>Drum roll please…this week Susan is actually letting me (James) write the blog for the Carolina Bed & Breakfast.
My humble submission is in some ways related to last week’s adventure and hike through the Blue Ridge Mountains, only from quite a different perspective. I’ve done many things so far in my life (hang gliding, mountain climbing, scuba diving, elephant polo-yes it exists), but this was my first chance to see an amazing forest in its early fall colors while zipping Avatar-style (the movie, that is) from tree to tree. Zip-lining (as it’s called) was apparently invented in Costa Rica as a way to study the tree canopies and insects. Someone then came up with the bright idea to make it faster, safe for the unskilled, and lots of fun while retaining the unique experience of enjoying the beauty of the forest and learning stuff about the local trees, animals and insects.
For me, it all started at Navitat Canopy Adventures which is nestled in the mountains about 20 minutes outside of Asheville, NC in a small town called Barnardsville, North Carolina. Picture seven regular folks (some slightly nervous) along with two very cool guides at Navitat’s Welcome Center, all standing over a bunch of safety gear and helmets doing the briefing for the day’s adventure. It was clear right away that we were in good hands, but that didn’t stop the nervous looks and comments like “I am only doing this because it is my husband’s birthday”.
After we were suited up, we jumped into two all-terrain vehicles for the short ride up the mountain. Navitat is actually a network of 10 zip lines located in a series of mountains in a place called Moody Cove. There was nothing moody about this place and as we approached our first zip line, attitudes of “I can do this” to “Why am I doing this” started to surface amongst our group.
From this point forward we spent the next three hours together whooping and laughing as we sailed through a series of zip lines (some up to 1,100 feet long) at times going 35-40 mph, crossed sky bridges and completed two rappel lines. All the time we were landing and launching ourselves from platforms that are cleverly suspended in the trees, sometimes 200 feet from the forest floor.
Our group soon became a “team”. People who were strangers one hour ago were now buddies; jokes and words of encouragement were flowing freely, and no one wanted the day to end.
I now understand why Navitat Canopy Adventures was recently voted by USA Today as one of the top zip line tours in American. The guides are top-notch, the course is amazing and full of clever design details which transformed seven normal adults into a bunch of kids for the afternoon. I strongly recommend that if you are visiting the Asheville area, transform yourself by budgeting a half day with the folks at Navitat.