Thursday, February 4, 2010

A new adventure

Well, if this 'stay at home mom' gig doesn't work out for me, I know I can find a job as a high rise construction person or a tight rope walker.

Last night my friend Carrie and I headed to the Mall of America to check out the "Flying Dutchmen Ghostly Gangplank".  Basically it was a ropes course up in the rafters of the Mall of America Nickolodeon Universe.  Or, at least they advertise it as "up in the rafters" but it is not.  It does go up about 50-60 feet, but you are hardly walking through the rafters.  What a tease.

Carrie is a friend of mine from high school.  She is kind enough to invite me to her parents house in Northern California every year to go skiing in Tahoe.  Carrie is fearless on skis.  There isn't a run she cannot conquer and has even been to places where a helicopter is required to get her to starting point.

I can hold my own on a pair of skis, but I am no Carrie.  I, unlike Carrie, do not care for skiing next to large drop offs where jagged rocks await to cushion my fall.  I like plenty of open snow (preferably fluffy) surrounding me on my way down the slopes.  Carrie does a good job each year of challenging my skills and pushing my comfort level.  I think she is secretly trying to mold me into a double black diamond skier so that she is no longer bored when I tag along each year.

Today, on the ropes course, we learned a few things.
  1. Carrie does not like heights.  When there is (almost) nothing below her (but a tiny rope or board to stand on) she does not do well.
  2. If I am strapped into a harness I have no fear.
If there were some sort of secure harness system on the slopes of Tahoe for me, Carrie would have a ski partner for life.  On the other hand, I am thankful that at all times when we are skiing, Carrie can see the ground.

As for the attraction.  It was fun.  I'd recommend it at least once if you enjoy new activities and aren't deterred by heights.  It was only $6 and there was no time limit.  They claim it would take an hour or two to traverse all the obstactles they have set up, but I don't think it would take that long.  I probably did about 20 of the 36 sections before I went down to Carrie (she did 4...but she definitely tried!) and that only took me about 25 minutes.

If you do go and you walk out onto the plank at the very top, there are two ropes there.

I wasn't sure what the point of the ropes were (no, that's not me in the picture).  Was I suppose to grab them and swing out over the crowd?  Was I suppose to use them for balance?  I wasn't sure so I just grabbed onto them.  Spoiler alert, but I wish someone would have told me this, they are there simply to pull on.  Because, when you pull on these ropes a large fog horn behind you sounds (I assume to notify the world (or mall) "I made it to the top").  Only as you are standing on a 6 inch plank 56 feet in the air, the last thing you are expecting is a fog horn behind you.  In that split second, I was certain it was some sort of warning system alerting me to get off that plank immediately.  Maybe harnesses don't render me fearless afterall.  Not when there is a foghorn around anyway.


Carol said...

Definitely not my cup of tea. You would do well on Amazing Race!

Sheri said...

I want to know how Rob did in saving the bear from the "high wire" light?? Too funny! Plus, kudos to you for walking on that thing. Ropes or not, I'm with your Mom. I wouldn't go near it!

Amy said...

Ooh I'd love to try that thing! I am also fearless when it comes to heights and harnesses. Good to know about the foghorn, however. I, sitting at my desk at work, laughed out loud at the thought of how many people just about jump out of their skin when that thing blows!

Tracy said...

@Sheri--With a long broom handle and a lucky flick of his wrist, Rob was able to rescue the horse and all was right with the world again.
@Amy--Glad to hear it. Next time I need a partner in crime for an adventure I know who to call!