When Carl picked us up on July 2nd, we had no idea where we were, no plans for July 4th, and no chance of getting off so easy the next time we were stopped by a cop on the I-90 in New York State. Things were looking more grey than red, white or blue.
We went about answering the standard conversation questions that everyone who welcomes us into their car asks: Where are you headed? What are your names? Where are you from? It was when we answered the last one in that set that things got interesting.
“Vancouver?” asked Carl, “Ever heard of Lynn Canyon?”
We hadn’t seen that one coming. Not even everyone living in Vancouver has heard of Lynn Canyon. I waited for Adrian to tell him yes.
“Have you ever cliff jumped there?” was Carl’s next question.
Adrian told him that he’d grown up a 15 minute walk from the park and had jumped there regularly. Carl was ecstatic. Lynn Valley was one of his bucket list spots to cliff jump. He revealed his weekend plans of cliff jumping at a bunch of really cool spots, camping and fireworks to us, saying that we were more than welcome to come along if we weren’t too attached to going to Ithica.
Ithica was nothing more than what we had written on our sign. We jumped at the chance, signing on for four days of adrenaline, beer and new friends.
Two days later, we celebrated our very first Independence Day by watching this happen:
What you can’t tell from the picture is how that guy is about to fall 67 feet. Actually. The guy in the American flags jumped after, landing in an ear-splitting belly flop. Not sure how he came out of that yelling for joy instead of pain. Apparently it’s the wetsuit?
Other highlights included a triple front flip 360 off an 80 foot bridge over rushing water, some naked nighttime jumping into an old copper mine, a guy riding a skateboard off a cliff, clearing some 20 feet of rock before landing, and some crazy dude from California jumping from 110 feet into an abandoned quarry. That’s a measured 110 feet, not an exaggerated 110 feet.
We ended up doing a lot more watching than actual jumping, due to the fact that our new friends were straight-up insane. They do this stuff all the time. Check out their sweet youtube channel here. I’ll be posting the video they’re compiling of this weekend as soon as it’s finished.
We did do a little bit, though. Adrian went off a handful of jumps, biggest being about 40 feet. He looked pretty graceful. I only jumped one 30-footer and landed right on my ass because I’m talented like that.
Speaking of talent, there was this guy there by the name of Mike Wilson. We’d never heard of him, but everyone there was adorably star struck by him. Apparently he’s a big deal, so we went ahead and checked “Meet a minor celebrity” off our todo list. He was a super nice dude. This video pretty much explains what he does:
Over the weekend, we visited 4 abandoned quarries, an abandoned hydroelectric plant, and a natural waterslide.
And we capped it all off with a night at an abandoned ski resort in Vermont that featured a campfire in a fireplace that was the last part of what must have been a gorgeous lodge, a nearly full moon, and an awesome Appalachian Trail hiker named Bender that we found in McDonalds.
It was a magical night and as the sun set the next day, we arrived safe and sound in New York City. The universe is taking care of us. Thank you so much to all the beautiful people out there that make this beautiful life possible. To everyone who has driven, hosted, fed us. To everyone awesome that we’ve hung out with. To everyone who has smiled at us as they drove past. To all the kind baristas and fast food workers who have let us loiter for hours on end. You know who you are and we remember every single one of you. Happy (belated) 4th of July!