Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sixteen Candles & A Bird's Eye View

As my daughter was giddily counting down the days 'til her 16th birthday, I was busy searching for party ideas that would satisfy her adventurous spirit. I knew that whatever the plans were to be, the celebratory activity was most definitely going to be a surprise. As the day grew closer, I was still coming up short on ideas that were both daring and beautiful enough to mark the occasion.

Luckily, a desperate phone call to the birthday girl's BFF led to a tip that saved the day! Plans were made and secrets were whispered.

On the special day, four friends piled into the party bus (minivan) after school and told a silly story to the girl who, thankfully, still seemed like a girl in spite of her age. The skies were cloudy and grey and the scattered raindrops on the windshield turned into a cool, crisp downpour as we made our way up Provo Canyon. Geocaching was our cover which may have seemed odd because the birthday girl didn't remember ever saying that she was particularly fond of the activity we had chosen, but she eagerly agreed when presents were mentioned. We sat in the party bus and snacked and talked of treasure hunting as the windows fogged up and surrounded us in dampness.

Minutes later, my cell phone rang signaling that we were right on schedule, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sky was painted with the perfect shade of blue to compliment the fall foliage. As we exited the so-called party bus, our ride from here on out pulled up and our surprise was revealed as we were greeted with kind, welcoming words from the man driving the big, dusty van. The birthday girl breathed a sigh of excitement and relief knowing that geocaching was out and something much better was in store for her. The rest of us had butterflies in our bellies because, of course, we already had a chance to check out photos and videos of the lines we would soon be zipping. No, we are not a bunch of pansies! They don't call it a "treetop canopy tour" for nothing you know.

At base camp we geared up and then considered how hard it would be get out of said gear to make one last trip to the bathroom (err, outhouse) in fear of accidentally wetting ourselves midair, but the thought of having to ask the nice man to cinch us into the harness a second time seemed equally humiliating.

After a quick training on the bunny hill line we got back in the big van and went farther up the mountain. Hearts raced a bit faster as the lines came into view and we parked in the dirt. We climbed the first platform and the birthday girl was the first to go. She was brave and fearless as she stepped off the last plank of wood and flew off into the distance. It wouldn't be much of a party if we didn't follow, so follow we did. Any sense of fear left my body sometime before my turn came, but I don't exactly know how or when it happened. Maybe my mind was simply stunned by the shockingly beautiful views or the autumn breeze or the sun igniting the colors of the leaves. It was amazing!

With the help of some friends and the kind folks at SnowBigDeal, the birthday girl was equipped with a spiffy, wearable video camera, so she returned home with a recording of her bird's eye view.

Watch our Max Zipline playlist on YouTube!

It was a truly awesome afternoon and a party to remember! We had a blast and were already making plans to return before we hit paved road.

If you're looking for a fun, outdoor activity in the Provo/Orem area, I highly recommend you give Max Zipline a call or like their page on Facebook. The staff is top-notch and I hear that they're open year round too, so don't let the snow stop you!

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