive there was the same, so I’m not going to talk about that.

I had a very interesting stop when I was filling up the car and grabbing some snacks and drinks. As I was paying for my items, the cashiers were chatting, and I was blindsided as I came up at the worst possible part of the convo. The one began to talk about how the patch was not effective at all and that’s how she had her second child, and how the first one was when they used a “raincoat”. What made it so uncomfortable for me was the fact that the other one seemed to have been pregnant, and both of them had teeth that looked rotten and pitted, as if they were huge meth heads. This was really the only memorable stop I made during this part of the trip.

I wind up getting to the canyon little after 11PM, and I got my ticket to be able to go into the park and find a place to sleep for the night. I end up pulling into a McDonald’s around 1AM ish and crash in my car. I wasn’t expecting it to get that cold as I was in Arizona, but man with zero humidity, it got pretty damn cold. thankfully I still had all my clothes from when I was overweight in the trunk so for the second night in a row I was able to sleep in my car and stay some what warm.

I worked my way up into the park a few hours later to get a prime spot for watching the sun rise. As I got there, you could just see a sliver of deep red on the horizon. While I was there a group of people who were at a conference decided to also visit the Grand Canyon and they were obnoxious, but in the best way possible. While we waited for the moment of the sun breaking the horizon, they were being pains in the asses by playing “The final countdown”. I got talking to them and it almost sounded like the company they worked for was in the same line of business as mine is.

Arizona Sunset Arizona Sunset Arizona Sunset

Watching the sun rise was by far one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced in my life. It was worth the lack of sleep and freezing half to death. The canyon slowly began to light up. The pictures I took do not do it justice.

After the sun was fully up I was talking to that group a bit more, and one of them helped me out and took some pictures of me. I even took a picture with one of them who had a selfie stick…..The one who took pictures of me got all excited and stated that I should get one! I think I had a fuse blow… because all I could say was…”I can’t…I just….no”.

As I was leaving, I saw some wildlife running about. There were elks, just chilling around the park, right next to people. Hairs were hopping around all over the place. It was just so amazing seeing the views and wildlife, I felt at peace at that point in time.

So, you are probably wondering, when will this start to get crazy….Well here it is…..
I had about 7 or 8 hours till Adam was getting out of work…So I thought to myself, what is something I’ve wanted to do but never just went for it. As I was leaving the park I called up a skydiving place and I got scheduled to jump that day.

So most people usually say, “Why the HELL would you want to jump out of a perfectly good plane.” Well…for starters, the name of the plane is called “The Turd Bird”.

Arizona Arizona

Arizona Arizona

Arizona Arizona

I was laughing a bit thinking it was a joke but when I saw the plane, I was thinking, “No way is this plane getting off the ground.”, but it did. As we got up to jumping elevation, about 14,000 feet give or take, I peak out the window, and I am thinking to myself what the hell was I thinking!

The guy I’m jumping with explains what he is about to do and all I am thinking is, why did I think this was a good idea…. He opens the door, it is freezing cold at this point, and I’m starting to freak out…One Leg is out of the plane….then the other……then complete silence.

The guys starts off by doing two corkscrews in the air and then levels out. The rush I am feeling is amazing, terrifying and amazing at the same time, I start to hear the rush of the wind as we plummet to the barren ground at terminal velocity. This goes on for about 30 to 40 seconds…He pulls the shoot and it feels like we got shot back up into the air for a couple hundred feet. All the blood has rushed to my legs both otherwise I survived….that part. He then begins to maneuver us around. This was not peaceful or gentle in anyway. We were almost sideways at some points. He then hands me the handles and lets me steer for a little bit. As we get closer to the ground I see a little grey square, which is will we ended landed. He pointed out a tower and said that it was 300 feet tall.(we were still well above it at that point) As we hit the ground it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would have been. It was such an amazing rush, I will be going again once with weather is warm here in Jersey.

After that amazing death defying activity, I work my way back to Adam’s place now that he is out of work and meet his fiancée, Nathan. Even though it has been about 8 years since I have seen Adam we pick right back up as if no time has passed.

We decide to go grab a bit to eat at a local microbrew(Four Peaks). Adam’s sister Amanda met up with us and we all had a good laugh catching up and talking about the stupid shit we did back in high school. Nothing is better than having some amazing beers and food with some pretty kick ass people. We end up heading back home and start to think of some things we could do the next day but pass out pretty early.

As we woke up that morning, Adam and I were having some coffee and talking about college, jobs and video games one second, and the next thing I know I am flat on my ass and him reaching down asking if I was okay. (I was fine) I start to burst out laughing and let him know that I was good. (that was some damn good coffee) We are all up and ready to get moving on with the day and decided that we wanted to go camping. We chose to go up into the mountains/forest, so we start packing up a bunch of equipment and hit the road.

When we arrived at the camping grounds, it started to drizzle a bit. Usually, they will have ran for about 20 minutes and it would stop and be bone dry in a few minutes…..Well it rained the entire day/night. We already unpacked everything and set up the tents, and we were debating about packing everything up and calling it, but we decided to hold out in hopes that the rain would stop. We attempted to get a fire going but it was just raining too hard so we somewhat gave up on that.

We already had a few drinks in us at this point, and we were starting to get hungry, so we started to set up the propane grill. Now the three of us had the bright idea that it was okay to set it up inside the tent……….(we were smart enough to open the vent so we wouldn’t die of carbon monoxide poisoning) So we continued drinking as we were cooking our dinner as it poured outside.

Arizona

Arizona  Arizona Arizona

We did attempt to start the fire a few more times but as soon as we would get it going, the rain would pick up again and would put it out. Eventually we just gave up on the fire and decided to call it a night.

In the morning, as we were packing up all of the supplies, I am talking to Adam, and he apologized about it being such a terrible experience. I had an absolute blast, and the best part about it is that the next time I do go camping, it can only get better! I guess next time instead of going into the mountains and doing stupid shit like cooking inside of a tent, we can try to catch a scorpion or snake…maybe even try to steal a giant ten foot cactus in the desert!

Once we got back to his house, we started to talk about school again with his sister. We talked about our “study” period were we would play card games, and use those stupid shocking pens/lighter things…only instead of it being one person using it, we would make a chain of people and shock everyone. We also got to talking about some of our old teachers, the good, the bad, the one that was probably a running up for the Strong Man competition and the one who got sent to jail.

My experience in Arizona was absolutely amazing. Seeing the sunrise at the Grand Canyon, jumping out of a plane call the ‘The Turd Bird”, to meeting old friends and making a new one, and of course cooking inside of a tent, this had to be my favorite part of the trip. My next stop was Austin Texas were I met up with an old Co-worker.

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Fred Mitchel

Twenty something year old on a journey of adventure and soul searching to find his true self. I'm not the most adventurous or outgoing type..... at least until October of 2015. I've always said I wanted to travel, but was scared to do it alone, or even with people..

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