HAPPY Midle-Aged Woman on a Zipline in Haleakaka, Maui
My screams could be heard throughout the rain forest which was at 5000 feet on a dormant volcano . These weren’t screams of terror, but ones of pure joy and excitement. Something I had dreamed of doing for many years had finally become a reality at age 53. Anyone who knows me well is aware that I enjoy a certain amount of adventure and even some danger. One thing I’ve always wanted to do was to ride a zip line. My husband and I were fortunate enough to be in Maui for a business event and there are a plethora of zip line courses available. I chose to do one that had 5 different zip lines as well as a rope bridge.
Before ‘zipping’…giving the Shaka hand sign—meaning ‘hang loose’
My experience began by signing all of the standard waivers one has to sign when doing any kind of activity with risk of injury. Then I was instructed to sit on a bench while a young man helped me step into a harness which he pulled up to my waist and cinched tight. Next he attached a heavy clasp and hook and gave me a helmet. After I was all “geared up” we walked a short distance through a forest of Euculyptus trees to a platform which overlooked a 40 foot ravine. After some basic instruction on how to hold on to the harness and how to steer, one of the guide zipped across the ravine to the platform on the other side of the ravine. (His job is to make sure you get stopped without slamming into a tree. 🙂 ) This line was approximately 150 feet and I would reach a speed of roughly 15 mph. Then it was my turn to step up onto the platform.
I hopped up onto the platform where the guide hooked my harness up to the cable and I looked down into the 40 foot ravine. I then grasped the strap and handle of the harness and took a running leap off of the platform. WHAT A RUSH!!!! It wasn’t all that scary, but was extremely exhilarating. Each line after that got a bit longer and faster. Then we walked across a rope bridge. (while also clipped onto a cable.)
Crossing the rope bridge
Finally we got to the 5th and final zipline which was definitely the most exciting. It was a 750 foot cable stretched over a deep ravine. It was considered a pendulum line because after flying the entire way to the end of the cable you actually zip back in the other direction and after a few passes through the middle finally stop by one of the guides grabbing your feet. On this line I reached a speed of approximately 45-50 mph. As I jumped off of that platform and picked up speed it felt as though I was really flying. I was hooting, hollering and laughing. I was having the time of my life. I loved the feeling when I reached the other end knowing that I was about to begin rushing back the way I had just come.
I guess I must be a bit of an adrenaline junky because as the guide was removing my hook from the harness I asked him where the fastest zip line is and he said he thought it was in South Africa and that it went up to 100 mph. Hmmmm…….
When we got back to the station the I was told that they could hear the shrieks of delight from there. I guess I really let it rip. 🙂
PS–before the 5th zip line the guide took a picture where I was supposed to look ‘scared’. This is the best I could do.