I just have to jump. And grab a rope. Then swing over to a tree stump.
Just one thing: I'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 I've found my favorite of the local attractions. It's a maze of aerial rope obstacles and zip lines. Some are just a foot or two off the ground. But if you've got the grapes, go big!
Easy to say before I was up here sweating out this rope-swinging thing. It'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 doesn'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. It's a wild ride. I'm burning a ton of energy, using every muscle in my arms. When I finish, I'm too blown out to tackle the three Double Black Diamond obstacles.
My wife, though … Sarah tackles the obstacle that schooled me. She's like a cat. She heads to the Double Black section. It'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 she's swinging from her safety cables.
There's no reason to hang her head – I'm impressed. A tidy demonstration of efficiency, breath control and focus.
By the time she takes the final zip line to terra firma, we'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 that's some serious praise.
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