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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Zip Line fun in Florida

I love speed and I love the open air.  I suspect most of us that ride motorcycles share those qualities.  I recently enjoyed a new experience that furnished open air, adventure, and some speed (relatively speaking) while visiting family in Orlando, Florida.

It is actually quite interested in that while planning our upcoming summer trip in July to North Carolina my son and I had decided we would try a zip line.  Well, at Christmas my mother-in-law gave my son, me, and her other son-in-law passes to the Zoomair zip line at the Central Florida Zoo.  We decided to go the day after Christmas before my brother-in-law had to return to his home.
Entry to zoo. Photo from http://www.orlandotourism.us - I accidently deleted the one my son took.
The day started off cold and wet.  We weren't sure if they would be open or if we would be able to stand the cold.  Luckily the rain stopped and the temperature went up.  We called and they were open so off we went.
Oz, Richard, and Bo - ready for fun!
The Central Florida Zoo is north of Orlando in the city of Sanford.  We were directed to the equipment house where we were greeted enthusiastically.  We were fitted with a harness and gloves.  Our "guide" proceeded to instruct us and educate us on proper technique and safety procedures.  After we passed the zip line "test" we were taken to the starting point and then released on the self-guided zip line tour.
 One of the early bridges.
The first "games", obstacles, or air bridges (whatever you want to call them) were not too hard or very long.  We moved from tree to tree at about eight to ten feet above the ground.  The first zip was only about 45 feet long and started at a height of about 12 feet and went to the ground.  As we continued the obstacles became more challenging and the zips were longer and from greater heights and ended at above ground tree platforms.
Slowing going.
 Each air bridge was different.  There were wide planks, poles, spiderweb ropes, tightropes, etc.  Each had it's own challenge.
Sure glad we had the harnesses attached to the red safety cable.
 Spider web rope
 Over, up, and back over as the course got higher.
The highlight came in the last 1/3 of the course with the 512 foot zip that started around 50 feet above the ground.  Wind gusts were common that day and a big gust came when I was at the top of the tree trying to hook up to the zip line.  The tree swayed, it was pretty wild!  Once hooked up I shoved off.  It was great.  The other two followed.
512 foot zip line - across the road and pond!
Bo coming across the long zip line.
The second to the last zip is a 300+ zip that was about 25 feet above the ground.  There were a total of 9 zips and over 40 obstacles/air bridges.  We spent about 2.5 hours on the course.  It was well worth facing the colder temperatures, especially since after a little while you get warmed up from all the activity.

If you get the chance I suggest you try a zip line and if you are in Central Florida check out Zoomair Adventure Park.

2 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, I totally want to do that! Can't be too high or too long. I bet the wind just made it more exciting.

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