Cali Girl Does Hawaii: Zippin' on a Whim

2:49 PM

A family that adventures together...
...laughs endlessly at one another! We'd been randomly talking about zip lining and/or horseback riding, but no one was really taking it seriously enough to make a reservation. So, late into multiple hours tanning at Sunset Beach on Friday, I called Climb Works about eight minutes before they closed, inquiring about availability for the next day (Saturday).

Between about ten phone calls in the span of those eight minutes they were left open, we secured a reservation. Two actually, originally zipping at 3:45PM on Saturday, we found out that there was a 7:20AM time slot. Even though that was early (4:20AM our time) it would be cooler than at the hottest part of the day. Party of 5, zipping in less than 12 hours.

All of us had zip lined before, no newbies in our group. Buuuut, I will say that we didn't learn who was really scared (slight exaggeration) of it until we were up there!

Up and att'em super early, we drove about 25 minutes to Keana Farms. On our adventure, we learned that Climb Works zips above Keana Farms property, which is vast in size! There is a huge sign off the highway and once you pull in, you drive up to what looks like a huge tree house on the ground. At least to me it does. In the middle is a sign (wall) that gives you the traditional 'Aloha' greeting and also helps direct you where to go.
Once we'd situated ourselves and got what we needed, we made our way to the 'check-in' office. There were already a handful of groups getting ready for their adventures, geared up and all! I'd already done waivers for everyone, which is a cool option they email to you prior to your adventure. If you don't they have a wall of iPad's for multiple people to use at once. Gah, they weighed each and every one of us! And yes, my family was looking at everyone elses weight and judging ;) Just kidding. After we paid and weights were logged, they directed us outside.
In a large open area, the guides had laid out different harnesses for everyone. They directed us into which harness we were supposed to use for the day. Then we were fitted with their very sexy helmets. Our guides introduced themselves during this process --Dan, Gunner, and Stewart.
Dan & Gunner
We lucked out for multiple reasons. We were the only people in our group, so it was very personal and intimate. Well as intimate as it can be when we are making fun of each other mercilessly. Also, we had three guides for our group and they were fun and totally laid back. 

After all the gear was checked, we walked up to our first zip. It was like a tester zip, to get you acquainted with zip lining. In all, there are eight side-by-side zip runs (as they all them). Each station has two parallel zip runs. The first one everyone can see you, since it's right in the front.

