Would You Volunteer To Hang To A Thin Cable And Zip 170 Feet Aboveground?

by Janet Horton - Date: 2010-09-28 - Word Count: 1014 Share This!

I did and loved every minute of it. It takes a leap of faith, and trust in yourself, your equipment and the guides. But believe me, it is worth it.

My sister and I went out, with six other "guests", at Ozone Zipline Adventures in Oregonia, Ohio, with Josh and Skot as our guides. Our group ran the gambit when you consider the ages. There were a couple of young teenagers, and then I brought up the upper end of the scale, at 63.

Josh was our "sender" and he displayed absolute confidence, patience and skill. He checked our gear each time and instructed each of us on how we should proceed. Skot was the "receiver" and took our blows in good nature. Some of the guests came in gently, while others zoomed in. He was small in stature but big in abilities.

My sister and I had preconceived notions as to what was going to happen and needless to say, they were incorrect. We had visions of doing some serious hiking, which is not a favorite past time for either of us. In my mind, if we zipped down, we had to hike back up, in order to zip down again. We more or less ended up zipping from tree to tree. We crossed seven rope-swinging sky bridges, zipped seven ziplines, and climbed 79 steps up a 45 feet high tree platform. At no time were we hiking. When all was said and done, we really covered very little distance and did not stray far from the starting point.

Josh and Skot checked us in and walked us step by step through putting our harness on and getting it properly adjusted. Then they checked everything out before we left the room, and again, when we started on the first leg of our adventure.

There was no hesitation or apprehension about giving us the basic do's and don'ts, and suggestions. Josh and Skot were complete professionals, but relaxed enough to help us to feel comfortable, as we took in everything around us. The history, wildlife and nature talk quickly went by the wayside.

Don't get me wrong, I do not undermine the importance of the education and history, but like a kid turned loose in a candy store; there were simply too many things to observe on this first trip.

Each of us had specific tasks which we were to perform. The first was to listen and watch Josh and Skot for instruction and direction. We accessed the trees by the swinging sky bridges that led from one platform to another. On the platform, we stood on an elevated box, where our gear was checked by Josh. Oh, I should tell you, that at no time were we out of sight of our guide or unattached to a safety line. The "sender" attached us to the zipline. Our second job was to "sit" in our harness seat. The harness seat is actually a conglomeration of straps that crisscross at strategic points to give you maximum support and balance.

The third job was to stretch out our legs and cross our ankles. The fourth job was to raise our ankles, when we were ready to zip, and off we would go. The fifth was to steer the trolley device that rolled down the zipline. There were a few other instructions but these were the basics for the zipping. The hardest part for me was taking that leap of faith and raising my ankles, so that I would glide off the platform, and into the wild blue yonder. I did it - seven times! Each time I had to remind myself that it was not important that I could not see the ground, or the ending point.

I was so busy concentrating on steering and looking for Skot that I got from point A to point B before I even realized what was going on. I actually never gave a thought to the height. The speed was incredible. The wind wasn't too bad and just added to the adventure. It is an amazing feeling to be gliding above or through the trees. At times it felt like you should be able to just reach out and touch the leaves.

For some reason, I was more trusting on the ziplines than I was on the swinging sky bridges. We crossed seven bridges. They did swing, and sway, but we were connected to a safety line the whole time and had nothing to fear.

Josh and Skot did explain to us that the adventure was strictly voluntary and that, at any time, if any of us felt uncomfortable or wanted to stop, they would be able to get us safely back to the starting point.

When we were on the platform to start the fourth and fifth zips, I felt a brief episode of vertigo, but it passed within seconds. The trick is to never look down. You can look out, but the look down can be very disorienting.

Skot told us our longest line was 700 feet. The area was breathtaking, and the views were spectacular. I don't know how this compares to other zipline adventures but for this adventure, everything was perfect. Ozone Zipline Adventures does have an extended tour for the more adventurous, but, this was just fine, for this time.

I have been ziplining before, but it was entirely different. It was in Berlin and there were no safety precautions or guides. They have a small city park with a raised platform that is maybe two feet off the ground. You step up on to the platform, grab a pole that has a seat you straddle, (like a rope swing), and off you go for about a hundred feet. It in no way prepared me for this awesome experience.

Seriously, if you want an adrenaline rush, enjoy nature and the outdoors, and thrive on that sense of adventure, do not overlook ziplining. I understand you can even do ziplining tours around the world. That may be, but if you want a place to start - or stop - I recommend www.ozonezips.org. The experience is oddly exhilarating, and relaxing, at the same time.

Related Tags: computer, publisher, author, writer, ohio, ozone, ziplining, swinging bridges, janet horton

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