Never one to shy away from a challenge – or attempt to impress someone – I agreed to go zip lining. All I know about this event is that it sometimes leads to flesh eating bacteria infections. Although I hate to spoil the suspense, I’ll go ahead and tell you that my flesh has not yet been eaten.
Instead, I had a lot of fun. I went to a place called Kersey Valley, which was as flat as Kansas so I’m not sure where the “Valley” part comes in. But, I’m all for clever marketing and if a “Valley” draws the crowds, let’s make it happen.
The most amazing part of Kersey Valley is that the Zip Lining only scratches the surface. There are all kinds of killer attractions! My short trip denied me time in the Corn Maize Adventure?(Get it?! It’s spelled Maize! How witty!). I also missed the Gem Mining, Laser Tag, Dinosaur Discovery, and the hit-of-hits, Spooky Woods. Apparently, it’s the greatest Halloween Attraction on earth. My guides, Val and Neal, were pushing the heck out of spooky woods. “You gotta come back! You never seen nothin’ like it!” But it’s surely not as scary as Zip Lining.
Zip Lining was an adventure. If you’ve ever done it, you understand that the fun comes from hanging above the earth by a tiny, razor-thin, metal line. From my perspective, the line was the general thickness of dental floss. Your weight and the angle of the wires carry you from one station to the next (well that and, in my case, a “gentle” nudge from my guides).
As a “sport,” Zip Lining involves two things: (1) hanging and (2) stopping. My strengths are several. But coordinated activity is not one. Hanging I could do. Stopping I could not. It was hard. Very hard.
May I share Val’s explanation of the process of stopping?
“It’s easy. When Neal yells at you to ‘brake,’ just stick your hand on the wire behind you and you’ll slow down. Add more pressure to slow more,” said Val. You could tell he’d said that more times than he cared to recall.
“I got it,” my chest puffing out to impress my fellow zip liners.
Well, I didn’t ‘got it.’ Val shoved me off the ledge and I went flying (35-40 mph, I’d later find out). And I kept flying. Right into Neal. Poor guy saw it coming. And he rolled with the hit. It didn’t seem to bother him. He’d dealt with that before.
However, you’d have thought he’d never heard the string of words I let rip when I came crashing in. Granted, the expletives I delivered 6 inches from the 9-year-old and his father were not the height of eloquence. But the speed got the better of me. I couldn’t control it. It just happened. My fault entirely.
“This is a family-friendly attraction. Watch your mouth,” Neal scolded.
“I got it,” my shoulders drooping in embarrassed dejection.
“Do any of you want to chicken out? This is your last chance to do it.”
We all said, “No.” And kept going. And going. And going. And going. Despite my earlier indiscretion, and their repeated coaching, Neal kindly stopped me as I came at him full speed each time. Until, finally, on the last station, I figured out how to stop. Unfortunately, I just stopped about 12 inches too short. There was Neal to save me again. He leaned over the edge to haul me in.
Check it out. If you’re thinking about Zip Lining and you’re in North Carolina, check out Kersey Valley. They don’t make you feel like an idiot!
It’s worth a day. Just watch your mouth…and your hand.