By Kirby Adams
Life becomes a little too predictable? Need to add some spark and sizzle to your routine? Give yourself a thrill and spend a couple of hours ZIPPING through the Mega Cavern.
Sailing through the air tethered to a steel cable has soared in popularity the past few years. While most commercial zipline adventures are located at vacation destinations, you can now Zip in the comfort of your own hometown.
A quick drive over the Mega Caverns located just off Popular Level road near the Watterson Expressway and I was soon suited up in $700 worth of safety equipment. Two Zip guides are assigned to my group of 8 and together they check and double check that my harness, helmet, headlamp, and not one but two safety lines are attached correctly before we are off to the wimpy Bunny Zip.
For those who are anxious about heights the designers have given you a break by making the first of the 6 rides a very short (as in length) and very low (as in Height) ride.
Like Roller coaster fanatics who travel the world daring themselves to ride the world’s fastest, highest, most unusual coasters. The Mega Cavern’s Mega Zips is the world’s ONLY underground zipline. A fact that is already attracting Zip-aficionados from around the world.
With the Bunny Zip under my belt we are shuttled deeper into the 100 acre limestone quarry. Opened in early July, the zip-line tour includes five underground zip lines (remember the Bunny zip was just to “get our feet wet” so to speak) and three suspension bridges.
Each Line has its own name and distinct characteristic. For instance, once the “test” Bunny Zip is out of the way our next ride is substantially longer, higher, and through a canyon of Fire (well, actually flickering red lights and blowing silk)! This is the The Zip to Hell which is followed by The Cross Canyon Zip which I would describe as long, dark, and bouncy.
Our guides are great. Knowledgeable not only about Zip Line safety but the history of the Cavern (quarry). They take great care in chatting with those who are nervous, checking re checking and checking again all safety equipment before each ride, ensuring the 2 hour experience is a controlled thrill we will all remember.
I should mention there are also Challenge Bridges (suspension bridges) which seemed more ominous to some in our group than the ziplines. I can only figure that once the Zipline begins you are moving thanks to gravity and the only way you stop is thanks to gravity and the guide who is standing on the other side to catch you. The Challenge Bridges force you to move your body yourself and for some that can be a tough mental exercise. Still I think all would agree that the Challenge was reward in itself. Once safely to the opposite side you feel a true sense of accomplishment.
The Ziplines get longer and darker and if you are lucky enough to be on a trip with 4 guides you can even race your fellow Zippers on the final line.
Do I recommend this hometown adventure? I do. I give it Two Headlamps out of Two. I also recommend that you call ahead and make a reservation. If you get there and have to wait, you just might chicken out. That would be too bad because this is an experience you will always remember and love to talk about.
So put a little Zip into your day and check it out at http://www.louisvillemegacavern.com
Kirby Adams is an award winning journalist who has spent a lot of time flying, falling, and zipping through the air. She has reported on Para sailing, sky diving, bungee jumping, and Para skiing (snow skiing with a parachute). If you have a challenge you’d like her to report on contact Kirby at KIRBYADAMSLOUISVILLE@gmail.com