At first, I was very nervous.
When the idea first came up about zipping between trees (at speeds up to 40 mph) while being suspended 100 feet above the ground— well, for some reason that sounded a little crazy.
Our two guides, Liesl and Peter put us at ease— sort of. They were very focused as we geared up with a full harness, hard hat and prayer book of our choice (just kidding about the prayer book.)
It was a fifteen minute drive up the hill to get to the canopy. Along the way, we passed grazing cattle, beautiful green countryside, and the location of an epic battle between King Kamehameha and invaders from another island. As we ascended the hill, our guides entertained us with historical facts (some of which were true), bad jokes (I’ll just blame Leisl for those) and an enthusiasm that was contagious!
One guide would zip to the end of the line and wait for us, while the other would attach all of the equipment to the cables and make certain that all was connected before we each took our turn.
The first two lines were short and helped us to get comfortable with the harness and the very important concept of braking! At that point, we had the opportunity to chicken out if we wanted to, but I was already hooked. This was going to be a blast.
The platforms were large (they can accomodate 10 people safely) and built with minimal disruption to the trees. At all times, we were either tethered to the zip line or to a cable around the tree— so that we couldn’t plummet 100 feet down into the lush, green growth below. (Not that I was worried about that😉 )
At first, all I could focus on was the next platform. But after a while, I started to look around. Below us was untouched forest. There was a babbling brook that meandered back and forth, large ferns and even evidence of ancient hawaiian raised gardens— the rock borders are still in place. This was really cool!
The zip lines became longer and faster, and when that wasn’t enough adrenaline, then came the suspension bridges. Nothing like looking down between your feet and seeing . . . . that “down” was a long way down there!!!
Look Ma, I’m at the top of the trees!!
Finally, we reached the last platform and it was time to return to solid ground. We had a great time in the canopy and, as you can see, our guides took some great pictures during the expedition.
If you’re on the Big Island, I definitely recommend the Kohala Zipline! In fact, I think you should go to the Big Island just for the the Kohala Zipline— it’s worth it!
Kim Klingborg, Zipline Addict