My Adventure Journalism Winter Term Article (By Jack D)

There’s something to be said about flying over the trees at 40 miles per hour while suspended solely by a steel wire. 

The feeling of the wind pushing you forward and the adrenaline rushing through your system creates an experience like no other. The Ziplining trip my classmates and I went on for a field trip proved to be much more fun than I had expected. I have to admit, I thought the class I had taken, Journalism, was going to be a bust. However, it turned out to be a very interesting class, including interviews with explorers, fun writing assignments, and best of all, ziplining. We had arranged to go to Zip Lost Pines, home to the longest dual ziplines in Texas, and I was extremely excited.  

After we all stepped out of the bus and into the dusty parking lot, we started to head for the base building. It seemed out of place, like an oasis in a desert. The building was very modern, with two large open doorways that lead to a small recreation area in the back. It had hammocks, tables, cornhole, horseshoes, and large Jenga. We could see two ziplines from where we were standing, but neither of them seemed to be very intimidating (or fun). I began to think that this may have been overrated, and that this was going to be like the 5 foot long zipline at the park I used to play at 10 years ago. 
Our two guides, Obdulio and Bex, took us over to these small platforms to get us suited up and to give some basic instructions. They gave us each a harness with a trolley (the small box with wheels on bearings that attached to the zipline) and a fanny pack for our belongings. As soon as we were done with tightening our harnesses, we started walking towards the first zipline. In retrospect, it wasn’t that far of a walk, but it was with a harness tightened around your lower half, the muddy trail seemed to go on for miles. When we finally reached the first line, we all got ready to fly down the 500 foot long wire, a higher and more imposing line than the ones we saw at base. 

Since we were riding on a dual zipline, two people could go at a time. My friend Lincoln and I decided to race down the zipline after a little encouragement from Obdulio. Now, I may not be short, but I’m definitely not a big kid either. Lincoln had the advantage, being a bit taller and weighing a bit more. On the first line, he shot off after we jumped off of the platform. I knew from the beginning that I was fighting a losing battle, so I just sat back and enjoyed the feeling. As I looked down at the trees, they started blending together like a paint pallet full of different shades of green and brown. I then looked back up and remembered that I was supposed to bend my legs as I came into the other side of the platform. I curled up as much as I could, and then hit the automatic braking system that was in place on the other side of the line. There was a jolt, but it didn’t hurt. One of the guides dragged me over to a ladder where I could step down and get unhooked from the line. We then went and sat while waiting for the rest of our group to shoot down the line to greet us at the other side. As I went to sit with the others, Lincoln said, “You know what? Maybe you’re just slow. I don’t think me having 30 pounds on you has anything to do with it at all,” he said sarcastically. I scoffed and sat down, ready to try again on the next line. 

As we sat, Lincoln and I started talking to Obdulio about the ziplines and different racing techniques. Another kid in the class, Ben, came up to join the conversation. Eventually it turned toward the harnesses, and Ben informed Obdulio that his was a bit on the tighter side. Obdulio offered to loosen it, but Ben insisted that he was okay. Bex told us that the next zipline was ready for us. Lincoln and I went first, and I was excited to get another chance at racing him. As I got up onto the stand for Obdulio to hook me in, he started giving me tips on how to go faster. He told me to curl up, and to use my legs to swing myself forward to get a bit of momentum. I took heed of his words, but I was mainly focused on how high up we were. 

I’m not particularly afraid of heights, but it was a little unnerving to see the line span across a huge forest nearly 50 feet below us. As Lincoln and I stepped down, he said, “On your count, Dahill.” His confidence even furthered my need to win. I started counting, but on two, I began running to get a head start. As we launched off of the platform, I instantly curled my legs up to make myself as small and compact as possible. My head start had put me around 15 feet ahead of Lincoln, and I felt ecstatic. We were flying even faster than before, the trees turning into a blur and the ground almost disappearing. I felt almost like a bullet, splitting the wind around me as I cut through the air. At one point, my hoodie string hit me on the back, and I thought that I had hit a tree, which scared me a bit. As I looked back to see what hit me, I saw Lincoln gaining on me, and fast. A sense of dread filled me as he flew past me, still gaining speed. As much as I tried, gravity won out and left me behind. When we got off of the ziplines, Lincoln and I sat down and watched the others go, eventually jokingly criticizing Ben for not even trying to go fast and losing to his partner (who wasn’t even racing with him). 

Overall, I loved the experience and highly recommend it to anyone willing to go. Yes, it is on the pricey side, but I think it was definitely worth the cost. The feeling of shooting through the air and the speeds you reach make it a very fun and memorable experience. With Zip Lost Pines having dual ziplines, you can race your friends or have fun with others while ziplining. I had a great time at Zip Lost Pines, and I can’t wait to do it again!

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