I'm grasping for the perfect metaphor, but the only words rushing through my brain are, "Uh-oh, uh-oh, are we supposed to be going this fast?"
My daughter and I are coming in for a landing, and I'm convinced we're going to get hurt. The guides had said we'd zip along with extra speed because we're riding tandem, but this feels too fast!
"Legs up! Legs up!" I yell.
We tuck our legs as best we can. Thunk! Our apparatus hits the brakes at the landing site, and the ground comes up below us. Before I know it, we've slowed enough that I can put my feet down and step forward with our momentum till I'm standing.
My daughter woo-hoos, and I'm laughing uncontrollably.
As the guide removes our zip-line equipment from the cable, we turn and watch Holly, my sister-in-law, slide in for her landing on the parallel line across from us. She'd started at the same time as me and my daughter, but sure enough, we went way faster.
My other daughter and Summer, my future sister-in-law, are waiting at the top of the landing area, and we share more wows and woo-hoos as we walk to the second line.
We did it—the five of us jumped off a platform and flew 2,800 feet across an oak-studded valley. This bachelorette party is off to an incredible start.
No metaphors for Summer's pending nuptials come to mind yet, but maybe the 300-foot suspension bridge will elicit some poetic exclamations. Once safely on the other side, we agree that walking across those narrow, wobbly planks was scarier than the zip line itself. That's a good thing—we've got five more lines, so it's too late to be scared now.
After the bridge, we take a short hike up to the second launch site, which affords another breathtaking view of the Margarita Ranch property on this sunny late-September day. I watch the guide attach both my daughters to the line—they don't protest riding tandem; I think they're excited for a fast trip. They jump together, and I've still got no similes, only joy and adrenaline.
By now I've repented of my snobbish skepticism of this "biggest thrill in wine country." Having lived here more than two decades, I'm more of an off-the-beaten-path chill seeker, not so much a thrill seeker. This bachelorette adventure has shown me the light, and I am not looking back.
Seriously. It's hard to look back when zooming forward faster than I've ever gone without being inside a large vehicle.
The rest of the five zip lines are equally exciting. As I approach my final landing—I've learned by now that coming in hot is the best way—I realize the five of us ladies have been living the metaphor. If Summer can step into the unknown and soar across the expanse, getting married will be a breeze. Δ
Associate Editor Andrea Rooks is ready for another adventure. Send harnesses, helmets, and gloves to firstname.lastname@example.org.