Thursday Trek for this week is about Soaring Tree Top Adventures based out of Durango, Colorado.
I walked into the tiny gift store in Tin Cup, Colorado. The ancient lady behind the counter looked up and smiled.
“Hi,” I said, “Is Cumberland Pass easy to drive?”
She looked out of the window for my car. “You got an SUV?”
“Yes,” I said hesitantly.
“Then you won’t have any problems getting over the pass.”
This was Colorado-speak for; the road will turn to washboard dirt. There will be no guardrail, it will climb 2000 feet in altitude, and there will be lots of ATV’s. I learned that it was possible to drive five miles per hour, on the wrong side of the road. I only had to put my hand on the horn as I drove around each curve of the road to keep from hitting an ATV head-on. I just could not drive any closer to that edge.
Colorado is the sum of all my dreams, and it seems my fears. Heights terrify me. Every visit finds me clinging, white-knuckled to the steering wheel of a car as I traverse some mountain pass. Soaring Tree Top Adventures out of Durango, Colorado, was to be my “overcoming fear of heights” workshop.
I stepped out onto the edge of the metal open-grated platform. I wore harnesses, clips, and cables. My heart pounded. I hooked onto the cable overhead, took two steps down, was given a slight push from the sky ranger, and then I was airborne. At forty-nine, I took off – on a zip line.
The website for Soaring Colorado included an explanation of the course and its safety features. I watched video on how they attached the cables to people and the trees. I saw how I would drop off one platform and how I would land on another. Mostly, I saw how I could overcome the fear, even if only temporarily, so I could enjoy the day.
Soaring Colorado runs a daylong excursion, not just a couple zips between trees. The day starts with a scenic train ride from Durango, Colorado that set the stage for adventure. I was lucky enough to be sitting next to the open window looking down over 400 feet to the Animas River in an area of the tracks called the High Line.
I learned to live with my fear of heights on this zip line. The course offers twenty-seven spans of varying lengths and heights. One and a half miles of stainless steel cable using a patented Eco-friendly system that does not harm the trees or the forest was another advantage in my book. By the end of the day, I leaped off a platform backward. I flew spread eagle, hands and legs wide open, over the Animas River. My favorite section involved a hoist by helicopter cable 100 feet up to the next platform. From there, I breezed through an Aspen grove, with the leaves of the trees shimmering at me seemingly saying, “Look at you go.” The last zip line section was 1400 feet long, and my knees were knocking as I stepped off the platform. I distinctly remember screaming: “I’m flying forty freaking miles per hour!”
On the train ride back to Durango, my heart was pounding again as we traversed back over the High Line, and I am wondering, how soon I can do this all over again?
Thanks for reading!