Friday, August 07, 2009
August 2009 Activity -- High Ropes Challenge Course
Sunday, August 30th
12:00pm - 2:00pm
This high ropes course takes you 40 feet high and through 17 different (and progressively challenging) traverses using a continuous belay system. (Translation: the only thing between you and certain death is a decent sense of balance and one short rope.)
The Dilettantes checked in at the Terrapin Adventures office and were outfitted with harnesses and helmets. (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT NOTE: Men who are participating in this adventure would be advised to wear jeans or khaki shorts. Some of the men there were wearing gym shorts, and let's just say that the way the harnesses fit over the flimsy material let us know that our group included some of our Jewish brothers.)
From there, we walked outside and stood in line to get attached to our belay and begin the challenge course by climbing up a ladder to the first platform and having an instructor "show us the ropes." (That pun was not nearly as satisfying as it sounded in my head.) For anyone with even a tiny bit of a fear of heights...this first ascent (yes...just up a ladder) was intimidating.
You know how there is always someone in every group that makes you wonder how many bricks of hash his mom smoked when she was pregnant? There was a total Meathead in our group who was loud and obnoxious and pretty much a total idiot. While he was doing one of the zip line traverses, he screamed at the top of his lungs, "Ow, my nuts!" (Which is funny enough on its own, but even funnier considering that was the name of the game show in the movie Idiocracy. Purpose of the show: to hit people in the groin area with heavy objects, causing them to scream, "Ow, my nuts!") (As you may imagine, Idiocracy is a Dilettante favorite.)
Because she is hilarious, when it was Dilettante Amanda's turn on the zip line (right after Meathead's), she got about midway across and screamed, "Ow, my nuts!" as loudly as she could, causing us all to die laughing.
Speaking of which, there was a lot less giggling and joking than in a usual Dilettante activity. We had to focus and summon up courage to do things like jump from a perfectly good platform into mid-air 40 feet off the ground (in a maneuver called "the flying squirrel") and hook ourselves to a zip line, hoping we had done it correctly. Every ounce of strength we had was required for things like crossing the rope net and balancing on small wooden platforms way up in the sky.
But you know what? We did it. Dilettante Nicole (who is terrified of heights) made it to the second level; and Dilettantes Amanda, Amy and Kathleen conquered the whole course (after much screwing up of courage and about twenty minutes watching other people on the third level). We all finished the activity with a huge sense of accomplishment (and some very sore arm muscles).
Celebratory beers and lunch followed at the Rams Head Tavern (which had more of an Applebee's than a tavern ambience, complete with entrees named "Sammich"), which was walking distance from the ropes course. Our waitress was a bit of a question mark who seemed to alternately think she was at a Grateful Dead show and remember that she was serving us in a restaurant. (We ordered all of our food without mushrooms, just to be on the safe side.)
We are rock stars and are still rocking some serious bruises from this little adventure.