It was perfectly clear and mild in early November, about 80°. It seemed like a good day to launch myself out of a perfectly good tree, fly over some deep ravines and lakes, and finish it off by rappelling off a 30(ish)-foot high platform.
So I did that.
And it was full-on, giddy, stomach-butterflying, adrenaline-pumping, permagrin-producing FUN.
The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours is located in Ocala, Florida. You might be thinking, “canyons?“ There aren’t any mountains in Florida so how are there canyons? Dynamite. That’s how.
The Canyons is built on an old limestone quarry. For some reason I never even realized that we had quarries in Florida and it was a bit shocking to see the width and depth of land that was blasted away years ago. But it actually formed something quite picturesque. The zip lines are a perfect reclamation of this space, you might even call them the “silver lining” to the destruction that occurred back in the day.
I have a terrible fear of heights, as anyone who read my post Sky Fail could attest to. I get shaky legs and vertigo (maybe produce a few fear tears) and all that not-so-good stuff. Despite that, I have wanted to try ziplining for as long as I can remember. I even made it an item on my “bucket list” for 2012. So I was nervous but very excited as we suited up in our safety gear and headed out for our first zip.
Our guides, Pat and José, were super-friendly, funny, and professional. We started with a quick ground-school where we learned proper zip techniques, such as where to put your hands and legs and how to brake (fairly important!) This trial run, in addition to our guides’ clear expertise, went a long way towards easing my anxiety.
But now it was time to try it way up high in the sky.