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Bungee Jump
 
 
 
 
     On Friday, May 31, 1991 I went bungee jumping.  About a week before I decided to do this I had noticed a
crane being set up outside of a local bar/night club.  At first I thought they were building on to the night club or
hotel.  The night club has an outdoor deck, volleyball court, etc. that they open up during the summer.

     The day before I jumped I found out from a co-worker that the crane was being set up for people to be
able to bungee jump at the club. The jumps would be available that Friday starting at Happy Hour.

     The day of the jump I drove by on my way home from work to see how high the jump actually was.  The
crane was completely set up and the cage that you jump from was raised all the way up.  The size of the crane
used is the size used to work on 12 story buildings.  

     I had not even mentioned to any of my family members that I was interested in going bungee jumping.  
When I got home, I told my brother about it and asked if he wanted to go along.  He wanted to try it too.  So I
changed quickly and we drove back up to the club,

     My brother is 7 years younger. At the time he was 17.  When we got to the club and parked we looked
around trying to figure out how to get to the jump location.  It was located inside the outdoor club area and we
did not see the signs for the jump entrance.  They set up a separate entrance to the jump area so people could go
there to jump without having to enter the bar area.  Since we did not see the sign we walked in through the bar entrance.  Legally I could be there but my brother couldn't.  We looked around and went up on the deck to see
exactly where the jump area was.  We then proceeded over to that area.

     It was about 5:00 pm and the crowds were not that big yet.  We stood in line and waited.  When we got to
the entrance to the jump area we were asked for our ID's.  That was when we found out that you had to be at least 18 years old so my brother was not able to jump.  The group providing the jumps would be there all summer but would be gone about a month before my brother would have been old enough to jump.

     My brother held onto my wallet and car keys.  At that point they weighed me and selected the appropriate
bungee cord.  For a few extra bucks they would provide video of the jump.  I definitely wanted footage even though my brother was there to witness that I actually jumped.

     I little note here.  If you ever plan to go bungee jumping remember these two things.  Make sure you are not wearing a loose shirt if you bungee jump head first.  I did not take that into consideration and almost lost it during the jump.  Make sure you remember to take off any necklace you may be wearing.  You will see in the video that I am reaching for something.  I had grabbed the end of the necklace before it slipped off.

     At the time I jumped, bungee jumping was new in the area and there were no set guidelines.  When I jumped, there was no airbag under the jump area. The only thing under the cage was a blue wrestling mat.  So basically, if the cord snapped I wouldn't be here.  This just goes to show you how nuts I am.  The next year they had the jump at the same place and an airbag was used. Over that year was when reports of accidents had started becoming part of the news and new safety measures were added.

     Back to the jump.  The crew got the proper cord for my weight and attached it to the center of the bottom of the cage.  I was told to take off my shoes but I could keep my socks on.  They then strapped padded straps to each ankle. The two ankle straps were tethered together. The tether was long enough to walk but not to take large steps. They then connected the bungee cord to the center of the tether between my two legs.  I was helped up into the cage and up we went.

     When the cage reached the top I looked around quick and could see Harrisburg.  From the ground or the hotel you cannot see any part of Harrisburg.  It definitely looked higher from up there then it did from the ground.  The video was taken from the outdoor bar deck which is 2 stories high.  I wish that had taken a picture of the mat I was jumping toward.

     At that point I knew if I hesitated I might back out.  They counted me down from 5.  As soon as he said one, I did my swan dive.  The jump was scary but as soon as I was airborne it was a fantastic adrenaline rush.  I was glad I kept my socks on because on a few of the recoils the metal bracket holding the bungee cord to the tether between the ankles hit my feet.  After I stopped bouncing, they lower the cage. Two crew members on the ground help lower me to the ground since I am still upside down.  They remove the straps and bungee cord from the cage then lower the cage the rest of the way to the ground.

     I was on such a rush after the jump I was bouncing off the walls for 3 days.  I called everyone I knew.  I called relatives all across the country.  I'm not sure my one grandmother knew what I was talking about though.
I highly recommend everyone try this at least once in their lifetime.



 
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