Sunday, July 17, 2011

On the Ropes (and the Dance Floor)

July 14, 2011
This morning we do the Adventure Ropes Course, our most exciting adventure of all this week.
We wear harnesses like the ones we wore rock climbing a few days ago.  Today, we attach two “pigtails” to the front of our harness.  We clip the carabiners on the ends of our pigtails to the two safety lines that run along the ropes course.  Each person high in the air has a family member ground crew following along below to cheer him or her on and provide encouragement when the walking gets tough. 
The course is laid out so that once you enter it, the only way to get off is to turn around and go back the way you came or to just keep going--no steps down from the platforms along the way.

We’ll take you on a tour:
A swinging suspension bridge leads up from the deck of the climbing building to the first tower.  It isn’t too scary, because you can hold onto cable “handrails” on both sides of it, and when you look down, you see wooden slats below your feet. (Note that Andrew finds it unnecessary to use the handrails.)

The rainbow bridge—one cable to walk and two to hold for balance.  This one really swings and wobbles when you walk on it because it is strung pretty loose.  The view of Lake Superior from the platform at the end is spectacular, although there is a lot of fog on the lake this morning.

The double logs—piece of cake.  Andrew does it without using his hands for balance.

The tightrope—just one wire to walk and no guide rails for your hands, we count on holding our pigtails at the end of outstretched arms to help us keep our balance.  Andrew finds the tightrope so easy that he decides to do tricks.  He falls off on purpose, just to see how it feels to dangle, then he pops right back up to stand on the wire—amazing!

The single log—seems very wide after the tightrope.

The zip line—zips us back to the front steps of the climbing building in one quick swoop.


We are the only family in our group whose members all complete the ropes course.  In fact Grandma Gayl is the only grandma in the group who even tries to do anything more than walk on the swinging bridge at the start of the course.   We find out later that a few grandmas who were in other groups finished the course, including one we think is about eighty, but we are a rare few.

Our other big event of the day is a folk dance evening.  We have a fiddler, our accordion playing counselor Erin, and a terrific dance caller who can also play a lot of different instruments, including the banjo and the harmonica.  Teenagers from other programs in the camp come and join us for part of the time, which makes it even more fun and festive. It is a great way to end our last night at camp--do-si-doing and swinging and joining hands to circle left with all our new friends.

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