Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting. – Goethe
Despite my fear of heights, I accepted an invitation to go on a zip line adventure in the redwoods near Santa Cruz this afternoon. The risk manager in me checked out the two-point contact support (two parallel zip lines) and I was reassured by the fact that I would be tethered to a line at all times, especially on the (very) small platforms in the forest (one 150′ high).
The tour included 6 zip lines, each different in length (one 440 ‘ long) and speed, and two sky bridges. To be honest, each time I readied to leave the platform the thought did cross my mind that I might plunge to my death, but to my amazement, I pushed off just the same!
Now, here is the best part – remember the forest scenes in the Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi? The experience was a combination of the Ewoks’ forest platform homes on the moon Endor and the flying scooter-like experience of weaving in and out of the trees. The zip line also makes a buzzing sound akin to a scooter motor. (According to Wikipedia, the Ewoks are named after the Miwok, a Native American tribe, indigenous to the redwood forest!)
This is a view of the ropes challenge course right beside the zip line course – notice the size of the circular landing platform. The zip line travels from platform to platform and the only tricky part was figuring out how to brake effectively when coming in for a landing. The two guides, each stationed at a platform (one to launch and one to catch) were terrific!
All in all, it was a very intense but thrilling experience!