September 1, 2010

She Flies Through the Air

Imagine spending forty-five minutes riding an old school bus to the top of a mountain in Icy Strait, Alaska only to be pushed off the mountain top and hit the bottom ninety seconds later. That’s what happened to me exactly one year ago today.

Now before you start wondering who pushed me, let me clear up the confusion.

I chose to do this.

I even paid to do this.

What’s missing? That Icy Strait hosts the ZipRider, the longest and highest zip line in North America. It’s 5330 feet long with a 1300 foot vertical drop that accelerates riders to sixty miles per hour within seconds of their release.

The zip line has six lines, so six of us took the plunge at the same time. The launch structure looks like the gates used during the start of a horse race. You strap yourself in, brace your feet on the gate, and wait for the operator to release the gate and brake. For a split second, I felt a rush of fear while the operator counted off our launch, “One, two, three, go!” Except he didn’t launch us. We all laughed, and , surprise, that’s when he let us go.

Woohoo! What a rush! We plunged down the mountainside, wind rushing through our hair, trees flashing by. If I spread out my arms, the line slowed … a little. At the bottom, the line leveled out within seconds of hitting a humongous spring. No danger of not stopping, by the way. These springs were heavy duty.

My husband and I zipped down at the same time, so we don’t have video of our ride. We could have taken the camera with us, but we decided to enjoy the full experience rather than focusing on recording it.

You can visit the Icy Strait website to see the information on this zip line and watch a video shot by someone during their ride.

This year, they've started taking pictures for the riders. Now, why couldn't they do that last year?  Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go back!

5 comments:

Bob Strother said...

What great fun that must have been! The longest zip line I've ever done was about 100 yards and dropped me into a lake.

Valerie said...

Wow! I sometimes think about doing the zip-line thing--so far haven't had the opportunity, or the guts. Good for you!

Barbara V. Evers said...

Bob, it was great fun! I loved every second of it and wished it was longer. It was cold, being in Alaska, but I think a drop in a lake in a warmer climater would be lots of fun.

Valerie, there are zip lines in NC & SC if you want to do it.

Susan M. Boyer said...

I SO want to try this!

Carole St-Laurent said...

I did a zip line in Honduras. I landed on a beach. Kind of cool.