Monday, November 18, 2013

Ziplining at Refreshing Canopy in Stevens, Pennsylvania

Not much was said as we climbed the small knoll. We were trying not to become entangled within our harnesses and belts that were strapped upon us. My adrenaline was beginning to spike and so was my fear. We approached the set of steps up to the first platform. I was already walking a few steps ahead when we approached the stairs. The look on my daughter's face assured me I was more than welcome to go first. I proceeded up the wooden flight of stairs to the awaiting platform. Once up there, I watched every process as the attendant strapped my harness into the steel cable. I climbed another step and she opened up the gate. "Hold on!" My daughter exclaims. The attendant quickly replies "you don't have to." Not exactly the comforting words my daughter was looking forward to hearing. In my mind I'm thinking "don't worry I will." And off I went gently flying across the sky on a wire with my hands firmly grasped onto the handles. I quickly approached the next platform where I was immediately hooked onto another wire cable. From here I patiently waited to be reunited with my nervous daughter.

As she quickly zipped across the line I noticed a look of fear, as well as an adrenaline rush that placed a grin across her face. Now we had a decision to make. Head right for the more difficult obstacles, go left for the easier ones, or bypass them both and take the sky bridge. Since we're both fearful of heights we opted for the easier obstacles. Now another decision awaited me. Take the jump to the next platform, or use the swing and propel myself across. Part of me wanted to see if I had still had any of my long jumping skills left. Than I recalled "Nevermind" was also the hot new album in those days, I opted for the swing. Perhaps not the best decision. I must not have projected enough momentum because halfway across my swing came to a stand still. I outstretched my legs barely reaching the other platform and patiently pulled myself across. At this time my daughter decided she was taking the sky bridge.

She advanced toward the sky bridge and patiently walked her way across the swaying bridge. I proceeded through the various air obstacles, each proving slightly more challenging than the previous. I'm pretty sure the teenagers got a good snicker seeing a grown man with fear in his eyes. After surviving my way through the various rope and log obstacles my daughter and I rendezvoused at another wood platform.

 Again we had our harnesses transferred to another set of wire cables. After being securely fastened in, I dropped off the platform and went soaring through the sky. Zipping across the tree lines watching the changing colors of the various trees, seeing the world from a bird's eye perspective. After reaching the next platform I just got strapped to the next line and off I went. No more waiting around for my daughter, too much adrenaline was flowing now. The platforms were also getting smaller and smaller, while we were advancing higher and higher into the sky.

With every zip across the sky I could feel my tensions easing. My fear of heights and the unknown became less. The refreshing wind blowing across your face, as you fly through the air, makes the worries of the world seem a bit easier. The feeling of flying allows you a freedom I haven't felt. A moment of weightlessness, a sense of independence, and a feeling of being alive.