IMG_3679-1Why was I nervous about Zip Lining? I’m someone who has jumped off a cliff — hang gliding (OK, it was tandem) — above the Atlantic Ocean in Rio de Janeiro in my younger, pre-kid days, to the beach down below. I even did it twice!

Went to the Meramec Caverns outside of St. Louis. Although it was only the first week of June, it was 96 and humid.

Perfect weather for Caveman Zip Lining!

You see, the heat and humidity make you kind of lethargic. Hard to tense up when you’re schvitzing like a schmendrick (translation: sweating profusely like… an idiot who is zip lining in 96 degree humidity). Also helped that our two super cute guides distracted us during the in between moments by quizzing us on our favorite movie lines and songs. Yeah, I knew what they were up to. But they were so pleased with themselves that we were wracking our brains for lines like: “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.”

First off, they gave us (The Mommy Insider and me) an instructional and safety course. This is not brain surgery. It’s pretty basic and we became competent (in theory) inside of 10 minutes. There are only two basic things to learn: how to slow yourself down and how to straighten yourself out if you start twisting. Oh yeah, and how to bring yourself back to the tower if, for some reason, you stop in the middle. You would have to really not pay attention to the first two lessons to get to this point. Truthfully, at Meramec Caverns, they go to great lengths to make sure that we felt comfortable with their safety precautions. Mommy Insider loves (LOVES) to worry and I heard nary a word of doubt from her on the safety issue.  (I say this with love.)

At Meramec Caverns, there are four zip line runs – twice across the river of lengths varying from 250 to twelve hundred feet! Sometimes you’re in the clear above the river, other times, you’re wondering how you’re going to clear that huge tree branch. Very George of the Jungle. The speed of the zip can be up to 50 MPH! This is where the blessing of the heat and humidity come in to calm you down.

It can take up to two hours to get trained and do the course. It’s terrific to be outside and I felt very accomplished after I was done. I don’t know that I need to zipline again, but I’m glad I did it – especially at Meramec Caverns. My kids (5 and 7 years old) are too young to Zip Line. Still, Zip Lining can be a family friendly activity. Check out their website to see if your kids are big enough and you are small enough – there are weight restrictions.

Please note: This trip was sponsored by the St. Louis CVC.