Connor and I each experienced a new adventure Wednesday, the fourth day of our electronics-free vacation.
We went on a zip line course high in the mountains outside Durango. A zip line, in case you don’t know, is an overhead steel cable with a pulley attached. You normally hold onto it and glide from point A to point B, suspended above the ground.
Zip lines are usually short in length and not far off the ground.
Not the ones we rode on. Not by a long shot.
Some of the cables were as long as one football field and as high as 100 feet off the ground. We rode from one tall pine tree to another. The business that operated this zip line course built redwood decks – or landing pads – on the trees.
When I saw the height of the lines, I expected Connor to be scared – and maybe even to back out. He wasn’t scared, but I was. Seriously. It was role reversal.
We were never in any danger. The two guides with us had us safely secured. Instead of holding a pulley overhead – and risking falling – we were seated on straps that supported us. There was nothing for us to do but enjoy the ride.
“I love this!” Connor said after reaching the end of the first zip line.
Didn’t the height scare him? Didn’t wondering about the strength of the pulleys overhead scare him?
He couldn’t get enough. The guides took us on six lines. I felt like a monkey jumping from tree to tree.
“Is that all?” Connor asked when we were done.
Actually, I was happy to be finished. The scariest part was the start. You had to push off the platform into thin air. For a split-second, you didn’t feel any support. Then you settled into the straps under your butt.
The second scariest part: the finish. You saw the next platform and the tree supporting it getting closer and closer. The guides advised us to gently put one hand on the cable to slow us down (we were wearing leather gloves). I did this, but I was still traveling swiftly when I reached the end.
Fortunately, one of the guides grabbed us before we hit the tree. It was padded, but I didn’t want to test the adequacy of the padding.
Today was the highlight of our trip. Connor said it two or three times, so it must be true. I enjoyed the zip-lining too – that is, between pushing off and landing.
When we were finished, we took off our helmets and undid our labyrinth of straps.
“I want to live in Colorado,” Connor said. “It’s so beautiful, and there’s so much to do.”
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. We’re stuck in Dallas, I’m afraid.
Still, I wanted to ask Connor a hypothetical question.
“If we moved to Colorado,” I said, “could you live without video games?”
“All except for Halo,” he said.
At least he’s honest.
To hear how the trip went day by day, read all of the articles:
- A vacation without video games or TV? Wish me luck
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #1: A Good Start
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #2: “I’m having a great time”
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #3: The whitewater rafting adventure
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #4: The highlight of the trip
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #5: A new discovery
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Conclusion: Success!