In the past, before I would even consider options laid out in front of me, my default answer was NO: I avoided being pushed out of my comfort zone and detested not feeling in control. Thankfully, my present go-to mantra is ‘embracing yes,’ carrying on without second guessing my decision. And yowza, what an improvement…talk about really living and loving life.
So, with that being said, let me begin by in telling you I’ve experienced only one zipline in my life. It was a sad, la-la sissy-baby run, and Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon was the mack. The Doctor, the Lawyer and the Indian Chief of ziplines. As if my deodorant wasn’t already being tested to the max, I basically went into the entire thing blindly, not able to see what I was actually doing [the office is located away from the actual course.] Pretty comparable to riding the biggest, baddest roller coaster without seeing it, alright?
With the safety demo checked off, the charmingly spunky staff was trying their hardest to get me to loosen up before throwing myself into the wild blue yonder, but I just had no concept, and was quite frankly shaking like a leaf on a tree. [So much for not over analyzing it, right?] It wasn’t until I was at the summit of beautiful Bootleg Canyon, innocently dangling in my harness, frantically going over instructions in my head on how to brake, that it hit me: it was about to get real. Staring down that great big canyon was intimidating, and the only thing holding me back from flying 60 miles per hour down this impressive course was a teensy, tiny carabiner.
Blake, guide-extraordinaire, shattered that daze with a quick ‘YOU READY?!” It was go time…just rip that band-aid off and let it rip. Two seconds later, I was off like a shot in the night and the uneasiness was gone tout suite. What a tasty ride it was, and the brakes? Not even a big deal, just more of a nervousness of the unknown. If you can work brakes in a car, you can operate breaks on a zipline.
I was punch drunk after the first run and ready for dozens of courses to navigate, let alone the three remaining lines. It was funny to me that what started as a terrifying nightmare morphed into the maddeningly addictive, electrifying ride of my life. I was fiercely walking the line of being in control and spiraling out of control and couldn’t stop grinning; it was so deliciously consuming it paralyzed me. I got comfortable and quick, demanding more and more.
Luckily, the thrill-seeking stars seemed align in my favor. Prepped and ready, Blake told me to make my body as aerodynamic as possible. Um, what? Considering I couldn’t even spot the landing area, now being asked to make my body as compact as possible, what was happening? The wind, is what. The line on this section tilted upward on the last few feet, and with a gusty headwind, I needed to streamline my body for maximum speed. Otherwise I’d run the risk of getting stranded before the finish.
With a big push, I aggressively ascended through the next canyon with a killer view of Lake Mead to boot. Ask for more excitement and you shall receive: my ride got a tad longer this time, I didn't quite make it. Not to worry: Keegan, virtuoso of rope search and rescue had things under control. I was dangling over rocks 30 feet up, waiting for someone to rescue me; what had rattled me just 30 minutes before didn’t even phase me now. It was under my skin and intoxicating. Keegan cooly cascaded down the line to me, straight up army crawling upside down, on a metal cable, in a canyon. Brave, nimble, and good looking boys to boot? Hey, I’ll zipline…and get stuck…any day of the week!
Throughout my experiences in Nevada, if you’re looking for a monumentally unforgettable joyride, this one is near the top of the list, hands down. It set the bar gloriously high and was immeasurably satisfying. I was pushing the limit, felt superbly well taken care of, and most of all had fun. The next time you’re in Las Vegas, do yourself a favor, get outside the Strip and commit to an excursion you will remember for the rest of your life, period. I know I will be back!