Day 230 : The future’s bright, the sky’s Orange

4 March 2011

Luray to Fredricksburg (via Skydive Orange)

High Point: 13,500 feet

Low Point: Frost bite at zero feet

No Point: Trying to enforce ‘No swear Friday’ – potty mouthed boys!

Quote of the Day: Waitress to Steve – “You look like what I’d imagine a man from London to look like” (while he was wearing the three-piece red FTFE suit)

Author’s comments

After a few very long days on the road, we were all ready to let rip…rip chord that is. What better way to stretch the legs, blow away the cobwebs and get some fresh air than throwing yourself out of a plane at 13,500 feet? Well that’s what Steve and Val did at Skydive Orange anyway!

While the rest of the crew set up FTFE HQ at the drop zone, Steve and Val were taken through safety checks, landing patterns, wind direction, and how not to fall on their behinds when they got to the ground.

Val was up first and looked incredibly calm as she walked towards the light aircraft which would take her up to 13,500 for her first tandem skydive. She even cooly gave an interview to a cameraman, telling him about our expedition, while her tandem buddy read ‘Skydiving for Dummies’ behind her – pure class and very “on-message” – nice one Val!


Back on terra firma, after a perfect landing, Val’s response to her first skydive: “Amaaaaazing! Can I go up again?!”. Suffice to say, I think she enjoyed it!

Elsewhere, and not content with simply jumping out of a plane solo, Steve donned a three-piece FTFE-branded red suit for the occasion (generously designed and made by A Suit That Fits – thanks Frank). That, combo’ed with the Tony Hawk-style red helmet they put him in, meant we attracted more than a few raised eyebrows!

Everyone at Skydive Orange staff was fantastic – highly professional, incredibly helpful, and totally behind our cause. The entire Stage 8 crew would like to thank them for a great day, and for allowing us to take over their hanger with our laptops, filming and general FTFE admin.

One thing that I wasn’t quite prepared for on the trip was the enormous generousity that’s been bestowed on us at each stage of our journey – it’s incredibly humbling. The Visitor’s Centre at Fredricksburg, our destination that evening, were next to offer a helping hand. They put in some calls on our behalf, and Pat Gray at the Wytestone Suites amazingly donated a night’s stay to the crew – thanks so much Pat! The Visitor’s Centre also secured us a fantastic deal at a local restaurant – Sullys Steaks and Seafood. Again, thank you to the lovely staff who made our meal in the town very enjoyable – we particularly enjoyed the BBQ beans – and all 13 ingredients that went into them (we’re still smarting that we weren’t allowed to take home the family recipe :))

And as this is going to be the closest I’m ever going to get to an Oscar acceptance speech, I have another thank you to make. I want to give a huge shout out to GetLenses, who, on hearing about the Follow That Fire Engine mission I was embarking on, generously donated free daily contact lenses to me for the expedition. Great service and great people – thanks Brendon.

Small town America has been an eye opening delight, and as we head towards the bright lights of Washington DC and New York we’re quite apprehensive as to whether we’ll get the same amount of enthusiasm, support and generousity that we’ve been lucky enough to receive so far. We’re hoping it’s even more…

Check these guys out

Northern Virginia Tandem Skydiving

Tandem Skydive Washington DC

Several sources told us to be wary of discounted tandem skydiving adventures from

Sportations Groupon Tandem Skydive and Living Social Sportations Tandem Skydiving Experience


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Photos by the legend that is Lambert

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3 Responses to “Day 230 : The future’s bright, the sky’s Orange”

  1. Great blog! And wonderful aerial shots of Steve. Pity no one knows who took them. 😛

  2. my bad big man. My bad

  3. Just giving you hell. It was great jumping with you and meeting all you guys. Safe journeys the rest of the way. It’s a great thing you all are doing.