Z: zipline

In 2005 I was fortunate enough to go on a mission trip to Costa Rica. We spent several days working with kids at a school for the blind and deaf. It was a truly amazing experience. After our work at the school was over, our group headed up to the Monteverde Cloud Forest for a couple of days.

On our final day, we hiked up through the forest to the canopy. The trees were unbelievably huge, towering over us for what seemed like miles. Along the trail to the zipline station (our final destination), I happened across a giant black and orange tarantula, among other strange and new creatures hidden in the foliage. We crossed over rickety bridges and climbed old metal staircases that seemed sewn into the landscape.

But the real treat was the zipline experience. Let’s get real for a moment. I am not a thrill seeker. Soaring through the air while hooked to a thin line of cable was not something I ever planned on doing. When I stepped onto that platform and listened to the clink of metal against metal as my harness became one with the zipline, I nearly hyperventilated.

And with barely a word of instruction, I was shoved off the platform, twirling round and speeding high above the tops of those mile-high trees. At one point, I let go of my death grip on my harness, leaned back and just let my body fly through the air. I think several burbles of laughter escaped my lips, unchecked. Trees and waterfalls and mossy green riverbanks waved hello as I passed by, under a misty grey-blue sky.

All to soon, the ride came to an end. I wrapped my gloved hands around the cable and squeezed with all my might, kicked my feet out in front of me, and pushed off against the large tree that waited at the other side. My friends were there, cheering and laughing and jumping up and down on the platform. We hugged and whooped in that shared excitement that only comes after something amazing accomplished together.

And then, as a group, we all turned and watched and waited, as the next brave friend came hurtling across the sky.


  1. I'm not sure I would be brave enough, but you certainly captured the moment and made me think about it. Love the image of you leaning back and flying through the air.

  2. It is amazing to me what I can do when I am supported by those around me. It makes life so much sweeter.