This was such an awesome experience. I modified #26 from “Go Bungee Jumping” to “Go Zip Lining” because I honestly have no interest in bungee jumping and this is my list so I can change whatever I want!
Anywho, lucky us it was one of the hottest weekends of the summer, hitting around 106 in our town and 96 where we were going zip lining. I didn’t have any long shorts to wear because I have packed pretty much everything away since I am moving in about 2-3 weeks. So, I had to wear jeans, holey jeans but 96 degrees and JEANS! We started the morning off with a big breakfast at Ginger’s Restaurant. YUMMY! Each having Benedict…DUH! He had the crab cake one and I had the Filet Mignon one. So yummy! After we were all fueled up we headed up the 80 to the 37 to the 101 to Occidental California! It was a fun drive and despite getting in traffic and being late to our departure time we still got in our original group.
2 Guides: Andrew & Brandon
2 Sisters & A Best Friend (All with cool Latina accents): Mari, Marcia & Araceli
1 Cute Couple: Rick & Debbie (I think it was Debbie)
1 Self Centered Rude flight attendant: Camille
2 of the most amazing people on this planet: Ethan & Christina
Ohhhhhh Camille… Never have I wanted to (in a sober state of mind) slap a woman more in my life! I honestly thought she had the possibility in her of ruining this entire trip. She rented a special helmet cam and because of this was so worried and paranoid that it wasn’t recording she would be constantly checking it and asking the guides about it, we had to wait on her to get her shit together like 5 times, she instructed Marcia on how to take a photo of her pretending to zip line AND she had to have everything explained and reexplained twice. This was all before we even got off the forest floor!
Now, when I went zip lining at the fair they had this crazy pulley system that they used to slow you down. Here… in the real world of Zip Lining, you slow yourself down! You wear these really thick construction gloves and with a FLAT hand apply pressure to the cable and allow friction to slow you down. 2 things… I can’t take pictures while zip lining with these gloves on…and 2 I HAVE TO SLOW MY OWN CHUNK ASS DOWN GOING 35 MILES AN HOUR 200 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND WITH ONE FUCKING HAND?! I’m a dead woman. But, I’m here now and there is no going back and if I’m gonna die I’m gonna do it looking super brave on a zip line. They load you up in all this crazy gear with gloves, a helmet, and tons of metal clips.
The first line was short and sweet and not too high up, just so we could get used to the feeling. And when that time came to break I just knew I was gonna slam into the tree on the other end of the zip line but low and behold the power of science prevailed and rolled in smoothly to the other post.
There are 11 stops on the trip. 7 zip lines, 1 spiral tree stair case, 2 suspension bridges and 1 repel line.
My favorites were the 800 foot line and the last zip line. The 800 foot line was my favorite because it was the longest ride and you did something called a cannon ball zip. That’s where you lay back with your back as parallel to the ground as possible and pull your knees into your chest like you’re doing a cannon ball. This makes you haul ass! We got up to like 35 miles an hour. The last one was great also because I was so relaxed and no longer had any fears, I just laid back and enjoyed the view of the red woods.
Now, I didn’t get any photos of me zip lining because I was holding the camera. But here are some of Ethan!
The spiral stair case was so beautiful. I kept telling Ethan, “Look down! Look Down” There was a gorgeous creek running below us and the ground was covered in big beautiful ferns.
Ethan’s least favorite part had to be the suspension bridges. He was holding on for dear life as the guide was jumping up and down to make it wiggle. I heard him say to himself “It’s just a giant version of those bridges at the play ground” I told him “Look Ethan! It’s like Indianna Jones…except no Alligators under us…and this bridge isn’t 1,000 years old with missing pieces and no one is chasing us and… never mind”
My least favorite part of the trip was the repel. For some reason it was WAY more scary then zip lining. Stand on the edge he says, hang one foot over the edge he says, step off leaving your other foot on the platform and then spin your body around to face me…WHAT?! I’m not hooked onto a line, I am on a piece of nylon rope and the only thing keeping me from plummeting to the ground is my own strength and that 90 pound girl holding the rope at the bottom?! For some reason my body would NOT let me step off that damned platform. Everything in my body was telling me NO NO NO! I tried several times and couldn’t do it. Here’s the kicker. It is the ONLY way down…sooooo I had no choice. After 3 attempts, and my son calling me a pussy IN PUBLIC Brandon finally pretty much tricked me into lifting my foot and then hip checked me off the edge. He said “I knew you weren’t going to do it” Here is a video of this wonderful experience.
The guides were hysterical and very friendly. If you get a chance to go make sure you get Andrew & Brandon. They were a great team. They kept things light and entertaining.
***TIP*** Bring your belongings with you! I left my wallet and purse in my car because I thought I wouldn’t have anywhere to store them at base camp. They have a little locker for each group. Ethan and I missed out on getting souvenirs and being able to tip our guides! Which they really deserved. So, if you go BRING YOUR STUFF!
The group we went with was so much fun. By the end of the experience the sisters, best friends, Ethan & I were all laughing and planning on where we wanted to go for lunch afterwards. We settled on an Italian place called The Union Hotel. Sounds super Italian right? This place was SO cool! When we walked in there were tables with checkered table clothes, long white candles in old Chianti bottles. No joke it looked like Lady & The Tramp should have been eating spaghetti at one of the tables. The food was just OK. But, the atmosphere was so cool I would give the food a second chance. Here is a photo of all of us at lunch. Of course we all added each other on facebook. So, not only did I get to mark something off the list, I made 3 new friends.
By the end of the day we were both beat and covered in sweat. I battled the 5 o’clock traffic from the bay back to Sacramento & Ethan did this. It was a great experience, Ethan talked about it the entire next day. Can’t wait to do it again. Maybe over the rain forest next time!