Numbers 30 and 29: Zipline and White Water raft

Yep that’s right folks this is a double list entry. Recently, Jake and I were in Gatlinburg, TN for Jake’s family reunion which provided me with the opportunity to knock a few things off my list.

The first was ziplining. Ziplining has become pretty popular over the last few years. You can even zipline at Mermerac Caverns and in Branson. Who says Missouri isn’t awesome? We have ziplines.

Anyway, for those of you not aware of what ziplining is here is the Wikipedia definition:

A zip-line consists of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable, usually made of stainless steel, by holding on or attaching to the freely moving pulley. Zip-lines come in many forms, most often used as a means of entertainment.

Joining me on this adventure were Jake and his little sister Nikki and her husband Will. We were fitted with harnesses and helmets and then had to climb to the top of the tower to be attached to the zipline. After you are all hooked up you take a few running steps off the platform and off you go down the line. It is very exhilarating! Especially after you first leave the platform and gravity pulls you down so you can really feel the harness. As you get towards the end there is a person there to catch you. You begin to slow a bit as you get towards the end of the line but it is still a little scary because it looks like you are about to slam right into the platform and the person a the other end. Once they have caught you and unhooked you they lead you to the next platform to zip back.

Jake and I went together the first time then Nikki and went on the second round. We had fun and I would totally do this one again. I would like to try some different heights. Anyone can do this, case in point the lady in front us was in her 70’s (and not athletic). She sat on the platform and they pushed her instead of taking a running start. So get out there — and invite me 🙂

Jake and I on the zipline

 Nikki and I on the zipline

Now onto rafting………

At first I thought this would not be a list item. A few years ago my family and I rafted while we were in the Grand Canyon. This was a guided tour very calm and very little work. I kind of expected this to be similar- maybe a little bumpier. Boy was a I wrong. We were on class 3 and 4 rapids – the scale of rapids goes up to 5!

Once our group was called we were given life jackets and helmets and paddles. Then we boarded a bus for a 15 minute ride to the start of the river. On they way they began going over the safety tips which completely scared the sh** out of me. They cautioned against losing your grip on your paddle because the end is so hard it could knock your teeth out or give you a black eye. Then they continued to talk about what to do if you fell out of the raft (wait I can fall out of the raft!). Because of how fast the water moves you need to put your legs up right away you don’t want to leave them in the water cause they can get stuck on something and pull you under or crack your shin or leg. This talk made me a little more nervous than excited but the only way back to the car was by going down the river.

We boarded the boat and began our 5 mile trip down the river. Our guide told us when we needed to paddle and when to stop. It took our group a little while to get synchronized with the paddling but eventually were were as a team. Paddling was hard because most of the time you were getting sprayed with water — and the water was cold! There were some smooth sections that we could just hang out and enjoy the ride (those were my favorite).

I am happy to say that I did not fall out of the raft and about half way through I was able to relax and enjoy the trip down the river. Although I did keep a really good grip on my paddle handle the entire time –  even through the smooth sections.

This was fun but I think I will just stick to rafting and leave the white water for the adventure seekers. I am glad I overcame my fear and did this because I proved to myself that I could do it  and despite the danger I came out alive and without a scratch.

Onto 28……….

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