A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers sent me a link to Timberline Adventures, an incredible zip lining experience right here locally in the Pacific Northwest. I was immediately intrigued and started watching the videos like this one..
I was a little confused watching the videos. How does this whole thing work? Do you have to hold on to those little handles or you’ll fall?
The answer is no, the handles are there for convenience but you’re totally harnessed in with a primary hook and a backup hook. So my confidence started increasing.. It looked fun. It looked like a pretty safe way to conquer my fear of heights AND it just so happened I was looking for something new to do in the area.
My Dad was coming out to visit. He lives on the East Coast and usually comes to Washington State once a year to visit my brother and me. He’s said a few times “well there’s only so much to do in Spokane”. I was determined to do something fun we’d never done before. As soon as I got his ok, I booked the trip.
Boom. The nerves were back again and the realness of the situation was kicking in.
*A heads up* Do NOT look up zip lining safety statistics before you go. You will NOT find your very slim percentages of dying (i.e. one in however many hundred thousand)
Because apparently google thinks it’s more fun to show articles about “Zip lining injuries on the rise” or “Freaky Zip Line Accidents”. My uncle said it’s comparable to looking up shark attacks before scuba diving in Mexico. Just DON’T do it. You’ve been warned!
Well I did it anyway, and I DID have trouble sleeping the night before. Why did my brain want to think about this memory as a child over and over-
I was maybe ten years old, in a long line going up the stairs to this big waterslide. I was slowly getting higher and higher up the steps and my nerves were increasing with every stair. I suddenly panicked and told my Dad I didn’t want to go on the slide anymore. Once he realized there was no talking me in to going, down the stairs we went. I humiliatingly passed all the people waiting. It felt like I passed at least one hundred people while I backed down.
Thanks for replaying that memory, brain… I’m still working on this brain thing of mine and having it cooperate 😉
Well next was looking up ways to deal with fear.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right” – Henry Ford
One of the main components of fear is thinking about what could go wrong and not what could go right. You have to think positively going into a fearful situation.
The tip I learned that helped me the most was learning how to channel nervousness into excitement. I found out your body produces the same endorphins when you’re nervous as it does when you’re excited. Helllo adrenaline rush!
I was determined to face my fear. I was not going to let fear get in the way of living life to the fullest! So I toughed it up, my Dad and brother by my side, and off we went!
My confidence level actually increased tremendously once I was in my helmet and harness! It’s hard not to feel safe in that gear! Hey, even if I tripped on the sidewalk on the way there I’d be alright 😉
We geared up and hopped in our shuttle bus. The shuttle drove around Beauty Bay Idaho. We took a UTV ride up the mountain to our first zip line. I was little nervous for the UTV ride too (I was in a bad car accident as a teenager, so those kind of things can give me the heebie jeebies) But was I nervous on this one? NOPE! I was cheesin’ from ear to ear. This whole channeling nervousness to excitement thing was working! It was becoming very VERY exciting!
See that smile? I think I may have been the most excited one! My dad said he couldn’t tell I was nervous at all… haha had him fooled!
Another thing that helped was learning how it worked from the instructors and tour guides. I listened closely to all the instructions because most accidents are from not following the rules! Seeing how casual and fearless the zip lining employees were as they flew across the trees really calmed my fears too. Also reminding myself “If a seven year old can legally do this, so can I!”
The tour starts out on the smallest zip line and works up to the biggest one, 1600 ft long and 400 ft up in the air!
In between the seven zip lines, you only touch the ground once. They have these awesome (& secure) foundations built high in the trees, kind of like a tree house.
Here we are up in a tree! You are harnessed in the tree forts as well!
Once I completed the first zip lining, it was clear how much fun I was going to have! It was so exhilarating! Unlike anything else I’ve experienced so far in adulthood.
This pretty view helped a lot too.. we actually got to zip line over this beautiful view! They encourage you to spin around while you’re zipping because the views are 360 degrees.
Then came the suspension bridges.. Okay, the thought of these freaked me out too but you’re harnessed in the whole time as well.
They said they were going to line us up like a prom picture to get a picture of our zip lining group! So much fun.
Alright now here come the action pictures, can you see how much fun we are having? 🙂 Throwing up a wave
My dad was the most fearless and liked doing cool tricks..
Pro tip: you can keep your phone in your cute pink fanny pack to take videos and pictures along the way. They allow cameras as long as they’re strapped in. I personally didn’t want to risk it with my camera. Too bad I don’t have a go pro! This zip line was the largest one. I even let go of the handle bars with both hands at one point! *not pictured but it happened*
The whole experience was so much fun and I’m eager to go back! My boyfriend is itching to go along with me as well as some of my friends!
My advice on zip lining – look up reviews and go with a reputable company that has proper safety credentials and certifications
My final advice on zip lining – DO IT! 🙂