Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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February 24, 2014

TIM PRESTON: Red River Gorge Part II: Adventure is out there

RED RIVER GORGE — It seems I’m not alone in the world as a person who foolishly craves adventure despite a horrible fear of heights.

As part of our rock-climbing visit to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge last fall, we were also pointed toward a couple of other adventures available there. One, I had never even heard of, and the other (I thought) would be too “wimpy” to even write about. The first, a Via Ferrata course, turned out to be fascinating, and the other, a series of five ziplines leading to a scenic resort overlooking the gorge, was utterly terrifying yet thrilling for me.

We got some great video of the zipline adventure, with little bits of me getting scared, making excuses and apologizing to our instructors at the start of each run. If we can overcome our lack of technical skills here in the newsroom, I hope to post a video of my wife running 50-plus m.p.h. on a two-line zipline run, with a breathtaking view of the Red River Gorge opening up behind her. I also hope we can edit my “scaredy cat” intros out of the video.

My wife, Alys, knows no fear on this stuff. She practically danced across the rope bridges leading to the different zip line stations, and could not stop herself from abusing my terrified self when she caught me wide-eyed with fear and babystepping through a sort of rope bridge behind her. I got roughly three steps into that span and immediately had a flashback to an old-timey swinging bridge high above the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River between the communities of Hammond (or was that Whitehouse?) and River in Johnson County. Sensing my near-freakout level of panic, my lovely wife returned to the far side of the bridge and started bouncing it up and down, and making it sway from side to side, laughing like a crazy person the whole time.

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