Saturday, August 16, 2014

Just Zipping Along

Well, time to update you on what is going on in Towerland.

Last you heard, Sam had a brush with danger at the zip. That was exciting. He had to take a week off work and has been slowly easing back into full time ziplining and running and all the other manly stuff he does.

I have been working extra on the zip line through this. Without Sam as available, they were getting a bit short handed some days. Plus, they senior guides started teaching me how to guide and then it became my all encompassing goal to graduate from hooker to licensed zip line guide and... well, you know how I get when I really want to do something.

Check it.
This is me on the mountain on one of my final training tours.
That is Caleb over on the right. He was happy because I braked him and he lived. I was happy about that too. He isn't someone I categorize as petite.

This is me prepping for the next zip line customer.
I am adjusting my brakes. We found during my initial training that regular brakes that the other guides use are very difficult for me to manipulate successfully on a consistent basis. So, Sam made me "baby brakes". They match my "baby gloves" so we are all happy about that. Basically, he cut them and molded them so they will fit my smaller hands. (My gloves are from the kids' department, that is why we call them baby gloves.) It makes a HUGE difference out there. Huge.

Me braking as they come in.


Me braking 3 people as they come in.
We call that a "pain train". The zip team have all sorts of fun lingo. I may love the lingo more than the zipping.

This is me on another guide training.
I am out in the middle of one of the lines after practicing a rescue.
Our safety guru is teaching me here how to climb over someone on the line and essentially play leap frog to get ahead and off the line if needed. It was a fun trick to learn.

Now, after these trainings and many others and all the guides working with me and seriously watching my back at all times (and coddling me because Sam gets all grumpy if they don't all make sure I'm drinking enough water and taking breaks sometimes), I finally was proclaimed a real guide!

Yay! I'm a zip line guide!

I am really excited about it.

This weekend was my first official weekend as a guide and I worked hard. We had a tour yesterday where I got to run out and do a rescue on someone who was really scared. He was a great guy and our entire crew was very careful with him because it was scary for him. He was very generous to us afterwards. Such a nice guy.

Today I worked on 4 different tours. That is a lot of zipping! I got to brake on the lines and do all the zip line guide stuff which was very fun/terrifying and the senior guides of course were keeping tabs on me at all times. I had a few saves I got to make and I got to go out on the tower lines and do a double rescue. I have fun on those rescues. They are pretty easy for me. When someone doesn't make it down one of our lines off the tower, we send out someone (usually one of us shorties just because we are smaller and easier for this job) who rides the line in to whoever is stuck. We connect to them and the guides on the ground are holding a rope that is connected to us and they drag us in. Fun. Really!

I am truly enjoying this job. I will admit, I am missing my kids on the long days, but I think having a break that I haven't had in about a decade is doing good things for our family overall. It is a little harder on Sam than either of us expected, but, change is good.

So, anyhow, yay! I'm a zip line guide!

So, that is really the end of the post, but I had a few pics I couldn't remember if I posted here or not, so I am posting them now:
Sam on line 7. It is hard to get the little kids all the way in sometimes, so the guides will hang on the lines to get gravity to help us out.

Me in the office with one of the guides. We all have nicknames because it is fun there like that. I'm Pippi and that is Johnny Bravo behind me. He is the nicest guy!

Sam with some of his favorite fellow senior guides. I know you are wondering, so, Sam is Miyagi (but, after the accident he is being called Mad Max and Skidmark) that is Honey Bear (I picked that name and he is not a fan) and White Shadow.
Yes, they are nerds.

There you have it. Zip fun in the sun. That reminds me, I need to restock my sunscreen.

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