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Zippity Doo Dah


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If you haven't heard about Tamarack's Zipline tour, then you need to get with the program. It is a unique way to see the mountain, and you can scan the beautiful panoramic views or look down hundreds of feet as you fly through the air. Last weekend I took my family on the "Premier Tour" which departs at 8:30 a.m., and lasts about four hours. The tour includes six different lines. Our group did seven, maybe because we were so awesome (or we just had a little time left). I think we would all have done more if we could. I was uncertain how my kids would handle it, but my son was the first one out of the chute and could not wait to get to the next one. "This isn't scary," said both my children. "This is fun!" I had to agree: It was not scary, and it was loads of fun with a capital F. The first two lines are intentionally easy in order to help you get your bearings and learn how to steer yourself, and then you're ready for more. The guides are great and are there to help throughout the tour, making it possible for anyone to do it. The guy who designed it and maintains the lines works with his crew to make sure that everyone is safe and has a great time. They continue to perfect each line and add new ones.

There is some hiking involved, so good shoes are imperative. One hike between two of the lines takes about 15 minutes. Their recommendation of closed-toe hiking boots should be heeded. They suit you up with a helmet, harness and a pulley system. You really don't need to have any prior experience because they set you up for each ride. I am not a very outdoorsy girl, and even I did fine. The weight requirements are 80 to 275 pounds. If you weigh much less than 80 pounds, you may have trouble making to the top of the next line. Just make sure you grab the rope so they can assist you if needed. The longest line currently is almost 900 feet. You change elevation about 1,700 feet during the tour, so make sure you have some layers because I can assure you that it's pretty darn chilly at 8:30 a.m. at the top of the mountain even on a beautiful early September day. We hung out for a while in a wonderful treehouse in the top of huge Ponderosa pine, which can support up to over 30,000 pounds. It is spectacular, making the Zipline a must-do summer activity for so many reasons.

Reservations are highly recommended because the spots fill up quickly. If you can't fit it in your schedule before October 15, you will have to wait until it reopens in 2008. I plan to return next year as an "experienced" Zipliner.

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