Friday, 26 October 2012

The View from Up Here

Just a fun post today.  Sorry, no food on this one at all!

So last weekend, I tried something I hadn't done before, but I've wanted to try for a very long time.....  Treetop Trekking.

I organized this trip for the GTA Paleo Meetup Group I help run.  I wanted there to be, like, 20 of us up there, but only 3 of us actually went.  I don't know why people are so shy about getting outside for some fun time.  We never seem to have a big turnout for the fun outdoorsy stuff, but if it's a seminar?  Bang, 20 people.  Weird.  I'd take outdoors over science any day.  I guess that's just me.  In the beginning, I probably would have sought out a lot of the science as well.  Heck, I DID seek out every last drop of science and I still do.  But some stuff is just meant to be fun, you know?

And this was really fun.

The advertising for these places goes like this, "Based on Navy Seal Training Courses..."  Well, I'm no Navy Seal.  Hell, I'm only MODERATELY fit, too.  I'm no crossfit deadlift champion.  But I completed the whole course from beginner to advanced.  It freakin' rocked.  You climb up a ladder (or a set of ladders) to platforms high up in the treetops and there are obstacle-styled bridges that you have to cross to get to the next platform.  There are several zip lines throughout the course.  You don't get to come down from the treetops until you finish that segment or series of obstacles.  Don't worry, you're safely strapped in the whole time by- not one, but two,- safety contacts.  You get a little tutorial at the outset, where you learn how to use the safety contacts.  You can just barely see the giant safety-lock carabiners at my hip in the first picture.  If you look closely at each picture, you can see the safety wire right around my head-height in every shot.  But once you get through the tutorial, you're pretty much on your own.  It's up to you to apply the safety techniques on your honour and if you're spotted not using them properly, you're thrown off the course.

So this is my picture tour of that day....

Good lord, those are ugly helmets.  We're too excited to care, though.
They harness you up really safely, don't worry about that.  You're wearing a climbing harness, first of all, then  a shoulder harness, which they cinch up nice and tight until your boobs are all mashed, then cinch the two together with the biggest carabiner  you've ever seen.
I'm grinning like an idiot; having a blast.  
I apologise for the slightly gritty pics--it was really overcast on Sunday, I was using a blackberry cell phone camera and no one thought to change the phone settings to low light....  My bad.
Steve on one of the last obstacles
This bridge was crazy-long, and the safety rope was intentionally really slack, so if you lost your balance you REALLY felt like you were falling way off before it caught you.  The wind through the valley added a certain element....  There were moments where I, the sh!t disturber, felt the need to hop back on the obstacle and start bouncing like a lunatic.  Fortunately for Steve, I did not do that here.

My friend Glenn, demonstrating how you can do it all wrong
Another advanced obstacle, logs all canted at weird angles and crazy-slack safety wire.  He's having the time of his life, I swear.
Still grinning like an idiot.  This obstacle had no platforms.  Just rope.

Sometimes the hardest part is just not getting tangled in the ropes and lines and not catching your anchors on the ropes.

This is how zip-lining is SUPPOSED to look.

This is how I look.  Yea, I know, graceful as a pygmie hippo on a  trampoline.
The best obstacle was a tarzan rope on a sliding cable that you swung across and landed face-first like spiderman on a cargo net wall and then had to climb over to the platform while the Tarzan rope glided back away, trying to pull you back off.  I stuck the landing, but had all the grace of that hippo, once again.  Almost peed my pants watching everyone else slaughter it as well.  Made me feel a lot better.

There doesn't seem to be a limit on how many times you can do the course, except the time it takes--it took us about 3 hours to get through it once.  I could feel it in my core by the end.  I would have gone back and done it again anyways, but it was getting dark and they were trying to close the place down for the night.

This is a new course east of Oshawa, less than a 1/2 hour from my house.  It just opened up this summer.  I hear that next year they're going to build a "black level" course.  Do it.  Please do.  I'll be back there.

Do you have a Paleo Meetup Group in your area?  Seriously, check into it.    It's a great place to meet other paleo peeps in your area, or just to find like-minded people to hang out with.  For our Toronto/GTA Paleo Meetup Group, we try to do a bunch of things; fun outings, paleo education, support, buying groups and potlucks to meet and greet.  We're working on launching a few value-added-types of things, as well, so keep an eye on us because we're growing and changing every day!

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