High-Flying Adventure

Thanks to Hannah Ettema for sharing the story of her trip through the treetops at Boyne Mountain Resort!

Flying is a thrill few of us have the privilege to experience. Last weekend I was lucky enough to fly through the trees of Boyne Mountain Resort.

The previous day, my family had attended a wedding at Castle Farms and was staying at a condo at Boyne Mountain. My parents, 17 year old brother, and my aunt visiting from out of state decided to go on the zipline adventure with me.

My dad upside down.

After we checked in at the sports shop, we signed the waivers and anxiously waited for the previous group to return with their guides so we could suit up. Our small group of ten people was quiet while waiting, as if mentally preparing ourselves for the worst, when in reality, we were about to have one of the best Michigan summer experiences you can have that doesn’t include water.

When the two groups came in and unbuckled and unclipped themselves they had nothing except positive things to tell us. Well, one fellow said “they only hit one tree” with a definite hint of sarcasm. The guides laid our body harnesses, ropes, and helmets in a semicircle for us to easily put on. The harness simply went on like a backpack and the carabineers weren’t rocket science to figure out.

For each zipline, there was a routine which we quickly became used to. First, two guides would zip across while one stayed to clip us in. During the entire afternoon, we never had to touch the carabineers. Once we flew across, one guide would slow us down with a wooden block and a rope and the other guide would help us ‘land’, ‘catch’ us, and unclip us. On the first cable, our landings were nothing to brag about, but by the third cable or so, we were pros.

On the second of the ten cables one guide taught us how to flip upside down which I immediately attempted and accomplished. For most of the runs I would flip, purely for the joy or for a few seconds to feel like Peter Pan or a trapeze artist.

My aunt flying through the trees

After one run they told us to pick up a bean bag from the backpack because on the next run we attempted to toss it below us into a trashcan with a small hole in the lid while flying above it. Like little schoolchildren we asked, “What is the prize if you get it in?”

The guides chuckled a bit.

“Satisfaction.”

“Glory.”

And still after giving tips and all the advice they knew for getting it in, only my brother made it.

After getting myself right side up for landing, I fly through the fountains.

I didn’t want the afternoon to end.

The last cable runs over the pond and between two fountains. For my final run, I of course went upside down.

Laughing and somewhat gleeful we walked back to the room and were told to just unstrap ourselves, they would unclip everything later.

The zipline course was a fun adventure for people of all ages, sizes, and fright levels. I would highly recommend it to everyone, thrill seekers or not.

Hannah Ettema will be starting her senior year at Michigan State where she studies arts and humanities and professional writing. She has a fierce love for Michigan, reading, and summer thunderstorms.