Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Genuine vs. Store Bought Thrills

Rope Swing in action (photo not of Gadabout's buddy, Stork--but is a cool shot from the same rope)
Stork prepares for his adventure
Rope Swing

Simple in design
Pendulum swing into flight
Cold water landing

One of Gadabout’s friends recently talked about his experience with a rope swing while vacationing in Montana. After reading his description of the event and listening to him on the telephone, Gadabout has uncovered how the competition between store bought experiences play against the real thing:

This is a little rope swing I found on a hike in Montana. No idea this was there, just one of life's little surprises. As much fun as one can have with their clothes on and not sitting in a Tomcat. Drop was about 35 or 40 feet, and the rope swing was probably moving 35 miles an hour at top speed with my fat ass hanging off of it.

Someone tied a loop at the bottom, but you'd have to be nuts to stick your foot in it. If you happened to get tangled up in it trying to release and couldn't get free, the return impact on the shoreline would inflict a mortal wound.

As is, you just have to hold on with everything you've got. A smart math guy could probably do some geometry/physics and calculate a max g force. I weigh about 210 [Comment from Gadabout: 210—come on and stop lying!], and it felt like I was holding up quite a bit more than that. A lady broke her femur the day before because she couldn't hold her weight and fell crossing the waterline. The best thing to do would be to get some BM3 [a BM3 is a sailor who knows how to tie a knot] out there to tie a Monkey Fist knot on the bottom of that thing to stand on and make it safer!

The rope was just a regular sort of rope tied to about a 90 foot pine at the water's edge. After you decide to “go for it” you take it about 50 feet up a 45 degree slope, stand on a rock, and go. Your ass is about 1 foot off the ground at water's edge and then you get launched out over the water about 70 feet laterally and end up with about a 30-40 foot vertical drop. I must say, it was pretty sweet.

Gadabout believes this is why Disney World, Bush Gardens and other pay as you go thrill producing enterprises are so ho-hum. The real deal is the real deal, and waiting in line for 45 minutes at the Magic Kingdom for a 4 minute ride that costs mega bucks just doesn’t stack up.

Rope swings are real. The danger of not holding on is real. Launching through the air and landing in cold river waters is real. Find genuine experiences in life like rope swings, and you’ll find happiness.

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