Tree to Tree Zip Line Adventure
Our eldest granddaughter, Hannah, just turned 14. Thom and I have made a sort of tradition of doing something special with our grandchildren at birthday time. Hannah wanted to go on a zip line challenge course at the Tree to Tree Adventure Park in Gaston, OR. I elected to join her on this challenge, while Thom chose to follow along below us on solid ground to take pictures. He did a terrific job. If you want to see the full pictorial of our adventure, just click here.
Hannah and I were with a group of five other people. We decided to go last in line so I wouldn’t slow anybody up (me being the oldest in our group – or any of the groups as far as I could tell). We received orientation training on how to use the equipment properly to ensure we were safely tethered to a cable at all times should we happen to fall off any of the course challenges. After orientation and a training run on a simple, close-to-the-ground course, we were on our own to go on to the more difficult (and higher off the ground) courses.
We got through the first course, not easily, but still pretty darn proud of ourselves and feeling we were better at this zip line challenge thing than we expected. So, full of confidence, we happily trotted off to the second course. I must back track a little and tell you that while Course 1 was challenging, most of the sky bridges (my terminology) we had to cross were solid and immobile – they just felt sturdy and secure under our feet for the most part. Course 2, we discovered, was quite a bit more difficult. Nothing felt solid under our feet. Every sky bridge tipped, swung, swayed, and tilted. As Hannah aptly described it at one point ”that one was terrifying”.
Hannah was awesome and made it through both courses incredibly well. I was so impressed! She did get a bruised knee with a semi George of the Jungle impact with a tree when landing on one zip line platform; but she faced every obstacle with admirable determination. I, on the other hand, lost my battle with balance on one Course 2 sky bridge, cutting my hand up when I grabbed the cable to try to keep myself upright. I ended up having to let go and thus was left dangling in the air wondering how in the world I was going to get back up on the sky bridge which was now above me. With verbal guidance from a staff member on the ground, I was able to haul myself up and I made it to the platform exhausted and shaking. This course takes balance, muscle and stamina – and my supply of all of these was about depleted at this point. We still had three more obstacles to conquer before the end of Course 2 and getting our feet on solid ground.
We finished Course 2 with no more physical trauma – just more stretching of our nerves and draining of our energy. By the time Hannah and I landed back on solid ground at the end of Course 2, we were both so physically exhausted that we were shaking. We had the option of continuing on to two more challenge courses, but wisely opted to head on home and soak our weary bones and muscles in the jacuzzi. Just completing the two courses took us a little over two hours – quite the workout I would say.
This zip line activity was fun, challenging and frightening. Even though you know you can’t fall completely because of the safety tether, the fear is still there. We were both glad we went on this adventure; but we both say we wouldn’t do it again. If ever I go to Tree to Tree Adventure Park again, I will opt to do the straight zip line tour and leave the challenge course to more hardy-hearted people; or I will watch from the ground and take pictures of our other grandchildren who wish to do the course. Hannah and I did it once, and that was enough for the both of us. An adventure was had and memories made – ah yes! – wonderful memories made.