Monday, August 15, 2011

Zipping Through the Redwoods

I've been doing the segway tours for so long now that when someone is nervous, I work with them to get comfortable with the machine so they have a great time but, quite frankly, I'd forgotten what it feels like to be nervous to try something new.

That is until I went ziplining with Sonoma Canopy Tours in Occidental with some friends from UCSB. I had to be talked into it but figured it's good to do things that scare you every now and then. I knew that it would be safe and my fear was not of falling off the line. I just don't enjoy being so high up in the air traveling at 30 mph!

The guides were funny and making jokes to put people at ease - it is a universal trait we share. After practicing on a line about 6 feet off the ground, we drove up to the starting point to zip out to the first of 7 tree platforms.

One guide, Jamie, goes out first so she can signal you when to break and pull you up to the tree and unhook you. The other guide, Zach, goes last because he's the one hooking you to the line and sending you on your way.

Zip 1 - scary because it's the first.
Zip 2 - scary because you zip to a redwood tree that sways and Zach jumps on the line when he comes over to make the
tree shake.
Zip 3 - scary because it's 319 feet long, 200 feet above the ground and has the biggest slack in the line so you'll go 30 miles per hour!
Zip 4 - easier because how can it be worse than the first three?
Zip 5 - scary because it's 800 feet long and you're told that if you don't build up enough momentum in the first half, you won't make it all the way to the end (but I did).
Zip 6 & 7 - FUN!

Just when I start having a good time, it's over and we have to repel 80 feet to get to the forest floor. The worst part was the anticipation and having to swing out over the platform so you would be facing the tree. Ah!

Would I do it again? Yes. Would I spend so much time nervous talking and shouting out swear words? No.

I spent all day trying to upload the videos but faced numerous problems I could not overcome. If you really want to see them, I can make it happen. Suffice to say it was scary then fabulous then scary then fabulous - but that's mostly because by then it was over.

If you're thinking of doing it - I say "do it"!

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