Tomorrow, I'm going ziplining with a few old friends from school. By now, most of you know what ziplining is, but I did a little research on the subject and found a few interesting facts I'd like to share with you.
Ziplining is known by many names and has been around, in form or fashion, for many years. In 1906, Alberto Santos-Dumont used a direct ancester of the modern zipline to test his pioneer-era canard biplane before it ever flew under it's own power, later that same year. H.G. Wells wrote of a device similar to the zipline in his 1897 book, The Invisible Man. In years gone by, a type of zipline was used in the Australian outback to deliver food, cigarettes, and tools to people working on the otherside of an impediment...like a river or gully.
The term "flying fox" is most commonly used when referring to a small-scale zipline; like one that might be found on a children's playground. The jungles of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Porta Vallarta are popular desinations for zipline enthusiasts. Icy Straight Point in Alaska boasts the worlds longest zipline. It's more than a mile long with a 1300-foot vertical drop. It takes only 60 seconds to complete the run, traveling at an average speed of 60 miles per hour. The record, though, is 82 miles per hour! One of the more interesting ziplines is found in China. To reach the beginning of the ride, you must first hike up the Great Wall of China. Getting back down, is the fun part. Your zipline ride takes you over Mandarin Duck Lake which offers spectacular views of the Great Wall as well as the surrounding mountains.
The zipline in Lily Pad is far less glamorous but for an adreneline-seeking amphibian, it'll prove to be a fun outing. And I'm excited to be one of the first frogs to ride it. I'll cap off the weekend with a family picnic and I promised my little brother, Quigley, I'd join him in a swimming contest. To tell you the truth, I'm a bit worried. Quigley has become an excellent swimmer and I am quite certain that he'll have no trouble beating me this year. But it's all in good fun.
Whatever your plans are for this holiday, please stay safe...and have a great time, even if this is your weekend to practice doing "nothing". I'll see you all back here on Tuesay.
This zipping around will be loads of fun. I can't wait! Wheeee!