Zip Lines at Camp Dakota

Bad weather at the coast lead me to an unexpected adventure at Camp Dakota, a campground and thrillseekers’s haven just northeast of Salem. My husband I spent an afternoon on the zip lines, a sport we fell in love with after we tried it in Mexico.

The lower three lines were fun enough, but only four of us out of a group of twelve ventured on to the advanced course, which took us as high as 70 feet off the ground. To get to the first platform, we had to climb a vertical ladder, which was strangely more intimidating that the zip lines. My feet were sweating (90 degrees), and I had slip on shoes, and I felt vulnerable, even though I knew I was hooked to a line from the platform.

zip line ladderAt the platform, I decided to get out my flip camera and hold it one hand while I zipped, only gripping the strap with my right. Launching with one hand was a little nerve-racking.

Hanging on isn’t necessary at all. The harness around your waist and legs provides the support. But your brain tells you to hang on anyway. Being a daredevil, I decided to try the next line, the fastest of the six, with no hands. Nathan, one of our guides, encouraged me to step off the platform with my hands at my side. Yikes! Loving a challenge, I went for it.

On the lower lines, I also tried walking off backward with my eyes closed and taking a running jump from the side to make the cable swing back and forth while I traveled down it. Great fun! My natural instinct is to laugh with delight as I propel through the air.

Camp Dakota zip lineLanding is fun and a little challenging too. A guide is there to grab your harness and make sure you stay on the platform. And the tree has a big cushion for people like my husband who come in fast and heavy. Mostly, you just have to lift your feet, then bring them down again to stay solid. I came fast in on one line and hit one of the cushions too and loved it. All part of the experience.

If you have a free afternoon, I highly recommend this experience!