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Wander Minnesota: Flying Above The Trees

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(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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The summer weather of late has been spectacular—and we so deserve it—and it’s time to get outdoors, people, and enjoy views like these.

An especially fine way to do that is to take a trip out to the Minnesota River Valley and go ziplining with Kerfoot Canopy Tours.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Kerfoot Canopy Tours recently invited me and my son to give ziplining a try (neither of us have done this before).

I had some concerns, mostly about my ability to manage heights. But I’ve seen ziplining videos online and thought it looked like it could be incredibly fun, so I decided to give it a try.

Turns out I was right—it is incredibly fun.

When you’re zipping down the line, you feel like a bird that’s coasting through the air must feel, and you get to see the world from a different perspective.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Another aspect of the tour that definitely helps allay fears is Kerfoot’s attention to safety details. Each trip is limited to 10 zipliners at a time, with two guides for each tour.

The guides who traveled with us were friendly, encouraging, and completely dedicated to the safety procedures. At no time did they rush through any of them or take shortcuts. Especially comforting when you’re first crossing this bridge, then viewing it from a higher vantage point.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

There’s a training session up front in which participants are urged to take their time and practice as much as they need to on short, low-to-the-ground courses, before taking off for some of the higher lines.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Here’s another comforting thing, and a confession: After several zips, I could see the lines getting longer and higher, and my initial fears that I wouldn’t be able to handle the height became real.

Fortunately, there is a point where it’s possible to exit the tour early—which I did. I wish I’d had more courage, but there you have it.

The rest of the tour, including my son, went on without me and had a blast. As they came in on the final ropes, several of them were whooping and cheering.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

So, yes, I’m a bit of a chicken, but I also figured out what my limitations were.

I hugely appreciated Kerfoot’s ability to let me off the course at that moment, and my son hugely appreciated my willingness to let him continue.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

His first comment at the end? “That was amazing! Now I want to take up skydiving.”

My thanks to Kerfoot Canopy Tours for inviting us. For those with more courage than I—and I’m pretty sure there are many people fitting that description—this is a fantastic way to spend a beautiful summer afternoon.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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