Ever since I had decided to go to Vegas for Route 91 Harvest Festival, I had wanted to go on SlotZilla, the zip line in Vegas that flies you high over the heads of the people wandering down below on Fremont Street. There are two zip lines, the one I am currently on, which starts off 77 feet high and has you in a sitting position and the higher one, Zoomline if you will, that is further, 114 feet high (more than 10 stories) and has you in more of a I’m totally flying just like Superman position. Zip liners travel at speeds of up to 40 mph!
“Are you sure it will hold me? Like absolutely sure?” I am looking up at the zip line, my hands gripping the robe, trying to ignore all visions of me splattered on the brightly lit pavements of Fremont Street. Yep, Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, where I am currently stood on the top of a platform that I’m sure didn’t look this high from the bottom.
Because I am a cheapskate
and needed to save money for whiskey at the Festival, I decided we should ride the zip line during daytime and do the lower one, a decision I am rather happy about now. I mean I had this planned for months, how is it that I seem to have forgotten I am scared of heights unless I am at the top of a very secure building? This is nothing new, I seem to always forget this very important fact – on a ferris wheel on Navy Pier in Chicago back in 2005, any time I’ve gone on the London Eye and a day after this zip line, on the High Roller (Vegas’s version of the London Eye). At least on the High Roller, I was in the majority – out of about seven people in our pod, only two weren’t scared of heights or bothered by the fact that the television screen proudly announced the height every five minutes. I mean really, stop talking now please, I know it’s the world’s tallest observation wheel, I don’t need to know we are at 550 feet…
Anyway, I digress. If you remember I was on top of the high platform, in a harness, feet firmly on the platform, gripping the rope with the pavement far below. It also didn’t help that whilst I was deliberating about how high we were and whether I could really be bothered to get out of this harness if I didn’t fly down the zip line, Blaze was harnessed up next to me stating that she didn’t want to do it anymore. To be fair, this is where the man who works for SlotZilla really came into his own, he never once rushed us despite the fact that we had been in our harnesses for about five minutes talking to each other and him about whether we really wanted to go through with it. I think deep down I knew I was going to go through with it – it was one of the few things on my list for Las Vegas and I’d come too far to back out now. I looked up and realised there was a stopper in front of my rope meaning I couldn’t go anywhere until the SlotZilla dude released the catch.
“Are you absolutely sure it will hold me?” I asked again and once again his reply came back, “yes, it will hold you”. I felt the need to test it: “if I lift my feet up, promise you won’t let the stopper go?” The SlotZilla man promised and true to his word did not release the stopper, something I feel a lot of people would have done in the interest of surprise and just throwing you into it, but he didn’t and I am extremely grateful for this. To be fair to him, it was October and absolutely no one was queuing behind us so there was no need to rush. I lift my feet up and unsurprisingly, it holds. I mean I know I’m not skinny but this zip line is in America and metres away from the famous Heart Attack Grill so I should have known there would be no issue with my weight. I look at the pavement below a bit more confidently now I’m sure the zip line can hold me. “I’m going to do it” I say decidedly. I look over at Blaze who definitely doesn’t want to do it and decides she will meet me at the other side. Firmly on the ground.
Here’s goes nothing, I think as I take a few steps back and run towards the end of the platform and all of a sudden, I’m airborne, I’m doing it, I’m flying! Despite being told not to grip the rope too hard as it jerks at the end and I’ll injure myself, I am gripping it harder than ever but it doesn’t matter, I’m on a zip line, down Fremont Street and it’s exhilarating. I look at the people below, wave to a couple and grin. “I did it”, I whisper to myself. Seeing Fremont Street from above is wonderful, I can only imagine how good it looks at night amidst the neon lights of Vegas. All too soon it is over, my rope hits the stopper at the end jerking me backwards and as the SlotZilla man said, injuring my hand slightly. As the woman at the end helps me out of my harness, I can’t stop grinning. I did it, I was scared of something and I did it anyway.
Travel is about experiencing new things, scary things, exciting things and sometimes having to push yourself outside of your comfort zone but that resulting feeling – the rush of adrenaline and ultimate feeling of accomplishment? That’s priceless.
Important Info for Riding the Zip Line in Vegas:
The lower zip line (the one I went on) costs $25 with the higher ‘zoomline’ setting you back $45 (at time of writing). If you go on either of them before 6:00pm, you can save yourself $5. The shorter zip line takes you halfway down Fremont Street, finishing between the Four Queens and Fremont casinos whilst the ‘zoomline’ takes you the entire length of Fremont Street, ending at the historic Golden Gate casino.
When was the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone on your travels? Let me know in the comments below!
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