As I was dangling by a cable over the top of a tree canopy in the Mohican forest, I made a new friend. “Hello”, I said, to this brave little soul who had this silly grin on her face. She was staring, mesmerized, by the view, seeing the forest through the eyes of an eagle. I asked her, “Hey, lady, are you nuts? Do you know you’re stuck smack dab in the middle of the highest zip line here?” By the time I recognized this serene sister was me, my Tree Frog guide and hero came to my rescue. Then, it was back to my alter ego, Ms. Indiana Jones, zipping through the trees, rappelling to the ground, and moving cautiously through the forest in search of hidden treasure. I found it; a shiny pot of riches marked bravery, exhilaration, accomplishment. It was a blast. WAAAAAHOOOO is the action verb for this must do activity.
I was long overdue for an adventure and this one was over the top. The course took about 2 1/2 hours to complete. We started off buckling into some really edgy looking duds and suited up and into all kinds of straps, buckles, pulleys, and toggles. Big, thick gloves, ten sizes too large, palms already primed and blackened from past braking experience, protected our hands. Topping off our couture, a bright red helmet. This is obviously designed to keep the contents of your skull contained should you happen to plummet from a platform or cable. I gave mine a few extra twists of the wheel, leaving bowl marks on my head when I removed it later. My brain wasn’t going anywhere, although some friends questioned whether I had already lost my mind. I looked like a rock star, or at least, a rock climber.
Heading out into the forest in a jeep we arrived first at “flight school”. Here we learned how to position our hands and legs, readjust and center our bodies should they drift left or right; how to brake, slowing our zip enabling us to make it to the platform without crashing into a tree. We were given a briefing on the hand signals the guide would be communicating to us from the awaiting platform. Those were clear enough, a newborn would get it. The most important thing we learned was self-rescue. What?? Rescue myself? What were the odds? I later learned, very slim. Except in my case, this training did come in handy, although I was able to enlist the cool competence and help of our guide when I encountered the perfect storm of opportunity. In retrospect, getting stuck was pretty awesome and it just made for much lively storytelling.
Next, off to cross the first of two rope bridges to our debut platform and zip. I have to be honest, the first time, I was sweating profusely and shaking so badly I looked like I had been plucked from the sea water of the Titanic. First zip completed, I dried up, jitters gone and couldn’t wait to do it again. The views from the platforms were spectacular and soothed me while waiting my turn. A few zips under my straps and I was beating my chest, Tarzan reincarnated.
Then, we came to the rappel. The guide told me to walk to the very edge of the platform, squat down as far as I could, (my kneecaps recoiled in horror) and the piece’ de resistance… LIFT my right leg and PIVOT around so I now faced the platform, tushy hovering over the edge, just sitting there, mid air, straps cradling my derriere. Then, when my toes were higher than my nose,(or was it the other way around?) I could begin to rappel. Slowly, or quickly, it was my choice. I was the master of my destiny and descent to the ground. Not so bad; actually, very fun. My creative mind whirled again as I envisioned my future with the Secret Service Swat Squad. A Bond girl for seniors.
Sadly, I sensed we were coming to the end of my big adventure and fantasy; I made my mind up to fully savor the final zip- every deliciously fast, second of it. As I zipped along what our guides claimed, was everyone’s favorite, I exhaled and finally emitted a big, long, WOOOHOOO. I paid attention to every delicious detail; the sound of the zip, the cool air, rushing onto my face more alive than I had felt in some time. Landing on the last platform it was time for the final rappel. This time, my body just knew to go to the edge, squat, pivot, and drop like a rock to the ground. I picked up my reward, my pot of gold, and proudly walked out of the forest into the reality, I had just check marked another ‘to-do” off of my bucket list! Thank you Tree Frog for giving me an experience of a lifetime!
Oh, and yes, another positive from this awesome experience. I thought I lost my abs about ten years ago at the Battle of the Bulge. It appears they have just been MIA. I heard them screaming for help late last night. They’ve been located. What a relief. I took two aspirin and rappelled into bed.
Hurry and book your great Fall adventure at www.TreeFrogCanopyTours.com