All three of our Branson trips have mostly ended up being pretty similar. Same vacation just in a different year. We did end up doing two things that we hadn’t done before this time though, both of which we ended up doing on the same day: wilderness ziplining is what I have for you today.
Day 4, Wednesday:
This was the day we ziplined! Yes, we have done this in Branson before, but that last time it was parking lot ziplining. This was way better and it was exactly what I expected ziplining to be. We got up earlier than we had the whole week and made the short drive out of town to the Branson Zipline – it was only 20 minutes away. It was a beautiful day, in fact the weather was just wonderful the whole week, and our 10 am departure was perfect.
So this makes three times ziplining for me and my guy, two for the boy. This one was more like my first experience ziplining, Pinzgauer ride and all. We did not have to use our hands on the line to slow ourselves down, which was great cause I hated that part about the last time. And there was a little extra bonus thrill at the end…
Of course, no photo taking allowed, probably because it distracts you from what you are there doing, ziplining, and I can imagine it saves a lot of iphone/camera retrieval trips for the staff throughout the day. So, of course, we bought the pictures that the guides took throughout the tour, and I am happy that we ended up with a few okay ones – a lot came out blurry and I tired my best to sharpen them up, I did what I could. The camera they used was a little point and shoot that was constantly being banged around and handed back and forth, I was sure that lens was in pretty bad shape. But here we are blurry photos and all, ziplining in the Ozarks:
Just after the off-roadish Pinzgauer ride to where we would be starting our zipline canopy tour.
A little less blurry at the top of one of the platforms.
And there wasn’t a single actual zipping photo that was in focus, so here we are below right before we climbed the steps to the last tower: the final line of the tour where we had to verbally acknowledge that we were willing to make the free fall drop from the 100 ft platform once we zipped across this line because there was no other way down than to step off…
That thrilling part of the adventure I mentioned before, a 100 ft free fall at the end of this line, which just so happened to be the longest line of the day.
We were warmed up for that last bit earlier, when at the half way point we had to do something similar, only it was a 40 ft drop, but even that made me pretty anxious. There was no line off of the platform only something that would hook onto the back part of our harnesses. We were then told to hold on to our front chest straps and just step off. I seriously had to resist the urge to sit and scoot off. It almost looks as if I did scoot off, but I didn’t, the guide wouldn’t let me. In fact you can see her arm, assisting me off the platform, and I think I even see Stephen laughing about it:
Stephen and Ethan, they did better than I:
So we got to the end, after a few from our group got stuck on the line and had to be physically assisted back to the platform (Ethan being one of them). There was a strong wind at this point and it wasn’t helping to make it across this line which I think was a quarter of a mile long. We had to ball ourselves up like a canon ball to help make it and not everyone’s cannon ball was tight enough. Once we all got on the platform, let me show you a picture of this platform again that we are now standing on so you can have an idea from where we are leaping:
Right where the B is, and that thing on top to the left of the platform is what they hooked to the back of our harness before they told us to go ahead and step off. I didn’t go first, Stephen did, and I didn’t want to be last with no one from my family to
encourage make me do it, so I let Ethan go after. Clearly, I was only thinking of myself and never mind if Ethan couldn’t muster up the courage to leap for his life. Ha ha, really I knew Ethan would do it, even with that little fear of heights he says he has, so leaving him behind was the last thing on my mind.
I slowly shuffled out to the edge, not looking down, and then when I went to grab the sides of the platform, the lady guide quickly told me no way. I had to keep my hands on my chest and there was no turning back. She even had her foot up against my feet so I wasn’t going to easily shuffle backwards either. I closed my eyes and tried to do my best to feel like I was gonna scoot off, and then lost all the air from my scream as I free fell to the ground.
After it was done, it was awesome! Probably the scariest thing I have done though. I hated not having something to hold on to! Ugh, after all the roller coasters I have been on, my guy was surprised that this was that scary to me. I don’t know, it was just different. I would do it again, but I’m even more sure I would never do more than this: no bungee jumping or sky diving will ever be in my future, ha ha!
We all survived and our guide was much more graceful on her descent than any of us were. We had a wonderful time!
And I will tell you about the rest of the day next time.