I am so excited to have my very first guest post on Jenn Likes It! My good friend Rebecca Croft, a video editor extraordinaire here in St. Petersburg, was kind enough to share one of her adventures with all of us.
Jon and I had such an amazing time at Adventures Unlimited in Milton, Florida
. We were looking for something fun and cheap to do for spring break and we found a Living Social Escape Deal
for two people to stay three nights in the School House Inn with a five-hour Canoe trip on Coldwater Creek and a five hour Ultimate Zip Adventure. With taxes and resort fees it came out around $400. This was right within our budget especially since we already live in Florida. So we made it a road trip and drove the seven hours to Milton.
We stayed in the School House Inn
which, as the name implies, was once a school house. All the rooms were named after American authors. Our room was named for a favorite writer of mine, Ernest Hemingway. It was large with high ceilings, an antique writing desk and a wooden rocking chair upholstered with black leather and positioned in front of a gas fireplace. Hurricane shutters and a tiny bunk room, perfect for napping. It was very comfortable. A small closet contained a mini fridge and a microwave. This was very useful since we brought a ton of food. Jon grilled hot dogs for dinner on one of the charcoal grills just outside of the Inn. He also made bacon and eggs for breakfast in a cast iron skillet. Each room had their own porch area and ours had a swing from which we could sit and watch people of all ages and shapes zipping overhead.
We picked out our life vests and paddles. Then a ranger put our canoe in a van and drove us seven miles upstream. That way we only needed to paddle with the current to get back to camp. The canoe trip
was dreamy. Spring fed Coldwater Creek moves 3 mph so we barely needed to paddle. We took our time and reallly relaxed occasionally stopping on the sand bars small sandy beaches to splash cold water on ourselves along the shore as we were nearing the we looked up and saw zipliners flying over heads. We let our canoe get stuck on one of the sand bars so we could watch.
The Ultimate Zip Adventure
included 14 ziplines 2 sky bridges and two towers
. We met our guides Bill and Mike. Bill was a skilled Zipliner and a seasoned tree climber. He pointed out eagles nests and hundred year old pine trees. Mike was adept and level headed, a zip guide in training who seemed to have found his calling. They told us to pick our helmets & leather gloves and made sure we were strapped in correctly. Then they walked us through all the safety info ensuring us that as long as we didn’t weigh over 5000 pounds the three heavy carabiner hooks on our harnesses would hold us just fine. They showed us how we could slow down by touching a gloved hand on the cable or speed up by pulling our knees to our chest. Easy peasey on the practice zip. But I had nervous butterflies as we climbed the 46 feet high spiral staircase. It lead up to a small platform and from there we scaled a narrow ladder leading up to an even smaller platform where all nine of us stood, staggered to make more room, waiting for our turn to zip.
But my anxiety was groundless since one of our three hooks was always linked into a line even while climbing narrow ladders. We learned from our guides that “falling” was the censored “F” word of ziplining. After about the third zip I got my sky legs and felt totally safe. I found the secret is to step towards the edge, put your hands in position and sit down into your harness, then simply lift your toes and let gravity swing you through the trees!
Jon was fearless. He had fun filming our adventure and getting point-of-view shots with his iPhone. He got a special case which enabled him to clip it onto his harness, for hands free recording. He captured some of the thrilling breath taking views of our voyage through the tree tops.
The last zip was 900 ft and very fast. I held my knees up to my chest and I stopped just before the platform so I turned and pulled myself in. I saw a birds eye view of 100 year old pine trees. As we were carried over a dirt road I looked down and waved at my shadow. As they say time flies when you’re flying and before we knew it the five hour Ultimate Zip Adventure was over. We hugged our guides and returned to our school house to enjoy our post ziplining euphoria.
Ziplining and canoeing at AU is tremendously fun for anyone and I hope the same Living Social Escape Deal comes around again next year. It was a great adventure.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”