Thursday, June 04, 2009

Baptism by the Helmet

Everyone probably knows that Rhonda Nelson and I went to Toronto last week to meet with our editor (see last week's Thursday blog if you don't). So I thought I'd share some pictures from my trip and my baptism by the helmet. I don't think I was a true Blaze Babe until after I went down the 1000 meter zip line off the side of a mountain. It was amazing!! And I'd do it again in a heartbeat...possibly upside down.

Here's Rhonda, me and Brenda with all our paraphernalia on - including helmets that aren't crooked. The body of water behind us is Georgian Bay and we're standing on a huge suspension walking bridge. The view was gorgeous.

That board beneath my butt is what we walked on in the treetops for the eco tour. Brenda was Speedy Gonzales and we were way ahead of the other groups behind us so I decided to sit down and take a break while we waited. The whole thing was really fun and being up in the trees was very relaxing. At one point we saw a mother raccoon in a hole in the tree. Soooo cute!

And here's evidence that I did in fact go down a zip line. This was the first one - 333 meters long. It was so much fun and by the time I got to the bottom I was yelling at the brake man that I wanted to go again. Luckily I had that opportunity. We hiked through some caves, which still had snow on the ground. No one could understand why I was taking pictures of the dirty snow until I explained that I was from Alabama. After that we went to the next zip line.

I had watched Brenda come down upside down on the first one and thought that it looked fun and I might try it on the second line...until I saw how high it was. I'm not kidding. We jumped off the side of a mountain. I don't know the exact height was high.

They had to weigh us with our equipment on (I'm still telling myself it all weighed 40 pounds) and as they handed up my special counter weighted equipment I found myself praying they hadn't gotten it mixed up with someone else's. I stepped inside the padlocked fencing and let them get me all hooked up. While they were waiting for the all clear call from below I got to stare out the little opening in the fencing at the space I was about to throw myself off of...great way to build terror.

When the time came they looked at me, smiled, and told me to walk off. WALK OFF? In my head I was thinking someone was going to have to push me. In the end I did it without even hesitating. There's a metal ladder with about five (I seriously didn't stop to count) steps going down. They just end. And when you take that final step off into nothing the harness picks you up and sits you down, the wind whistles past your ears and the view is amazing.

I didn't end up going upside down...but I probably will try that next time. It was so much fun. The funny thing is that I loved it but when they'd unhooked me from the lines at the bottom and my feet hit the ground again my left leg wouldn't stop shaking. I have no idea why. Apparently it was upset that I hadn't used it to come down the mountain instead. Didn't last long though.

I really enjoyed the entire weekend and can't wait to visit again.

Have you ever stepped off the side of a mountain? Zip lined? Sky dived? Anything else extreme? Do you want to?


P.S. Congratulations to housemouse88, Christie's winner from Tuesday's blog. Please contact angel at to claim your prize.

P.P.S. And our very own Playground Monitor has a free story up at Long and Short Reviews. Visit and check it out. We're so proud of PM!


Playground Monitor said...

...stepped off the side of a mountain? Zip lined? Sky dived? Anything else extreme? Do you want to?

No, no, no, no and no. Does raising two little boys count?

Sounds like you had a great time.

Maven Linda said...

Nope, not I. I'm not going to bungee jump, or sky dive. Zip line . . . maybe.

And your left leg was shaking from the adrenaline. (The things I learn in research.)

Andrea Laurence said...

Kayaking is about as adventurous as I've gotten. We almost went on a zip line in Alaska, but it was only offered in the same port as the kayaking and my friend decided on kayaking instead.

I'll just wait for my official Blaze initiation at some point.

As for sky diving or bungee jumping - I don't like the feeling in my stomach when I fall 13 floors on a ride, much less a mile freefall. No thanks.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

I love to sit back and look at the mountains, with a cup of coffee in my hands and my feet propped up. Step off of them? No thanks. :-)

It does sound like fun.

Liza said...

Sounds like y'all had a blast! I would love to try a zip line. Sounds like such a rush.

PM's Mother said...

Does flying an airplane solo count? In my (much) younger days I "soloed" a Piper Cub on Christmas eve (daytime). I worked at the airport and flying lessons were part of my "fringe" benefits.

I haven't done anything quite as adventurous since that.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Soloing an airplane definitely counts in my book, PM's mother!!!

I don't think I've done anything extreme. I've driven across the Alps by myself. I've jumped horses over fences (and went over some on my own when the horse refused).

I've walked inside a volcano (two actually). I've hiked through a jungle. Hmm, nothing really extreme, is it?

I would zip line. I would *not* sky dive or bungee jump.

Angel said...

The first zip line didn't sound so bad. My fear of heights didn't kick in until you said 1000 feet. Um, no. Much as I'd love to see the view from the tops of the trees, not if that's the way I have to come down. Not happening.

You are a brave soul.


Instigator said...

It honestly wasn't too bad. Part of the reason though is that the first zip line is short and not very high. So you get the feel of it and realize it is just like riding a swing that happens to move a little. If I'd seen the 2nd line without the 1st I'm not sure I would have done it. (Okay, that's a lie. I wouldn't have punked out in front of my editor but...)

When I was younger I wanted to sky dive and bungee jump. I even did the indoor sky diving which I loved. However, my brain has caught up with my youthful feeling of indestructibility and I no longer harbor those desires.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great time on your trip.
No i've never bungee jumped or ridden a zip line.
Does driving a race car count as adventurous?
I drove in a powder puff race years ago. That was a
Blast … glad to see you had fun and made it home in one piece.


Christine said...

Your trip sounds amazing! I'm glad you enjoyed the wild Canadian scenery. It's lovely, rugged, and wild there. Yet there are wonderful cities to visit as well.

As far as extreme stuff: well I didn't ride my first roller coaster till I was 39. It was the BIG BAD WOLF back at Williamsburg Busch Gardens. My darling daughter's fearless attitude forced me to go sit next to her. Any rate, since then I have ridden a ton of coasters, including the GRIFFON at BG which forces you to hang, suspended, for what seems an eternity, and then you drop at a 90 degree angle straight down. Whoosh... it's like flying on the wings of a bird... very cool and very freaky.