Honors- Period 1 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.
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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 the tree.
I stepped onto one of the metal rings that stuck out from the tree, wrapped my fingers around one above me, and began my journey to the top. My muscles began to tingle and ache after about seven minutes of climbing. Once ascending about forty feet, I felt hopeless. I almost yelled to be sent down when I looked up to see another counselor standing about ten feet above me, waiting for me to reach the wooden plank. Seeing the fear in my eyes, she yelled, “You’re almost there, don’t give up! Keep climbing! Her encouragement lifted me ten feet higher, and she grasped my arm to pull me up onto the wooden plank. Lauren, the counselor at the top of the tree, was tall, thin, and had bright red hair that glowed in the sunlight. She patted me on the back and clipped another carabiner onto my harness. I plunked down on the plank and she told me to slide off whenever I was ready. This task was more difficult than climbing the tree. I sat fifty feet in the air, about to rocket against the wind into the peaks of hundreds of trees.
I squinted my eyes, took a deep breath, and slowly slid off of the plank. Immediately, I was gliding through the air with a wide smile radiating across my face. I looked below to find Chloe hollering, “I knew you could do it! ” I flew into the trees and laughed with exhilaration as I felt the wind skim across my skin. I was awestruck by the leaves that engulfed me. The sunlight poured through the trees and shone as my spotlight. I swung two fists into the air and cracked a broad grin as I undertook the adventure of soaring through the immense heights of Alabama’s forests.