Weekend In Santa Barbara Part 2

They said to expect to spend half the day at the skydiving place, so I picked an early morning jump to make sure I would have time to check in to the hotel in Santa Barbara, take a little nap and see Jackie that evening. It was very windy the night before and still a bit breezy as I headed out that morning. Too much wind is a legitimate reason for canceling any skydives, but even if it didn’t happen this day, there was always the concert to make the drive worthwhile.

It was going to be a long drive, and as it turned out, a little longer than I had anticipated. The airport was in Lompoc, which was a good 45 minutes past Santa Barbara. All I had was a map printed from online directions. The highway wasn’t an issue. It was navigating through town in order to get to the airport that concerned me. I wanted to do this, and not being able to find the place wouldn’t have ruined my day, but certainly would have ruined my morning. The directions weren’t complicated enough to overly burden myself, so off I went, reminding myself to pay attention to the road and not have my head in the clouds. That would come later.

The 101 Freeway runs along the California coastline, and the ocean view was spectacular as the sun came up. As it came up over the mountain tops behind me, depending on the curve in the road it would hit my rearview mirror, causing a blinding flash. It was just a little thing in the light traffic of the morning, but might be an issue on a rush hour morning. Not this morning though. So far, so good. Right on time, a great view, no tailgaters and the car was running smoothly. The car is far from new, so its performance was on my mind. The preventive maintenance was paying off. As I passed through Santa Barbara, signs started to pop up directing me towards Lompoc. I was getting closer. The city looked beautiful even from the freeway. Might be a nice place to live. I’ll be back I thought to myself with my best Terminator impression.

The road to Lompoc was a two-lane highway, and some parts looked to be off the proverbial beaten path. My mom would describe a place out in the middle of nowhere as a place where God lost his shoes.. I was looking around for some sandals. Finally the exit I was looking for came up and I was in town. I never saw a street there where the speed limit was more than 30 miles per hour. A far cry from L.A., and in my opinion, in a good way. Following the directions on my printout, I was soon at the airport at the edge of town. Lompoc isn’t that big, so being at the edge of town isn’t that far from the middle of town. The directions had me making a U-Turn, and entering the airport, which consisted of a single strip with hangars lining the edge. I had arrived. Skydive Santa Barbara, the first building entering the airport. I was early and there was ample parking going down the line of hangars. I guessed they were hangars. They were those corrugated steel buildings, indicative of the hangars I had seen before. 30 minutes to spare. It was starting to sink in a little. Jumping out of an airplane. Did I have the nerve? Well, I was there, that was step one. After sitting and attempting to meditate in the car for about 15 minutes, I finally decided I was ready as I was going to be. It was time.

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