9 April 2013
My First Forest Flight
When I was ten years old, I spent a week at Riverview Camp for Girls, a sleep away camp in Alabama. From canoeing in the brisk waters of the Little River to horseback riding through deep forest trails, there was never a dull day at this place. I was an archer, a cowgirl, a swimmer, and an artist all in a matter of days. Throughout the week, I found satisfaction in thinking that I had attempted and completed numerous activities. This thought, however, vanished as I stumbled upon a fifty foot tall tower of intimidation: the zip line.
Throughout the day, I stared in awe at all of the girls being consumed into the tunnel of leaves that sat under the sky. They climbed a fifty foot tree with the assistance of metal rings protruding from the bark, sat on a wooden plank when they reached the top, and slid off to glide across the thick wire that stretched almost 150 feet from tree to tree. I jolted down the rocky trail to reach the Ropes Course shed, a wooden hut filled with carabiners, harnesses, and helmets. I looked up to find the ropes counselor, Chloe Bailey, a petite sixteen year old girl with blonde, tangled hair, dark brown eyes, and dozens of freckles scattered across her cheeks. After watching me gaze at the zip line all day, she knew exactly what I had come for. We jogged across the field and I came to an abrupt stop at the foot of the tree that led up to the zip line. Seeing my destination this close for the first time, my heart began to thump uncontrollably while my knees quivered; I started having second thoughts about my “fearless” decision.
“I’m not so sure about this,” I managed to stutter. Chloe plopped a helmet on my head, placed her hand on my shoulder and said, “Don’t be worried, it’s going to be so much fun.” My trembling legs slid into the harness, and Chloe yanked the loose straps. She clipped a carabiner to my harness and attached it to a strong, elastic rope that hung from...