White Water Rafting and Zip Lining

Last weekend, I was able to cross some things off my What’s Next list – white water rafting and zip lining. Although I have gone zip lining before, it was on a much smaller scale than over the weekend.

I will start with the white water rafting. I went in hoping for extreme waves and intense adventure and instead got small thrills and good conversation. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing after learning some more about the sport of white water rafting. Due to the low water level, the waves were only Class 2, as opposed to more intense water levels, Class 4 or 5. I am planning on continuing to advance to higher classes but I am glad I started with a less intense route. At one point during the float, we were in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia all at the same time! At least that’s what our guide told us, the lines are a little blurred when you’re in the water.

I, of course, did not bring a camera or phone with me on the rafting trip since I value my electronics and they never seem to work as well when water is introduced. I did get a couple of pics after the rafting and before the zip lining though.

The below photo was post-rafting. We were all comfortably dry and full from our picnic lunch.

Next up was zip lining. As I said, I have done this before, along with other, nature-defying, chance-taking, equipment-dependent activities, but this particular zip course was much more involved than my other experiences. It began with a sign that read “maximum capacity on landing no more than 12” and a guide explained that the number was generous given the very wobbly platform. At this point, I cringed a little but was still looking forward to the experience. I began to make my way up the spiral staircase that lead to the first platform and felt my legs shake under me, not only from my growing trepidation, but also from the sway of the staircase. After reaching the platform, I assumed my position nearest the center, hugging the large pole and any other available protuberant. This position would be assumed on the 6 subsequent platforms as well.

In theory, this zip obstacle course was engineered for maximum fun. It gave the adventurer an opportunity to experience the thrill more than once – but wait! – there was more! It also provided a little variety by throwing in a very thin suspension bridge between two towers, at the mid-point. I should have suspected that something was fishy when I was called to the next platform, cutting the line in front of 5 people, where my group was all waiting. So I zipped over and was again told that I got to go first! But this time, there was no zip line – I was staring at three thin pieces of wood, which they called a bridge, that spanned the two platforms. With my friends smiling at me and telling me that it was no big deal, I started the trek across the “bridge.” As I started my very slow death mission, I couldn’t tell how much of the severe shaking was from my legs and how much was from the suspended bridge. I was seriously Indiana Jones for a good hour (at least it seemed like it took that long – in reality, it was probably closer to 6 minutes).

Other than that little moment when my life flashed before my eyes, I very much enjoyed my zip lining experience. The last zip was the fastest and most exhilarating, and adding to that was pure relief to be back on the ground.

Our group before embarking on the great zip line obstacle course. The holsters were not as uncomfortable as they look.

Looking back, I probably should have given my group a heads-up that I am terrified of heights. I guess it just slipped my mind…

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