Jennifer Barrett was the first of many to jump out of an airplane on Saturday, Aug. 11 as part of the South Cariboo Summer Festival (see page B6).
“Amazing. Exhilarating. No need for coffee this morning,” she says with a laugh. It was the third time she’d done so.
“The first time it was very scary. The second time not at all. The third time not at all, just more exciting.”
While it was very smoky, unlike her previous jumps, she said that it was exciting because they got dropped above the smoke.
“You’re in the blue sky. It’s absolutely beautiful up there.”
She said it was the smallest plane she’d ever been in and they sat on the floor before jumping. The lack of seats meant jumpers couldn’t change their mind at the last minute either as they wouldn’t be allowed to land without everyone in a seat.
The best part of it was being with her daughter Hayley.
“This is our second time jumping together. It’s a bonding thing when you’re up there in the plane looking at each other and you’re excited and your adrenaline is pumping.
It’s awesome to have skydiving in 100 Mile because a lot of people are doing it that would never travel somewhere to do it, she says, adding that she would like to thank organizers for putting on the festival.
100 Mile House Councillor Bill Hadden wasn’t far behind.
He’s jumped a lot but the last time was in 1978, he says.
“I used to be a smoke jumper, so this is what we actually jumped in,” he says. “I’m thinking this is a great thing to do.”
Back then it was a crew of guys that were really tight and the jump was likely to bring back some good memories, he says.
Dean Schryver of the Kamloops Skydive Club says they’ve done a couple of satellite skydiving schools and that one of their members is from the Cariboo area.
“We’re here to help 100 Mile and the Cariboo region kinda support the community and also get our name out there and an opportunity to skydive.”
The skydiving was a big hit, says Shelly Morton, Executive director for the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce.
“Seeing local residents coming in for a landing right beside the grounds was something we haven’t seen before. 16 jumpers had the thrill on Saturday. Due to the weather, jumps were not offered on Sunday. They will be back next year.”
The goals is to keep the event running annually, community-driven and growing each year to promote the South Cariboo and become an economic driver.