Ziplining at the Canyons

“Ok, Mr. Phil, ready when you are”. OMG!! I looked down from the high platform and then at the cable stretched out before me. Now was the time for everything to culminate.

I have never zip lined so a friend and I made reservations at a place in Ocala. There are plenty of places to zip line in Florida, but here we zipped over canyons and beautiful lakes. I’m a firm believer in doing it up as right as possible and what better way to learn to zip line than over beautiful scenery.

We arrived and were part of a very small group that consisted of the two of us, another couple, and our two fun guides, Denise and Craig. As we stood in front of all our gear laid out on the floor, I felt like I was about to go skydiving.

We climbed into our gear, cinched it all up, and I just needed one more thing; a place to carry my GoPro. Denise knew exactly what I needed and gave me a helmet with a GoPro mount. Perfect!!!

All suited up and ready to go, we encountered our first zip line which was only about 7 feet off the ground. Here we learned the basics and important safety information, such as braking and self-rescue.

After going through everything and a few test zips, we headed up to our first real zip line. I watched Craig gleefully leap off and head to the next platform. Denise secured me onto the line, gave me a safety check and then it was time to totally let go of all those fears of falling and anything else related to being high and going fast.

I placed both hands on the trolley, leaned back, and a tentatively took a step off. Immediately, I was effortlessly gliding along. I was amazed at how fun it was to just glide above the trees!!
It was not scary at all and I was totally comfortable. Where’s the next one!!!

As we progressed the platforms became higher and the lines longer. With each zip, I would look around more and take in the scenery. Craig would always give us brake signals and he soon realized he needed to give me mine early. I’m not sure how I’d get going so fast, but somehow I did and I loved it.

After a few zips, I really wanted a nice long zip over something scenic so I could just glide along and take in the view. The next run was the perfect place for that!

We climbed up a platform that appeared to be several stories high and on the edge of an emerald green lake. The cable stretched so far over the lake, I could barely see the platform in the trees on the other side.

When it came to be my turn, something unusual happened; for the first time I was scared. I had been fearlessly zipping along however I had not stepped off such a high platform into thin air. I looked straight down into the water; wow, that’s a long way down! Moving beyond those fears was one of the many reasons I wanted to do this adventure.

It was not easy going off that platform, but I went and totally loved the long ride. I took it all in; the swans swimming in the lake, the white limestone cliffs, the semi fall foliage, and more.

We did a few more runs before the tour ended and I must say zip lining is one of the funnest sports I’ve done in a while. If you’ve never zipped, I highly recommend it. If you’re in Florida, here’s a link for more info: www.zipthecanyons.com

Here’s a short video compilation I took:

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