- Guest blogged by Annie -
After you've turned thirty, new birthdays can be "Ruff" ;) So it's always a good idea to celebrate your birth like you did when you were a kid, just to temporarily ward off the ever-maddening reflections on death that only grow stronger with each passing year. It was Mary's birthday a few weeks back, and she and Dan celebrated by "Going Ape.": http://goape.com/
"Go Ape" is a ropes and obstacle course built into the treetops. To give you a better sense of how radical and Xtreme it is, here is a video of Mary zip-lining on it:
"Go Ape" should not be confused with "Go Monkey" which is a less evolved, more primordial form of tree-based ropes courses popular in the nineteenth century:
Dan, scoffing at the required "safety training" needed before scaling the trees
The course started out easy enough, with some simple wooden bridges to cross. Mary and Dan didn't seem to have too many problems here:
Things got real - real Ape, that is - when they had to start jumping off platforms, onto awaiting nets:
Plummeting fifteen feet on a harness into an awaiting net - as apes do - definitely put Mary into the celebratory mood. The next set of obstacles, however, proved to be some of the most difficult. Walking across a set of hanging rings was perhaps more frustrating than fun, but the sense of accomplishment made Mary realized that life is like a ropes course: sometimes you get the chance to jump, metaphorically, into a set of rope-nets; other times you have to carefully traverse the proverbial series of rings foot by foot.
Now she knows why apes are some of the most contemplative and existentially tortured of the greater primates. By the end, though, Mary was a pro. She walked across many of the obstacles without any hands - and also without a tail, just like all apes.
Dan, on the other hand, wished he had a tail for even greater safety assurance. He kept up his spirit, however, and eventually took the lead:
Such hubris eventually got the better of him, though. When he reached the last zip-line, he insisted that he could do it without the safety rope:
He will be missed.
Happy Birthday Mary!