One of my dear friends implores me to go zip-lining in Koloa. “My husband went upside down,” she tells me gleefully. For most people that would NOT be a tempting invitation… But I am intrigued. Craig and I have zip-lined once before on the North Shore of Kaua’i and it was spectacular. I want to do it again. This time on the south side.
Now you gotta know there’s no way I’m going upside-down. “Okay got that Cali?” I tell myself over and over. Hey we can “fly like a bird” or just do the standard “hang there” thing and that does sound mighty fine. Our tour guides, Coco and Sierra, are confident, funny, kind and very patient. I get fitted with a harness…a HEAVY harness…and presented with my very own zip-line-pulley which I will carry with me on the trip. Mine is etched with the initials “1 FK.” Is this a prescient sign of things to come?
We pile onto an open-sided truck that hauls us into what I will call a JUNGLE. We climb a platform to our first zip-line. It’s short and not very high but you still leap into the air and hope for the best. There are nine of us on this tour and one lady is a Russian ballerina with a sense of humor that doesn’t quit. She announces to anyone who will listen that she is doing this zip thing to conquer her fear of heights. Upon arriving at the end of the first zip-line she declares, “I need a VOdKa! I need a VOdKa!”
And so it goes. We trudge up up up, eventually landing above tree level. I thought I was in pretty good shape. Until today. It’s hot and muggy and I’m lugging some ten extra pounds of metal and strappy gizmos on my body. At one point I can’t catch my breath as the rest of the zippers navigate around me and disappear up the trail. Both Sierra and Coco stay behind, snatch the pulley from my hands and give me water. Lots of water. I tell them to “go ahead, I’ll catch up. Gasp. Gasp.” But they aren’t having any part of THAT. They wait. And wait. They regale me with stories about the beautiful valley we are in and about themselves. They are newlyweds and just got married a few months ago. My heart is going “awwwww” and I snap their picture. They love their jobs. They love Kaua’i. Finally I muster the energy to climb up to the next platform as they follow behind.
And I get my mojo back. In a very big, stupid way. Yes I decide I’m going to zip upside-down. Well, let’s just say…it doesn’t turn out that way. My husband, who zipped just before me, happens to be on the platform taking a video of my descent. A video of the WHOLE thing. I have added humorous asides and you’ll hear lots of voices in the background–that’s my husband and Sierra. The precocious kid asking all the questions is Miss VOdKa’s son…
My friends who have already seen this video tell me I’m very brave. Others question my sanity. I say maybe and yes. But for someone who is happiest sitting on her ass in front of her computer screen in earthquake country, I’m more than a little proud that the “dare-devil-she-lady” in me still lives and not only that, makes reservations to jump into mid-air and embrace gravity.