No classes today, so in the time between checking out and heading for the airport, I went and played at Eagle Creek Park about 15 miles outside of Indianapolis.
No exploration would be complete without the random discovery or two. About four miles into the run/walk, I found that cool little thing that moves a run from pleasant to darned memorable. Since there’s a road into the same spot, I think you could skip the running portion, if you were so inclined.
I cleared a parking lot, ducked back into the woods and found a group of people Going Ape. Go Ape is a company that offers the daring (and the wannabe daring) a chance to run a zipline, walk a rope bridge (where were they when I was writing Trail?), and climb through a tunnel in the sky. Very, very cool.
In my usual bashful manner, I meandered over to a young man, Joe by name, who maintained a diligent observation on the people twenty feet above him, alternating encouraging comments, advice, and congratulations as the adventurers passed over head.
The staff at Go Ape starts everyone off with a safety course, but even that looked entertaining. They did a great job of prepping the folks while teaching them what they needed for safety – tying off, snapping on, and breathing. The last made me smile.
Joe was at the first station, where the customers climb a tree and being their aerial antics. I wandered the venue, interrupting the run, for about ten minutes.
According to Joe, his favorites are the ones that come in, well beyond their comfort level, but discover the gumption to tackle the ropes and lines and bridges anyway. Joe loved watching the confidence grow and the joy that these particular customers showed.
“I wish it could be free,” said Joe. I’m not sure that the company would agree but the prices didn’t seem too out of whack for what they offered.
Go Ape is expanding – they have seven locations right now, three in the Midwest, three in the Mid-Atlantic, and one lonely spot in Myrtle Beach – but they seem to be infilling the current country, not expanding west toward me.
One grandson, Jeffrey, is ready right now and would have an absolute blast. I’m not too sure that Marie would buy in, but I think that Kaylyn and Emma would shriek at the chance when they get a smidge bigger. The others need a little growth before we figure that out.
Still, a cool thing to watch and made the run. The park is beautiful (I’ll post some pictures and an article tomorrow sometime) and the weather perfect for a hike, but watching the joy on the faces of everyone pushing a boundary or two made it quite the excellent little hike.