Have you ever stared death in the face? I have! Ok, so perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit, but Friday morning was our zip-lining adventure! I had been alternating between looking forward to it, and absolutely dreading what was sure to be my impending death.
Jon had seen the zip-lining shop when we had been in Moab the year before, and really wanted to try it. I said I would, even though, as you may remember from some of my previous posts, I have a very healthy fear of heights. But I like to challenge myself, so I purchased two non-refundable tickets to a 6 zip-line adventure, complete with an off-road UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) ride up to the zip-lines, and a trek across a suspension bridge. Of course, I hate wasting money, so I knew if I made the purchase, I was not likely to chicken out.
As we were getting ready, I started getting really nervous. Jon told to try not to think about it – maybe listen to my audiobook? My nerves abated as we walked across the street to the shop, but I got nervous again when signing the waiver. I went and sat outside to wait for the safety chat and ponder my impending death. Shortly the other soon to be dead tourists all assembled outside and our guides – Chris and Jake – showed us how to get into our harnesses and helmets. I snugged my harness up as much as I could, knowing that I was still a goner.
Soon we bundled into two UTVs and headed up the mountain. The trip was exciting and scary at the same time! Chris explained that in the world of off-roading, this road would be considered a 4 on a difficulty scale of 1-10. It seemed like a 9+ to me.
He explained how the zip-line company came to be, and the fact that it is located on private land. He also explained how the zip-lines were engineered and their safety features. I started to feel a little more comfortable, because lots of the reviews said the trip up to the zip-lines was scarier than the zip-lines themselves. I might actually live!
We reached the top of the hill and climbed up a short, steep section of the slick rock to the beginning of the first zip-line. It was called Sneak Peek and it was 280 feet long, designed to ease you in to zip-lining. My nerves were back. I made Jon take a photo with my cellphone to document my last moments on earth. I look nervous…
Jake (one of our fearless guides) zipped first so he could operate the braking system for the rest of us. I was relieved that I didn’t have to try to stop myself… Chris asked who wanted to go first and a 12 year old kid volunteered (I am not an early adopter…). He looked like he was having fun! I volunteered to go third, afraid that if I waited too long I would lose my nerve. But I did it! I screamed a little bit after I first stepped off, but I did it! Once Jake had stopped me at the other end, he had to remind me to let go of the handle… But I did it! And it was fun!
The zip-lines get a little longer and faster from the first one – they are all named for their successive features and challenges. The longest zip- Home Run – is 1300 feet long. Each is unique, some are steeper, some are windier (so you spin more), but they were all fun.
In between zip-lines, there are short hikes, including one with a suspension bridge (which looked totally safe but was still scary for me!), and amazing views. We got a bird’s eye view of Moab, and could even see several of the rock formations in Arches National Park – 10-15 miles away.
The course is near other UTV routes, so we saw some of the off-road tours go by, and the last zip-line goes right over a mountain bike route, so we got to fly over top of several mountain bikers pushing their bikes up a steep section of slick rock.
I took video with my camera – I don’t have a GoPro, so I just hung it around my neck and pressed record, hoping the camera wouldn’t flop around too much or turn around on my body…. I think it worked pretty well. The video below is me on the last zip-line – Home Run (bear with the slow start…).
I didn’t want it to end. I was ready to keep going all day long! But soon we had reached the end of the sixth zip-line, and Chris and Jake went to go fetch the UTVs so they could drive us back down the hill. Which again, was a trip that was scarier than the actual zip-lining.
I was very proud of myself for doing it and not chickening out. It was exhilarating being able to conquer my fear of heights and discover that something I was terrified to do is actually really fun! Chris and Jake were great – very supportive and it is clear that they get a kick out of helping someone get over their fear as well. I loved this adventure!
Have you ever zip-lined? If you are interested in trying it out in Moab, Utah, I can’t speak highly enough of Raven’s Rim Zip-Lining – they were great! http://www.ravensrim.com/