We (I) Did It!

Well, we did it! We got the zip line up within 48 hours of it arriving!

One of my cousins and her family were here for the night and she has a very adventurous son who loves helping us get ready for our big family party (which is in a little over a week–yikes!) every year.

It worked out really well, actually, because we had plenty of helping hands and he was willing to climb up in the tree on one end to hook everything up. So, of course, he got the first ride!

We played around with a lot of different options for just about everything (my parents are out there adjusting the height again right now) including how to a) protect the trees and b) make sure the wire actually stays where it’s supposed to be.

This was about the third idea we arrived at (and the final version is being nailed down right now, as well!).

We didn’t have any kind of platform made the first night, so we were launching right off the ladder, which wasn’t very safe. In my mind I was thinking that there was no way I was going to let party time come without the perfect platform made.

So two days later, we started constructing that perfect platform. My dad was basically envisioning something about a foot by a foot and half wide just hanging off the tree. (He would’ve made sure it was supported and safe, but that’s the size he was thinking of) I, on the other hand, was envisioning a platform big enough to hold at least two people that would feel perfectly comfortable while trying to maneuver a plastic disc between your legs. So our platform was born.

All we needed to accomplish the next day to finish the zip line experience was a ladder of some sort to get up to that amazing platform. This was where I was really picky, because I’m not a fan of ladders and I wanted it to be as much like stairs as possible. But I didn’t want to go through the process of actually making stairs. So my mom and I figured out how to make exactly what we were thinking of and did it all by ourselves. We didn’t need any help from any men! The most impressive thing was that we made it through the day without any cat fights! I painted all of the raw wood showing, we put it together, got our brake finished up and I took the first ride on our completed zip line.

I love it.

And, as my mom keeps boasting about, we didn’t buy anything but the kit for it.

We just happened to have all of the material laying around. We had some extra deck boards that we used for the top of the platform and the stairs. The trees on the end are pieces of a tree that we cut down a few years ago (I’m blanking on the name right now, but it’s not birch). The rest is just leftover wood from various projects that was sitting in the wood corner of our shed.


Before the zip line even arrived, my mom and I were brainstorming ways to make sure people didn’t just slam into the tree at the end and I half-jokingly suggested bubble wrap. She fell for it and that tree is now covered in it.
This is our very complex braking system. It came with a stopper and bungee cord, but we wanted people (me) to be able to ride it without anyone else there so we just tied it up to another rope that was tied around a nearby tree.
The view from atop the platform.
All of her runs so far have been the same. Her first face is this…
…which turns into this…
…which turns into one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen on her face!

As we started putting all of the tools away, my mom turned to me and said, “Well, none of this would’ve happened without your drive.” That’s one of the nicest things she’s ever said to me.

I did it.


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