Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Braving the Zipline

It seems we have been feeling adventurous lately: getting outside our box or trying new things. Our latest adventure took place on Sunday, when we, along with 7 other friends, took a trip to Charlotte for a morning of zip lining. 

Our tour reservation was at 10:00. So we all met up at 8:15 Sunday morning to sort out car-pooling and for some, make introductions, before our departure.  The motley crew consisted of the usuals: Simon and I, our friends Patrick and Patricia, and Ilka and Francisca. We recently joined forces with the three new interns at a mutual friend's company: Sebastian, Johannes, and Lenny.  They recently replaced the old interns and we have enjoyed getting to know them over the last few weeks. We were also joined by a friend of Patrick's we hadn't met before: Harry 
After are hello how are yous, we split into two cars and made our way to Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

Here we are, about to gear up. 

Two guides would be joining and leading us on our tour: Matt and Trey. They were both very friendly and understanding of any lingering fears despite the informative introduction and our practices on the affectionately named "bunny zip". 

So, here is the short version: 9 ziplines. Each of carrying lengths.  The longest was 900 ft. I'm not sure about all the others. 5 of them ended on mid, air platforms, 2 were ground landings: one in the middle of the tour and then the final one. 
The first "jump" was the scariest. I thought I'd, more or less, overcome my fear of heights in college between climbing and repelling, but my throat definitely dropped into my stomache as I neared the edge of the first, very tall, platform. 

                                               Close up "before" picture.

 They made sure to tell us twice that these were used for search and rescue... We didn't find that as funny as the guides did. 

                                                View from the top
Guide Trey. He was the one who sent us off from each point. 

Guide Matt. Me went first on each line and caught/ instructed is when we came onto each platform. 

This is the first platform (the one with  all the stair we stood in front of). Here we all are, waiting nervously to do the first zip. 

After that first one, though, they weren't scary any more. It really was a lot of fun! There were 9 zips in total, and the whole tour took about 3 hours. 

Some of the platforms, most of the platforms, between zips were really tiny and it was quite the... bonding experience... to get all 11 of us on there (plus trey at the end of each one, so 12). Not to mention how terrifying it felt when the tiny wooden platform, extending high into the air, shook violently as someone came on. Never quite got used to that. 

Here is a good example of how squeezed we were! It lent itself to goofiness! 

Here I am doing one of the wild-card ones. There were two that were not just ziplines. This tight rope one and then a plank bridge. Simon is crossing that in the photo below. 

I don't have a picture of either of us crossing the zipline, but here is Johannes coming in off one of the first one. It was one of the shorter ones as you can see. 

After we finished the course, took off all our gear, and thanked our guides, we were starving! :) 
Nothing says post-zipline-tour-meal like a good ole burger and milkshake. We found a Cookouts on our way into Charlotte and chowed down. 

Since we were over that way, we all agreed we should check out the big Charlotte outlet mall. 
                                           Car shot of the Charlotte skyline.

It was the perfect day to plan something like this. It was a lot of fun and a great groupon find!! We had a good time on out little adventure- I would recommend giving ziplining a try! 


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