Bucket lists are basically wish lists of things to accomplish. Each list is as different as the author. Some have included such things as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, meeting Gordon Ramsey, getting/removing a tattoo, visiting Graceland or the Taj Mahal, writing and publishing a book, learning a new language, connecting with past boy-/girl-friends, firewalking, etc. Each item is something that is out-of-the-ordinary for the author.
One thing that just might fit on your bucket list is zip lining. No, it’s not replacing a zipper on your favorite, worn-out jeans. It’s literally a breezy way to hitch yourself to a cable and speed your way down an aerial runway over a downward slope.
Historians believe that zip lines got their start back in 250 BC as a method of transportation in China, India and Japan. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it earned the tag of Tyrolean traverse since rock climbers used the method to get around the Tyrolean Alps, as seen in Sly Stallone’s “Cliffhanger.”
Today it’s just known as zip line and has become an exhilarating experience throughout the world with such venues as the Dragon’s Breath Zip Line over water in Labadee, Haiti; the 9,290-foot Jebel Jais Flight in the United Arab Emirates; Pokahar Nepal’s extreme zipline and the St. Maarten’s Rockland Rainforest Adventures, 2,800-foot zip line that drops 1,050 feet.
But one doesn’t have to go abroad to experience the sensation of zooming across the wide open. McKinney’s Heard Natural Science Museum And Wildlife Sanctuary is holding Zip Line Day at its 289-acre nature preserve with these future timeslots:
- 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Sunday, March 21, and Saturday, April 3
- 9 a.m. to noon — Sunday, May 9, Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, July 18
Wearing a harness and helmet, guests will climb a 23’ tree to the start platform (aka the “Crow’s Nest”), where they will be attached to a pulley and zip down 487 feet over the beautiful landscape to the warehouse ladder. The price for each ride is $12. It’s a perfect family outing, but kids must be at least 10 years old and weigh more than 75 pounds. Adults can be any age but have to weigh less than 275 pounds.
If you decide to make a party of the outing, you might want to check with the Heard staff about their pre-scheduled Zip Line Days.
While you’re there, check out the other programs like the Ropes Course, canoeing and camps as well as the exhibits (i.e. Project Passenger Pigeon, Pioneer Village, Fossil Tortoise Exhibition, etc.).
The Heard is a remarkable North Texas treasure thanks to Miss Bessie Heard, who was a woman ahead of her time. She would probably have zipped daily.
* Graphic/photo courtesy of Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary