I consider myself reasonably adventurous. I’ve crawled through caves, rappelled down cliffs, and jumped out of aircraft. Like most of Rad Season’s readership, I find the majority of “made for tourist” adventures fun, but not particularly scary.
However, balancing on a teetering beam 80 foot in the air overlooking the Oklahoma River, I’m forced to re-evaluate my adventurous spirit. Perhaps I’m not quite as daring as my ego has lead me to believe.
Upstream I can see white crests at the rafting and kayaking course. I sigh inwardly. Our visit to Riversports in Oklahoma City was unplanned, an adjunct to a long road trip, and we don’t have time to enjoy that section of the park, despite our daylong ticket including unlimited entry to everything they offer. However we do have time to try the Sandridge Sky Trail, an obstacle course said to be the highest structure of its type in the world.
Initially the obstacles were simple – stepping stones and rope bridges. Balance beams that don’t sway. As we progress upwards, the difficulty increases. Before me lies a single tightrope, stretched across a 20 foot gap between platforms. There are no handholds, bar the safety strap attached to my harness and I feel an essence of cheating if I grab it.
“I glance over at my grinning 11-year-old Radling, her mirth obviously directed towards me.”
She’s already completed every obstacle on this six level structure and is waiting for me at the top. Her casual attitude is understandable – there’s no way that I could actually hurt myself on this contraption. The harnesses we’re wearing are the full-body type, and should I fall, I would only end up hanging a foot or two below the apparatus. The safety checks at ground level are reassuringly rigorous, and watchful staff with rescue gear are stationed throughout the structure.
At the top, there are four options for getting back down – a “Sky Zip” flying 700 feet over the Oklahoma River and back again, a free-fall “Rumble Drop” with safety cable to slow your decent at the end, or several slides claiming to be the tallest dry slides in the United States.
Both of the higher slides are fully enclosed tubes – “Sky Slalom” features clear Perspex and tight spirals whereas “Sky Luge” is longer and dark. I position my feet in the pocket of the mat, grab the handle and descend into the abyss. It’s exhilarating, and over far too soon. I’m itching to do it again.
Before heading back to the safety check, I venture to the youth zone to check on my six-year-old Radling. Only an inch shy of the 48” minimum height requirement for the Sky Trail, she’s having the time of her life on the small-fry course.
Here young ones wear a harness, just like the big kids, as they negotiate a similar course set just a few feet off the ground. A small zip line and an enormous bounce pillow complete the enclosure. A well-equipped playground for the smallest Radlings sit under shade sails adjacent.
She whoops in delight. I grin and wave, then turn back to Sky Trail. There are more obstacles calling me.
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