Zipping Through the Air

Sunday was rainy, and somewhat somber for obvious reasons, but we hoped the forecasts were right and the precipitation would let up in time for our zip tour. Thankfully, after a relaxed morning, the skies brightened enough to be encouraging. We were part of a nine-person tour and were driven a few exits up the highway to the zip area. We took a six-wheel drive off-road vehicle to the actual starting point, which was part of the fun. After some instruction, we had our harnesses tightened and were led up the first of a series of metallic “rope” bridges to get to the first launch point.

There were five ziplines in total, all over 200 feet off the ground with the longest line some 1700 feet in distance. Our speeds were roughly 35 mph until the final two which saw us going 45 then 55 mph and it was exhilarating. The zip tour from our cruise was like baby steps in comparison. The biggest leap of faith was that final step off the platform and into the air. The first one was to get you over any fears and certainly did the trick. I had a little trouble adjusting my angle, but got the hang of it, and enjoyed the view of the verdant hills and mountains of the region. The final and fastest trip had us working off the tiniest of platforms and that’s where my head got the better of me, until I leapt off and was then flying through the air, having the time of my life. Deb had an even better time.

Two-plus hours later, it was all over as the adrenaline washed away and we were starved. We treated ourselves to sundaes then went off to play mini golf. On most family vacations, everyone gets to name one thing they want to do so everyone feels like a participant. Invariably, I’d say mini golf and it was always the first thing squeezed out when time and circumstances changed the itinerary. This time around, I threw out mini golf to counter all the fiber stops.

As the clouds darkened and threatened anew, we hit the Hobo Hills course and were equally impressed with the challenging holes but also the overall care and maintenance compared with so many others we’ve visited. There were 18 holes with a par of 42 but since it has been many years since either of us played, I shot a 50 to Deb’s 58 but we had a ball. And as we finished the final hole, the sprinkles started (and effectively didn’t end until we returned to Connecticut Monday).

We had an upscale dinner at the hotel and then settled in for the evening.

Monday was wet and only going to get wetter. We packed up after breakfast and loaded the car. Deb wanted to hit Harrisville for one final fiber stop so we drove the two hours to get there only to discover the store did not have Monday hours. But the door was open and the lights were on so I checked it out and learned they were giving a class that day so the store was open until the class ended. Deb managed to browse and chat while I read. We piled back into the car and headed further south, making one final stop at the large, well-stocked Webs in Northampton. She picked up some final items she needed and then we headed for home.

The dogs were certainly happy to see us. I was happy to find the basement relatively dry from the downpours so we managed to unpack and square everything away. And just like that, our time away was over and the reality of being home and returning to the routine was present.

It was a wonderful time and we talked of fitting in future trips like this as my school schedule allows. Of course, that means first I need a teaching job but that’s the issue for spring. And with that, it’s back to campaigning for office and wrapping up some writing assignments before classes begin on the 29th.

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