As Matt drove along Route 10, I took a few pictures. It was a gorgeous day!

El Paso

El Paso reminded me a little of Puerto Rico. It was amazing to see so many houses crammed together in such a small area. Out of curiosity we checked the population - nearly 680,000!!! Based on the 2014 US Census, El Paso is the 19th most populous city in the United States. Wow! That's a lot of people.

John and Cathy Baits Skydive El Paso signI had absolutely no idea what to expect from Skydive El Paso. I had talked to Bob (the owner) briefly and he said they had two Cessna 182's. When we rolled up to the drop zone, a number of people were gathered in front of the hangar. We grabbed our rigs and headed inside.

WOW! The hangar was spacious with indoor carpeted packing and they even had separate bathrooms for men and women. The women's room had three stalls, a large sink area, and a shower. Sweet!

Another surprise?  Fun jumpers! Skydive El Paso has quiet a few. I asked one of them (John D.) to make a list of names for me. It's so hard to remember everyone.

I wish I had taken more pictures! In addition to John, we met Jessica, Jake, Gabe, Aaron, Chewie, Dave the instructor, Dave the pilot, an instructor named John (pictured with Cathy Baits) and of course Bob!       

Since I had called ahead, Bob was expecting us. He didn't waste any time getting us on the load. We were on the plane less than 30 minutes after we arrived. It was the fastest turn around time ever! There were Chewie and Aaron were on the load with us.

The winds were coming over top the hangar making the main landing area less than ideal! However, we had plenty of alternative landing areas. After talking to Chewie on the plane, I decided to land in the area across from the access road away from the turbulence of the buildings.

My standard exit photo is kind of dark and this isn't a great picture of the pilot Dave, but we left the plane at about 5,500 feet.

New Mexico Exit

Check out the terrain! Like much of New Mexico, Skydive El Paso is located on a plateau. The main landing area is near the hangar, but they have a huge empty field just across the entrance road.

New Mexico - Skydive El Paso Aerial photo

Matt went for the main landing area and landed in the peas. He was nice enough to move out of them in case I decided to land with him. However, I stuck with my original plan and landed in the alternative field.

New Mexico Landing

I was pleasantly surprised that the ground was not hard. It was sort of sandy. New Mexico! Yay!

Once we were back in the hangar, we packed our rigs and got a picture with Bob. For a man that's nearly 80, Bob is looking great - so handsome!

Sarah, Bob, Matt, Cathy Baits and Baby Baits

When I mentioned to Bob that our Texas plans fell through, he said they might be able to help us out. The Texas border wasn't far from the end of the runway. If you look closely at the road in the middle of this picture (Artcraft), you can see it change from dark to light.  The light portion of the road is in Texas.

Road to Texas

Unfortunately, the drop zone was winded out for the day and closed before noon. Jumping into Texas would have to wait until tomorrow. We said our goodbyes and set out to find a place across the border to land. We just might get Texas after all!