Challenges in the Treetops September 7, 2015

8 Sep

Treetops, you ask? We know she’s squirrely, but to go after them in the treetops is a bit ridiculous. No, this has nothing to do with squirrels and I didn’t even see any on this adventure. It has to do with zip lining and rope courses between the zip lines. While this activity was certainly not on my bucket list, it was on Jerri’s. So it was that she promised to take Dalan, her grandson, zip lining for his 13th birthday. I think this promise opened opportunity’s door and gave her the chance to do this crazy undertaking. Not to be outdone, I decided to accompany her and the kids.  Perhaps I could exorcise some of my own demons about heights and risk.

Zip lining was never on my bucket list because I am afraid of heights and have a very odd feeling of wanting to jump if I’m on the edge of a cliff or high building. So you can see why I was reluctant to do this. You can also see why this was a very challenging enterprise on my part (and Jerri’s, too.)

Jerri, Dalan, Megan and Sierra and I drove up to Tahoe City to join a bunch of other folks at the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park. (for more pictures and to see where the park is, check out http://northtahoeadventures.com/ ). After we got outfitted with our gear and helmets, we were given a short introduction to the sport and how to operate our clamps (the hooks that latch onto the cables). Then we were all required to go through the sample course to make sure we knew how to operate the life-saving clamps.  (Don’t forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Megan is wondering if this is a good idea. Check out the eye you can seen in the picture

Sierra on her qualifying zip ride. She looked like a pro right off the bat.

Jerri is holding her life saving clamps, listening to the orientation

Jerri and I decided to do what would be the equivalent of a bunny slope for our first course. Sierra and Megan decided the Fuzzy Bunny course also. Dalan, the veteran of the bunch, decided to begin his day on the intermediate level Spiral Course. Well, the Fuzzy Bunny was quite an event for me. Just getting up the log ladder was an experience.

Sierra is awaiting her turn while Megan goes up the ladder

Megan got up on the platform and now she and Sierra are beginning their first obstacle

 

Meanwhile, Dalan was flying around the Spiral Course like (dare I say it?) a squirrel.  We couldn’t keep track of him, he was so fast. Luckily, he’s a strong gymnast, has good balance and has experience on the courses. Plus, he’s 13. No fear whatsoever!

Dalan on one of the Spiral Course obstacles.

Here’s Jerri on our first obstacle. Note she was standing on a cable and using those free hanging ropes to aid her progress.

 

Jerri and I found the obstacles to be much more challenging than the zip lines. Upper arm strength was a must. So was balance. We didn’t scamper around the obstacles, but we made pretty good time. We discovered quite often, the item we were standing on was moving in an opposite direction of the thing we were hanging on to.  That made it kinda scary.

Jerri is waiting for me at the bottom of our first zip line. It looks kinds of far, eh?

I had a really hard time taking the “step” into the air. There was no place else to go, so I had to do it. As soon as I stepped off the platform, the gear around my legs took hold and it was very comfortable on the ride down.  It was sort of like sitting in a sling and felt very safe. That first “step” plagued me each time I did a zip line, but I didn’t wait to do it. Later, I noticed people (kids mostly) hanging upside down, not hanging on to the handle, and doing other stunts. Logically, nothing will happen because one is secured to the cable, but I just couldn’t get over not hanging on and doing fun things.

Well, we conquered the Fuzzy Bunny and we trundled off to The Twins course. This was in intermediate course and I don’t know if we were really ready, but there were no more bunny courses. Off we went onto a swinging bridge with very long steps between the slats. It kind of made me think about adventure movies where the hero is trying to get across an old bridge spanning a deep gorge. We were only maybe 20 feet off the ground but it seemed a lot higher than that when we were up there.

Jerri is on the Twins Course swinging bridge. This one was fun!

The most difficult obstacle on this course (for me) was walking a cable with crossing ropes on one side only. My arms were very tired after accomplishing that feat. After having a day to think about it, I think I might do it a bit differently such as not having such a death grip on the ropes. I came to the conclusion that a Flying Wallenda, I’m not. Having said that, I never slipped when walking on one cable. I talked to one of the course monitors and he told me he’s only heard of 5 people falling since the place opened.  I was very happy not to be the 6th.

This is still on the Twins Course. The cable seemed pretty small at the time.

Zippping along in my merry sling (not very tuneful, but it was fun)

The one downer for the day is that there were lots of meat bees in the area. A meat bee is technically a yellow jacket who loves meat. They will land on your food and you can watch them literally take a chunk out of your hamburger and fly away with it. Those little varmints were flitting around us all day long, probably thinking we were their next meal. I guess one really didn’t like me and stung me in the small of my back. It felt like a hot poker for quite some time. Today the sting spot is a large red lump and hurts and itches to no end, no matter what I try. I’ll probably be zoned out on Benedryl by day’s end. It’ll get better, but right now, it’s a giant inconvenience. The varmint. I wasn’t even swatting at him or shooing him away.

A meat bee with a hot stinger.

A meat bee with a hot stinger. I don’t know why he thought I was a piece of raw meat. I still had my skin on.

While we were doing our courses Dalan ended up doing the Black Diamond Course, which is the same thing on a snow ski course. It’s for the experts. I knew he was going to go on the course but I didn’t get any pictures of him on it. He told me that he was almost totally exhausted when he finished because it demanded so much arm, hand and leg strength. He was glad he did it because the zip line was the longest at the Park and had the best views.  So he told us.

I was proud of Sierra that she stayed with Megan the entire time. She talked Megan through some of the obstacles and kept encouraging her. I know Sierra wanted to do some harder courses, but she was very loyal and protective of Megan. She’s a good kid! Megan is going on 11 and does a lot of stuff, but she had some issues with some of the obstacles. (I don’t blame her. I thought they were hard and scary, too). It was hard for her to go on a zip line beyond the demo ride. But she did it and she and Sierra ended up going on the Twins Course, which I thought was pretty difficult.  They have every right to be proud of themselves also.

Jerri and I never progressed past the intermediate level, but we felt very accomplished at what we did. We conquered some fears and fulfilled an item on Jerri’s bucket list. Plus, we’re pretty sure that we were the oldest folks out there on the course. That made us feel good, too. We may be old broads, but by dern, we’re out there doing our thing, having fun and enjoying life. LIFE IS GOOD!

The Crew: Dalan, Jerri, Megan, me, Sierra

The Crew: Dalan, Jerri, Megan, me, Sierra

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to “Challenges in the Treetops September 7, 2015”

  1. Connie Raub September 8, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    OOOOOOEEEEEE! You guys are CRAZY BRAVE!!!! Good for you!

  2. Barbara Allen September 9, 2015 at 5:54 am #

    WOWEEEEEEE! Crazy brave for sure….but this is totally awesome!

  3. Dick Schmidt September 9, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

    Pretty slick goin’ there, Cora. Were ya humming “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” whilst gliding through the trees?

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