Thursday, March 17, 2016

Personal Demons

I did nothing – absolutely nothing for a couple of days. Nothing except sit around admiring the lake. Wait – that is not exactly true. I did laundry, drank wine, watched Davey wash the front of the RV – I guess there was a run into Home Depot to get a water filter and CVS at one point. Yup – I take it back – it was action packed.

The View

The Campsite

Wednesday was a move day – we moved up to Chattahoochee Bend State Park which is about an hour west of Atlanta. I had to get gas so I stopped at a tiny little gas station in Lizella Georgia where my Discover card was declined because of a security alert. That is so embarrassing when that happens. I get on the phone – guy asks if I'm traveling. Never mind that I have been using that card for the last couple of weeks here in Georgia. Get with it Discover People. I went a different direction than Lou and Davey – they took the freeway for part of the way - I took back roads. We ended up getting into Chattahoochee within ten minutes of each other. A small little park with only 26 sites and being as how it is the middle of the week, not very crowded.

Thursday – up at the crack of dawn. Huge day happenin'. Today Lou and I are going to go on the Longest Zip Line in the World according to Guinness. That's right – western Georgia not only has the longest zip line but it also has the highest climbing wall in the U.S. Lou and I have decided that the zip line will be enough excitement for one day. We will have to leave the climbing wall for another time. The zip line is called the Screaming Eagle Zip Line and it is in Historic Banning Mills. There are four levels of zip lines and we decide to opt for the Bunny Slope(actually called the Forest Tour) – the one that they let kids do. But let me tell you – this is no walk in the park. Keep in mind how much I hate, let me repeat HATE heights.

You start off getting the safety talk and getting into your gear. I'm doing OK at this point. I'm on flat ground – I'm busy trying to figure out how my gear works. They show us how our safety cables will keep us safe because they are always attached to some monster cables. They teach us about braking and proper form. We are set and ready to go.

Getting Suited Up
The Motley Crew

Then you have to climb up a 65 foot tower. I'm still doing OK. It is just climbing some steps. I'm not looking down – staring straight ahead. I'm OK.

Now comes the sky bridge. I am NOT doing OK. This is a swinging bridge with little pieces of board that you are supposed to place your feet on. The spaces between the boards are far apart – a person could slide right between them. I am keeping my eyes totally on the next board – I have no idea what is happening around, above or below me. Did I mention that if others are walking on the sky bridge the whole thing shakes and twists and shouts. No, wait, that was me shouting. This was not enjoyable in any way.

Notice how Lou and I are hunched over hanging on for dear life


We get to the first platform and our first zip line. There are seven people in our group – Lou is #4, I am #5. I have difficulty watching the others go before me because I have wrapped my arms around the tree and buried my face. Lou takes off and to her credit, there is no screaming. She has good form and is flying along. She seems to forget about the braking and ends up on the next platform in a rather abrupt fashion. The guide on my platform reminds us all about braking again. It is my turn – I can not make myself step off that platform into thin air. I waver, I try to think of a way out. Then, I figure there is no way out – I have to do it. I guess it is a beautiful day to die. I go. I am so intent on getting to the next platform that I don't notice anything around me except that platform. I took very seriously the braking lecture and I braked hard, stopping myself before I got to the next platform. So, now I'm dangling from the cable in thin air a few feet from the platform. Bummer. I have to turn myself backwards and pull myself hand over hand up to the platform. OK, lesson learned.

Lou's First Run - Great Form

Lou survived her first run
And I survived my first run

There were nine zip lines – the first four were sort of practice ones for us to work on our form and our braking. Lou and I were really getting the hang of it. Our braking was picture perfect. We were getting into the zone. The remaining five zip lines got longer and faster. Did I mention higher also? Davey thought we were about 75 to 100 feet up in the air. I don't know – I never looked down. The hardest thing was the stepping off the platform into empty air. It was a real trust issue – will the gear actually hold you and not send you crashing into the underbrush. Once you started actually zipping along – it was heaven. I wanted to go faster and faster. It was like flying.

Lou flying thru the air with the greatest of ease

I finally got the hang of it

Having A Blast

We finished the zip lines. We did it. I've always wanted to do zip lines but I've never had the opportunity or the guts. I am so happy that this gets put in my life accomplishment bucket. I am also so grateful that I get to hang with strange people who like to do weird things.

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