I wanted to be Tarzan when I was little.
I'd sit in the livingroom on Saturday afternoons watching Johnny Weismuller swing from tree to tree on those vines, and then poof! I was in that jungle myself, way up in a tree, grabbing hold of a vine and swinging high above the ground to the next limb. A green blur surrounded me and the wind whistled in my ear...
And then there were the dreams of flying through my neighborhood - not too high, not too fast, just soaring above the treetops.
Well, imagine a combination of the two, and that's what riding the zipline felt like to me yesterday; there was that stepping off into nothing feeling and that swinging feeling (holding onto a lanyard instead of a vine) and that soaring feeling as I glided above the treetops.
I confess I was a little nervous at first. Thank goodness they make you zip on a practice line before they let you go hundreds of feet in the air, because I failed and had to do it again.
Sure, I looked like I knew what I was doing...
...but when it was time to brake, even though I knew I was supposed to press down flathanded on the cable behind me, I clamped down instead, gripping it, and that's a big NO-NO! If I did that up on the real zipline, going 30 mph, my arm would be ripped out and left dangling from the cable, or fall to the ground to be some coyote or vulture's dinner...
Lesson learned. I didn't forget again! (Classroom humiliation really works! That's also how I learned to read the word "something" in first grade, but that's another story...)
Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself...
My wonderful birthday-day started by sleeping beyond sunrise. Yes, I took the day off from work. What better reason could there be but to celebrate life, or more specifically, celebrate another year of your life? Tom took it off, too, just to make me happy.
Then there was coffee - not just any coffee, but some freshly brewed Texas Pecan that my friend Bo sent me. It was leftover from their coffee house that unfortunately couldn't compete with a nearby Starbucks. I was so bummed when I heard it was closing before I even had a chance to visit, so he offered a bit of his leftover "stock" - coincidentally, it arrived just before my birthday!
While I fed the dogs and sipped on my cup of Texas Pecan on the back deck, Tom whipped up a delicious heart-attack breakfast of fried eggs and sausage. Yum!
Thus fortified, we headed off to to Wimberley Zipline Adventures, almost two hours away, where we were issued our helmets, harnesses, lanyards, pulleys, water bottles and "brakes" (leather gloves) and sent over to the practice line, where I failed.
Okay, I'm all caught up.
After we all (finally) passed the practice zipline, we piled into four-wheel drive trucks for a trip up the hill. Then on foot we climbed and climbed and climbed up to the first platform. You start at the highest spot, of course, then criss-cross the valley/ravine along 8 different lines almost to the bottom.
In between, our guide Andrew filled us in on local history and information on native plants that we didn't know (his great-grandfather was Buck Winn, an artist who bought the property back in the 1930's and pretty much established Wimberley as an artist colony.)
I'll explain the rest through photos...
This is taking off (it isn't me, but you get the idea.)
This is me...
Notice the look of concentration as I press the cable flat-handed... "Don't grip! Don't grip!"
Tom's turn. He's a natural. (show-off!)
We had to take a few posed shots...
Just some random shots to give you an idea of what the heck we were doing!
This is FUN!
One of our great guides, Andrew (all of them were wonderful and made it a lot of fun!)
(thanks to my friend Debbie for the idea of "Zippity" in the title, by the way!)