Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

For excitement, try zipping at the Harpeth

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By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.

The nice warm sunny afternoon gave us a chance to bike the hills west of Nashville in the community around the Narrows of the Harpeth River. We took the bikes off the carrier at the parking area next to Highway 70 and started down the back road toward the Riverside Park.

Some of the hills were steeper than we would have liked, but the ride down at full speed was exhilarating. We paralleled the river in spots and took in the clear blue sky and green fields along the waterway. One historical sign about 2 miles from the main highway told of the mound building Indians of 700 years ago. Across the valley the Temple Mount could be seen rising in the flat delta soil. It was much larger than the one at the Sellars Farm just down Sparta Pike in Lebanon.

We began looking for the Narrows spot and realized we had passed it up on one of our downhill speed runs. The signs for it pointed sideways away from the entrance. There was an interesting sign as well that advertised a zip line and we biked back to scout out the attraction.

High on a hill just past the Narrows of the Harpeth was a site where steel cables had been stretched across ravines and through the trees from hilltop to adjacent hillside. After finding out the fare of $48 per person, we decided to do the zipping and hooked into the first cable with a very secure harness.

Flying through the trees at 30 miles an hour and 50 feet above the ground was a real rush (no pun intended). Some of the lines were 15 feet up platforms that could be easily climbed. Hooking into the cable was readily accomplished and pushing off from the tree stand gave an acceleration which added to the gravitational slingshot throwing you across the 150 foot distance to the next hillside.

The landing at the other end was sometimes tricky since you didn’t always come in to the landing spot facing forward. We soon learned to drag our feet to a sometimes awkward stop trying not to drag our backs on the ground. Occasionally it was necessary for someone else in the party to catch you as you speedily neared the end of the cable – we never did hit the anchoring tree at the downhill side of the run.

Too soon our rides were over. There were at least eight different cable routes and the experience took more than an hour to complete. Young riders can also participate with the youngest so being 3 years of age.

If you are in the mood for some excitement, just bring your credit card and nerves of steel to the Narrows area and follow the signs to the zip line adventure.

Editor’s Note: Robertson is a physician with Family Medical Associates, PC, in Lebanon.

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