Zippin’!

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One of my favourite things on our cruise was when we went Zip-lining! It was awesome! It started with us all piling into a 15-passenger van for the short ride to the warehouse-building that serves as the headquarters for Kauai Backcountry Adventures. There were only 9 of us, which was kind of nice. We’d been feeling a bit like cattle, herded here and there, waiting in lines, waiting in corrals, so it was nice to have an experience where there was just a small group of us. Once we got to the headquarters, we went to the bathroom, and they started out by weighing us. I think it was just to make sure no one weighed below or above the limit, and so that the guy doing the “catching” would know how much momentum he’d be dealing with. Then, they put harnesses on us, loosely for now, and shortly after we loaded into a very cool jeep-like 4WD vehicle. It was aparently used by the Swiss army a long time ago and sold off as surplus. Anyhow, it’s a pretty cool vehicle and can climb a 70% grade (that’s what the guy told us!) and we gave it a bit of a workout on our way to the ziplines. We drove to the top of a canyon where the lines are strung across the canyon, over a small river, back and forth down to the bottom. The first one was just a practice line, as you see in the first picture. That’s me zippin’ towards the catcher! At the other end, there’s a guy who was “the pusher” (at least that’s what Steve and I called him)! He only pushed the first few times and then I got used to running off the end. There was one lady, though, that got pushed every single time, and it even looked like she was digging in her heels the first few times! She said she wanted to do it, but her body language said something else! 🙂 There’s a picture of him on their webpage http://www.kauaibackcountry.com/ in the lower left corner. :)Before we even did the practice line, the catcher gave us a serious briefing, explaining everything from how to run off the platform to start the zip, to what posture to use, and how to stop at the other end. The stopping was definitely the tricky part. It was a total rush sailing along the line on the pulley, seeing the trees far below and the river at the bottom! There was a bit of work to steer so that I’d come in straight. We had learned how to come in sideways or backwards, but I really didn’t want to try it. So, there was a bit of concentration needed while zippin’ to steer myself straight. When we did the last one, I was wishing for more! It was so awesome, and I was so glad to be doing it with Steve. He is so much fun to do things with, and he’s so good-natured! We had a great time! The second pic is Steve zippin’, taken with the cheapo-camera. Worked pretty good, eh? It shows the length and height of the course. The other thing that made it so much fun was the two guides we had. They were awesome. The catcher was a nice guy with a good sense of humour, yet a little serious because of safety. The pusher was sort of like a surfer dude, totally relaxed and fun. I’m sure he was keeping an eye on safety too, but every time the catcher reported (over radio) that the line was clear, he would reply “zippin'” and then push! 🙂
That’s all for now, then! Take care everyone!

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One thought on “Zippin’!

    Patricia said:
    December 5, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    Hey Ter, I’m loving these blogs!!! Thanks for posting the pics and stories. They’re great 🙂

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