Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
9:25 am EST
Saturday, November 27, 2021

My First Time: Phil Stokes

Safe danger at 40 mph 100 feet off the ground.

Photo: Nicole Hamel

I wanted to do something that’s not necessarily jumping out of a plane, but still getting my feet off the ground to an extent. The safest route was to drive 35 minutes to a place in Ocala that did ziplines. They had three levels of, I guess, danger, if you will. Or adventure. 

I took the lowest level. I’m a grown man, but I’m also cautious. If I break a leg or fall on my tailbone I would miss work, and I don’t want to do that. So, logically, I went on the beginners’ trail. They had two tour guides who were very entertaining. We went up as a group, with the tour guides. They don’t let you go up by yourself. 

We went down five different, obviously easy, ziplines. We have fun, no one gets hurt and it was exhilarating. And entertaining. 

They let you know, if this is easy for you, you can come back and do the advanced courses. Three weeks later, I came back. And I had a blast. It was no more safe, or dangerous, than the beginners’ course. There was longer free fall time, if you will. 

It’s a dangerous experience, but completely safe. They make you feel comfortable the entire time. Overall, I’d take one of those trips over jumping out a plane any day. It is in fact a ride, because you’re going down this zipline and you get to see everything around you from that vantage point of being up 50, 60, 100 feet in the air. You have a sense of security, to an extent. Does it get your blood pressure up? Does it get your adrenaline going? Absolutely! It’s a unique experience.