RSS

Flying

06 May

Showing off
Today we flew. At speeds around 85 mph. For just under a minute. No wings required. Just us on a wire. A mile-long wire, stretched 500 feet above the lake at the bottom of a disused section of what used to be the world’s largest slate quarry.

The hubby has been zip-lining before…the normal sit upright and sail between the treetops zip-lining. Me, never. So why wouldn’t our first experience zip-lining together to be at Europe’s longest and fastest zip wire, ZipWorld Snowdonia in Northern Wales? Why not just throw the girl right in at the deep end? Forget those little baby treetop zip lines…those are for sissies.

I did not puke. I did not cry. I did not wet myself. I did not even balk when the hubby said, “Let’s go first,” on the shorter warm-up wire, Little Zipper. I admit to cheating last week, when I watched a couple videos online of inaugural rides taken by various news reporters covering the grand opening of the attraction a mere five weeks ago. Since this zip line is engineered so the rider lies horizontally beneath the wire, I didn’t see any potential for tummy-dropping free-falls like you’d get on a roller coaster–a fact that went a long way in easing much of my pre-flight fear. However, lying on the Little Zipper platform, looking straight down 72 feet, listening to the instructor radioing to the finish line to be sure all was clear on the wire, hearing her count down 5…4…3…2…1…, then feeling the wire lurch when the brake was released on my cart, I was scared.

I did not scream. I did not cry. I did not close my eyes.

For the entire 20 seconds, I looked down at the slate rushing beneath me. I felt the wind in my face and the sun on my back. I listened to the wheels of the cart singing along the wire above me. I saw the hubby pass me on the left as he flew down the neighboring wire. I watched the catch man on the finish platform growing larger and looking decidedly unconcerned as I rushed at him at 45 mph. Caught like a plane landing on an aircraft carrier, I did not mow him down, and as he unhooked me from the wire, I couldn’t find the words to answer when he asked how I’d liked the ride. Elated and high-fiving the hubby, I waited for the rest of the group to descend the Little Zipper so we could travel up to the quarry’s rim for the Big Zipper.

Even though I had just survived the Little Zipper and now knew what sensations to expect on the zip line, lying on the Big Zipper platform, looking straight down 500 feet, listening to the instructor radioing to the finish line to be sure all was clear on the wire, hearing him count down 5…4…3…2…1…, then feeling the wire lurch when the brake was released on my cart, I was SCARED. 

I did not scream. I did not cry. I did not close my eyes.

For nearly one minute, I looked down, I looked up, I looked sideways. I watched piles of slate left over from centuries of mining operations drop away as I soared out over the aqua-blue lake at the bottom of the quarry. I noticed a wind-whipped tear slide off my cheek and roll around the inside of my goggles. I felt the wind slapping the straps of my safety helmet against my cheeks. I breathed (apparently a lot of people forget to do that). I heard the song of the wire deepen as I flew past the lowest point and began the uphill journey of the last quarter-mile. I smiled when I saw the catch team tracking my approach with a radar gun, timing their signal for when I should apply the brakes (throwing my arms out perpendicular to my body). Caught once more like a plane landing on an aircraft carrier, I still could find no words to answer, “How was your ride?”

I hope my stupid grin said it all.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Posts I commented on today:
Riddled Rara: On Voice (Rarasaur)
Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above (Yarnspinner)  new blog of the day
Reflections on A to Z 2013 (Tropical Territory)

Advertisements
 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in How It Is, Monday Mix, True Life

 

3 responses to “Flying

  1. Janet domino

    May 6, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Oh! Sooooooo jealous! 😁😃

     
  2. Josie Two Shoes

    May 11, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    That took real courage, and I’m delighted to know you had an awesome experience! I’m tempted! But I can’t promise that I wouldn’t scream, or cry, or wet my pants!! :-))

     
    • dreaminofobx

      May 15, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      I didn’t see any wet britches, but there were loads of screamers!

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: