I just have to jump. And grab a rope. Then swing over to a tree stump.
Just one thing: Iâ€™m at least 40 feet above the forest floor. (see video at bottom)
This is the Black Diamond section of Tree to Tree Aerial Adventure Course in Gaston, Oregon … Day 4 of my visit to Portland, and Iâ€™ve found my favorite of the local attractions. Itâ€™s a maze of aerial rope obstacles and zip lines. Some are just a foot or two off the ground. But if youâ€™ve got the grapes, go big!
Easy to say before I was up here sweating out this rope-swinging thing. Itâ€™s physically easy. And the lobster claws connected to my climbing harness are connected just so. The staff drilled safety into us. I paid rapt attention.
Still I hesitate. The brain â€¦ it doesnâ€™t want to do this. But I finally grab a hold and swing.
Thump. Both boots touch the stump. One left. Lunge. Swing. Thump. Onto the next.
Few of the next obstacles give me much trouble.
The last one is a monster: several beams hanging from a taut overhead wire. They sway enthusiastically with each step. Itâ€™s a wild ride. Iâ€™m burning a ton of energy, using every muscle in my arms. When I finish, Iâ€™m too blown out to tackle the three Double Black Diamond obstacles.
My wife, though … Sarah tackles the obstacle that schooled me. Sheâ€™s like a cat. She heads to the Double Black section. Itâ€™s a studious and methodical effort, but graceful enough. And efficient. She heads to the second obstacle. She is almost through it â€¦ and then sheâ€™s swinging from her safety cables.
Thereâ€™s no reason to hang her head – Iâ€™m impressed. A tidy demonstration of efficiency, breath control and focus.
By the time she takes the final zip line to terra firma, weâ€™ve decided: Tree to Tree Aerial Adventures is one of our favorite places ever – right up there with the Agrodome in Rotorua, New Zealand. And thatâ€™s some serious praise.
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