Riding the Zip-Lines


Soaring above the terrain, while gazing across the vast expanse of land at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, I had a bit of an out of body experience. It wasn’t too long ago that I was sitting at a desk staring at a screen in Denver, so it was certainly a bit of reflective shock to find myself up in Tabernash speeding down a zip-line with an inescapable smile from ear to ear.

Zip-lines were originally designed as transportation. Further development of the activity found that it could be useful as a tool for mountain climbers, as well as a way for biologists to observe certain habitats without disturbing the environment and the critters who’ve made that environment their home. However, it wasn’t too long before people realized that not only did zip-lining offer the riders spectacular views that couldn’t be seen any other way, but that it was inherently a blast to do!

Given the opportunity to explore more of the Ranch’s offerings, I jumped at the opportunity to ride the lines and experience this exhilarating activity for myself. After signing waivers and having an in-depth discussion of safe zip-lining practices, we were fit with harnesses and helmets, and loaded into the old-school Pinzgauer to ride up to our first line.

The zip-tour at Devil’s Thumb Ranch consists of 5 zip-lines that get increasingly more daring. Admittedly, I’m a tad afraid of heights. However with a little encouragement, I was able to step off the platform, tuck my legs, and coast from one line to the next. Each zip-line provided a different yet equally serene view of the Ranch’s landscapes. It was only about 10 seconds after stepping off my first platform that the fear on my face was permanently replaced by a smile, and my trepidation was replaced by excitement.

At the last line of the tour, we found ourselves at what we were informed was one of the longest zip-lines in the state, and it was here that I realized just how much I had seen and how transformative the experience had been. There is an exciting world beyond our screens, amongst nature, and these zip-lines provided me an important reminder of that fact. The best activities always provide some sort of ‘a-ha’ moment, and this fun family-friendly zip-line tour did just that.

Hat’s off to those who’ve taken the trek before me, and to all who’ve yet to go, take my advice and enjoy!

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