“Hold the cable right here, put your toes on the edge, look out at the highway and step off,” I repeated after the guide. “Sure, I can do that.” Except my leg wouldn’t move and my brain screamed, “ARE YOU INSANE?!?!?”
That’s because I was standing on the edge of a 100-foot tower which is how the Blue Streak Fastline and Free Fall Xpress wraps up at Branson Zipline and Canopy Tours at Wolfe Creek Preserve. The Blue Streak is a high, fast zip. The only way down from the tower is the free fall.
One of the great things about working in travel and tourism is that you get to check out many great attractions so you can tell somebody else about it. Ziplining and stepping off towers is not something I’d ordinarily do, but when the opportunity arose, I decided I had to give it a try.
Our group started the adventure by crossing several sky bridges that looked like something I’ve only seen in movies. Yet here we were in the Ozark Mountains enjoying the day and learning about the ecology of the area. Our guides were fabulous. They were knowledgeable about the area and shared stories about the history of the land and wildlife inside the preserve.
They also made sure we were comfortable every step of the way. The guides are well-trained and meticulous about following proper procedures for each and every zip. I knew this was safe.
The bridges led us to the towers where we began skimming along at heights as high as 150 feet; on one line we zipped for a quarter-mile. It was fast and fun and before I knew it I was at the other end.
So there I stood. This was the end of the tour. A couple of the guides had already descended and one was waiting at the bottom to help us with our landing. The other was up top, giving me those last-minute instructions.
Somehow – I’m still not sure how – I stepped off the platform in a free fall. You may have heard my scream, as it surely echoed throughout the Ozark Mountains. After about 70 feet, a braking mechanism kicks in and you float to the ground.
Did I mention it’s exhilarating?
Written by Lori Simms, aka MoTravelGirl; follow her on Twitter @MoTravelGirl.