Poppa Bears first zip!
Once everyone was finished with this small and quick zip, we piled into an ATV for a 2 bumpy mile ride up to the real deal. You go through tons of farm land they guides tell you all about the produce grown, you go through a jungle area, and also hit some dirt and mountainside action as you climb to the start of the zipping.
My mind is a little foggy as to which zip was which, but since we had five people, someone always zipped by themselves. We all took turns being the solo rider, but it was never an issue. The views were gorgeous, even though the weather wasn't the best. Views overlooking North Sore are pretty amazing from way up there! Also, the guides were so fun and mentioned that other riders compete on who can zip the fastest, so of course the Lil and I had to. And to sweeten the deal, Poppa Bear threw some money down for the bet, which I double or nothing'd too! I won by the way.
They also mentioned you could grab each others hands while on the zip. Let's just say J and I's first attempt was pathetic for two reasons. One being, they didn't show us how to do it, they just mentioned it. Secondly, J was a little nervous to do it and did NOT reach out when he was supposed too. The second time was almost a charm. The guys showed us how to do it, but we still didn't quite get it right, but we got waaaaaay closer that time! And J actually tried to grab my hand that time! This zip was also when it really started to rain and it was pelting us like crazy. I had to turn my body so they would hit my back, not my face. It wasn't painful, just didn't feel that great.
The longest zip is 2,400 feet, it's either the last or second to last one. I can't really remember, but I have a feeling its the second to last one. The drop in elevation is also the largest, as well as being the longest too. All along the course they had historical notes about the island and the culture. Also, the tour guides were full of knowledge too. We all learned the history behind the 'shaka,' which none of us knew about. All the facts and tidbits were actually really interesting and not boring at all. The graphics are nice, clean, and easy to read!
Go Poppa Bear Go!
The course had lots of stairs, scenic walks on boardwalks, they had a sky bridge that was challenging because the slats were placed far apart, you had to rappel in a few spots, and they had various treats at different platforms -- tomatoes, plantains, and you crushed your own macadamia nuts. They also had water throughout the tour, which was nice since it was really humid that morning.
In the middle of the tour, we were walking along one of the boardwalks and before we ascend up stairs, they said this is where a chameleon usually hangs out. We all stopped to spot one. Since we'd been riding the coat tails of the group before us the entire time, they told us that they saw a female one, but she was pissed since they tried to touch her. Even though they told us that, we kept looking. Alas, I found one. It (not sure what sex it was, one guide said it was a girl, but I'm not sure I believe him fully) was sitting on a branch fairly close to us. They tried to lure her in and pulled on the branch, but she was too smart. It was cool to see though.
The last zip line was Shell's fave and she asked about it before we even started. "Which one can we go upside down on?" Lil adventurer she is! The last zip they let you go upside down half the way, then you finish it regularly. This was also another little challenge for J, since I knew he was already slightly hesitant with the height. Mom was really nervous to do it too and she didn't, but she regretted it in the end. It just means she'll have to try it again somewhere! Dad was the last one and he actually went upside down-ish and I was happy he tried it.
Every time we do this, it feels like the first. The rush of feeling as close to flying as you can get, is amazing. It's definitely a luxury that one shouldn't take for granted. Thankfully, the Parentals see value in experiencing adventures and trips together. I am forever grateful for them and their support in adventuring as a family, but for so much more. They also offer and take pics throughout the tour, then when you get back there are additional iPads outside to view the photos. Of course you can buy them if you'd prefer. We decided to buy all of them for a flat fee, which you have seen sprinkled throughout this post! You can bring your phone, like I did, but they remind you multiple times that they aren't liable if you lose it. Luckily I didn't and on certain zips Gunner even held it for me so he could capture some of our zips. Seriously, we had the best guides, so cool and chill, but totally trusted them and their skills.
Lil descending from the last zip line of the day!
This was the perfect way to start our weekend in HI! We were all starving after our adventure so on the word of our guide, Dan, we went to a local spot for breakfast. You literally drive out of the center, turn left on the highway, and there it was -- Tita's Grill. Poppa Bear had previously asked if it had good ratings, because there were always people sitting outside eating.
We were the first ones there, our order number was #1. Dan recommended the breakfast sandwich, he said it was the best on the island. J and I really wanted the Loco Moco, but they were out of the beef for the patties! Ugh, we were so annoyed and sad. Instead we decided to share two entrees -- the breakfast sando with bacon and the breakfast plate with Portuguese sausage. 
We aren't Coke fans and it was early in the AM, so we walked next door to a very seemingly seedy market to see what drinks they sold. I saw a new-to-me can of Wild Cherry Pepsi and swooped it for J, even though it was still early to drink soda. I grabbed a Hawaiian Iced Tea, Mom grabbed POG for herself. At the register we saw freshly made Spam Masubi, so we grabbed one for the others.
Back at the picnic tables, it was a little more crowded. The school across the street must have held early football practice, because there were now a handful of ravenous young men waiting around too. Our food was ready and we sat and devoured it. Sadly, the breakfast sando wasn't as good as we hoped. Lots of bread, which was fresh and good, but just too much bread-to-fillings ratio. They also give you Poly(nesian) bread with your plate orders and it's amazing. Huge fluffy slices of bread, lathered in butter and toasted. I wish I could eat this before a race, it would make me run faster...I just know it would.

Food coma induced, we set off for a beach and relaxation day, regardless of the not so awesome weather. 

Zipping doesn't come cheap, but remember to seek adventure not more money... 

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