A Mother Finds Courage On a Zip-Line in Boise

“Let go!” yelled the zip line instructor as I careened through a long metal rope linked to the trunk of a pine tree that seemed a mile away. I kept thinking, “OMG, I’m ziplining, I feel like I’m flying, wait, what did the instructor say about not raising my hands?” The sheer thought of my hands being sliced by the metal rope scared the hell out of me. I wanted no contact with it.

Mother and Son Ziplining

This was our first zip line run for my twelve-year-old son, David and me. We were in Boise to visit my cousin Rosie and celebrate her baby shower. It was the last weekend of summer vacation and I figured, we should end it with an adventure. We’d never been to Boise before, and I figured I had the funds, a brand new travel credit card that needed to rack up some miles. “Why not?” I thought; this will surely make for some great memories.
We arrived at LAX with three hours to spare; missing the dreaded Friday afternoon airport rush hour. Delta had us in separate seats on the same row; sitting at opposite windows. I always get a thrill of excitement right before take off. I hold on to my seat for dear life while the runway whizzes by and the plane glides up into the sky.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed window seats. I loved looking out on the late 1970’s Los Angeles while my dad drove us up and down the 101 in his Cadillac Station Wagon, when I was little. I loved the road trips to Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I am easily mesmerized. I like knowing where I am, I also like guessing where I am.
I kept thinking of the things we still had to do. Grab our carry-ons, go get a rental car, drive to the hotel and finally check in. The Boise airport was small and quiet. We arrived at 11:30 p.m., there were not many people around. Boise itself is a charming city.

Boise

We stayed at the Modern Hotel, which used to be a Motel 6, was remodeled and now passes off as a trendy hotel. It looked so much different than it did online. The rooms were the epitome of cool. They had light green drapes and a pillow top bed with the most amazingly comfortable pillows. The entire room was a little snug but it suited us just fine. I immediately fell asleep anticipating our zipline adventure in just a few hours.
On our way out in the morning, we saw an interactive public art display of three musical bikes. We couldn’t resist trying them out. Different sounds came out when we pedaled. We tried them all out like Goldilocks.
It wasn’t even 7am when we arrived at the Big City Café and it was already hopping. Inside it was covered floor to ceiling in trinkets you’d find in a farming community. Egg crates, pictures of pigs, cows, chickens. We ordered a side of home style potatoes with our breakfast, because when you’re in Idaho, you have to have potatoes.

Boise

After a divine culinary experience for breakfast and a 40 minute drive, we arrived at Zip Idaho to check-in. The guides told us the van ride to the actual zipline location was extremely bumpy. That was an understatement.
We finally arrived at our first challenge… a walk across a rope bridge to our first run.
David was itching to go first but another boy about a year younger said he wanted to go first and David complied. He was bursting with excitement.
“I can’t back out now,” I thought to myself.
Our guide checked our gear and hooked David up to the steel line. David climbed onto a wooden crate to elevate him, the guide gave him a push and off he went. I thought of all of the horrible possibilities that could come from this experience until David reached the other side.
Then it was my turn. I felt nervous and scared, but most of all I was enjoying the feeling of adventure. The guide showed me where to hold onto on my harness and I happily obliged. He gave me a push, I closed my eyes tightly and hung on to my harness for dear life. The steel rope made a loud humming sound and the next thing I knew I saw the ground whizzing quickly by me.
It was exhilarating! I rotated 360 degrees, and the guide at the end caught me as I completed my first run. He unhooked me, and I felt a little wobbly but overall proud of myself.
We completed a total of six runs that morning.
The longest run was through a thicket of trees where at one point I thought I was going to hit a Jersey cow right in front of my path. David and I even got to race side-by-side on a dual run; he won, he always does.
On our last run, our guides told us we could freestyle the run, let go of our harness and lean back almost as if we’re floating. I was too chicken to lean back like that, David was not.
I managed to let my hands dangle and trust the harness. It felt liberating to let go.
I was brave for a few seconds. It felt wonderful!
On our bumpy trip back I kept smiling and contemplating that feeling and hoping it would never end.
Photo by Flickr.com/widdlle
M.L. Aguilar is an MFA in Creative Writing student at Mount Saint Mary’s University, living in the Los Angeles area. She enjoys writing, traveling, food and photography.

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