To access the first and longest zipline (2,300 feet), we must go two at a time up and over a narrow suspended walkway. All the ziplines in the course run in pairs, so as each couple launches into the void, their hoots and whoops fade as they speed away.
I pair up with Moore and we sit on the platform with our feet braced on either side of a gate as McGreavy and his team attach us to the cable. Then they swing open the gates and we scooch our butts to the edge of the platform. Below my dangling feet is an endless tangle of greenery; ahead, a deep valley over which hangs a long, long (long) cable, swaying slightly in the wind. Our terminus is a platform atop a small hill. Looking closely, I can see mini versions of those who have gone before milling about.
As McGreavy counts us down, Moore and I give one another a look, then hop off the platform … and fly.
The wind rushes in my ears and the treetops blur. I lean back and pick up a little speed, looking around at the mountains, the ocean, the trees, the clouds. Suddenly, the landing area is rushing toward me. I flap my arms and legs open into a sloppy starfish, which slows me down a little, but I anticipate a rough landing and grab the bar tightly. My trolley hits the brakes over the platform, and I jerk ungracefully to a stop. Clumsy or not, it was an outstanding rush of adrenaline, and I am ready for more. And, since we signed up for a three-hour, six-zipline tour, more I get.
After four subsequent zip trips, we arrive at a highlight of the tour: Hawai‘i’s longest and tallest suspension bridge. Soaring some 1,600 feet in the air, the Kapalua bridge spans 360 feet and is the longest suspension bridge in Hawaii, 200 feet above the valley floor. Just as we start to cross, the wind and clouds come rushing down the mountainside and blast across the bridge. By the time we reach the center, it’s drizzling and blustery, and we retreat to the shelter of the final zipline platform. But as they said, rain or shine, we zipline, and two by two, we take our last flight through the pelting rain, completing our adventure with smiles all around.