The Navitat canopy tour was arranged by my wife, Sue, and the other women of the family as a joint Christmas gift for me, my father and my brother-in-law, Jeff. We're talking last Christmas here. It took the three of us this long to get our acts together and pick a date that worked for everyone.
Our two young guides were pretty much what you'd expect - recent college grads (or drop-outs) with an appetite for adventure, tempered by the closing days of a long season sheparding people like me, my dad and my brother-in-law through the thrill of a lifetime. To put it another way; by this point in the season, they'd seen it all. But they were good guys and they did their best to stay enthusiastic and keep everyone safe.
|Buckling Dad in.|
|And he's off!|
We were zippin' fools - especially Dad, who decided early on that safety instruction was for suckers and using two hands wasn't what got him through the last 70 years. While Jeff and I tried to remain cool in the face of 900-foot rides across the valley some 200 feet above the ground, Dad was screaming "kawabunga!" and spinning his illegally free arm like a rodeo bronc rider.
I must admit, I have become jaded by my father's antics. After 20 years or so of picking up my messes, Dad seems to have made it his mission in life to try to embarrass me. I can't really blame him, and it sure looked like he was enjoying himself.
|Here's where it gets interesting. See those cables stretching across the valley?|
|Jeff - going down.|
Oh, I suppose there are people who come away from the Navitat Canopy Tour with a new-found sense of empowerment or self confidence. I can see how a trip through the tree tops could give a person a thirst for more adventure in their life. But for me, the lesson was learned by watching my dad, who could be sitting on a couch, watching football and drinking soda pop all day, but instead seems to have grabbed life by the tail and is having the time of his life. That's a lesson for all of us.