Sunday, July 16, 2006

Zippity Doo Da

We drove up to the north side of the island yesterday. It takes a little over an hour to make the drive, passing through a number of small towns that probably once had a purpose and now have slowly lost the ability to appeal to tourism.

Princeville, the largest town in the north, seems to command the needs of the wealthy. We parked illegally to take pictures at the Princeville Hotel, took a dump in the prestigious bathrooms of the Hanalei Bay Resort and drove over seven one-car bridges to make it to Ke’e beach, the farthest most point on the northwest side of the island. We even found some Banyon trees (??) where Larry pretended to be on LOST. All we were missing was the polar bears.

The main reason for being on this side of the island was our zip lining adventure. Yeah, I know hate heights, but I think it’s important to face some of your fears. That’s why we still have every other Christmas with my mom! (I think they finally stopped reading the blog so she’s fair game again.)

The tour was about 5 hours and consisted of 8 zip lines and one really high rope bridge, the thought of which terrified me most. We had 13 participants and 2 guides. They took us a ‘bunny hill’ version of the zips to get us accustomed to the feeling and taught us how to steer so we wouldn’t get all turned around.

By zip #2, we began riding over the valleys and getting incredible views of northern Kauai. We met another gay guy from CA who happened to have attended my conference in Honolulu. We became fast friends as we promised to collect photos and trade them via email once we returned home.

The bridge was after the fourth zip and precariously perched over this river. I was the last to go and watched each person bounce their way across. Fuck it, I decided, I’m totally doing this. (Truth be told, I didn’t have a choice since we were a few miles into the tour.) But I got on and had the ride of my life. The guide followed me and bounced the bridge a couple times to give it some movement. It was amazing and felt so great to face my fear of plunging to my death. (Drama is never wasted with me.)

After three more zips, we made it to the watering hole and all stripped to our suits and floated on inner tubes while the guides set out lunch. It was so relaxing after an afternoon of cooking in the sun. We rested about an hour and headed back to do our last zip for the day. The rains began as if to indicate the day was ending.

I highly recommend zip lining if you get the chance. And if you come to Kauai, no one does it better (and safer) than Princeville Ranch Adventures. It truly was one of the best parts of my trip.

WARNING: straight men, you may want to the end the story here.

The other best part of the tour of was the scenery we took with us. This hot daddy joined us for the five hours and made the entire trip for me. I told Larry that I was taking the pictures so that my friend Richard could see, but truthfully, they’ve already become the wallpaper of my laptop. (Richard, totally your type with the exception of the wife and kids.) Seriously, this man had the most amazing muscles and washboard stomach.

My friends, this is paradise.

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Anonymous Jess said...

How do you say "aii poppy" in Hawaiian? That picture made my day. Thank you, Steve.

12:38 PM  
Blogger The Brian said...

yes, very nice pic there, ahem.

When we were travelling around Guatemala we took the zip line that was actually used as a reward during Survivor: Guatemala. I'm not big on the heights either and now that I've done a zip line I can check that off my list of Things done!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Wow, that zip line tour sounds great... Something to think about when the kids are older.

The picture? As a straight guy, all I have to say is, man do I feel bad with my flabby self. Better not let the wife see that pic! Or maybe I should get to the gym.

2:19 AM  
Blogger MCANDOU said...

I'm definitely 100% straight, but I'll admit I'm a little turned on by that picture. I guess it makes me want to work out like I used to and get into my total manly manliness.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Oh, Samantha, do you know me or what? I don't even want to tell you what I'm going to have to do with myself now that I've seen this picture.... Is this the only shot you got? Tell me MORE!


10:26 AM  

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