Riding a Fluffy Bunny into the Mist
A few weeks ago I was invited with my friend Marlin to go to The Gorge for a zip line and rappelling adventure in the Green River Gorge of North Carolina. That morning we met at Biscuit Head for breakfast and as we sat down, it began pouring rain. Ever optimistic, I said “Maybe it will stop.” So we donned our rain coats and hit the road for Saluda. As the rain was coming down in sheets, we talked it over in the car. Both of us agreed that even if we got drenched, we were committed to going on the trip. When we arrived, we dashed through the parking lot into the breezeway where they suited us up in full body harnesses, helmets, and gloves. Just as we were stepping out for ground school the rain stopped.
The first zip is affectionately called The Fluffy Bunny. Stepping to the edge of the platform and peering into the rising mists I felt that excited nervous feeling that you get before doing something for the first time. I have worked on ropes courses with zip lines since I was 17 and often times I am quite comfortable getting up high on a course. What they don’t tell you about The Fluffy Bunny until after you have zipped is that it is one of the steepest and fastest zips on the tour. I landed on the first platform with my heart racing and a hyper alert tingling all over feeling. All of the participants were grinning at each other and talking excitedly about how thrilling that first zip was. Our guides did an excellent job of preparing us with the skills we needed to zip, stop, and reel ourselves in. Pretty soon, we were comfortable enough to start getting silly.
As the group became more comfortable, our guides were able to start bringing tree identification, ecology, and local history to their interpretation. This trip, though it only lasted a day, reminded me of how much you gain from getting outside and trying new challenges with friends. While on the course I couldn’t help but comparing my experience with our campers’ on a Hante Adventure. Eagle’s Nest Hante instructors build progression into our trips just like our guides at The Gorge did. Giving campers of any experience level the skills they need to get started feeling safe and supported, the confidence to take that first step off of the platform, and then building more learning into the trip as the group grows. Due to the rain, we did not end up with 100 mile views, but the mists rising up from the mountain side and my adventure that day made me appreciate what a magical place we were getting to experience.