The Perfect Escape

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”  –Joseph Campbell

“The big question is whether you’re going to say “yeah baby!” or “woohoo!” on your next big adventure.” –Jeff Brown


“Our spouses are crazy for not doing this,” I exclaimed, as my daughter and I signed the liability wavers.

A man held a harness out in front of me and asked that I “step into it.”  I’m doing this literally and figuratively, I thought.  As I pulled it up to my waist, I noticed it had all kinds of clips and clasps and slide adjustments. 

I definitely needed an adjustment.

“Go ahead and tighten the side straps yourself,” he said, as he helped Jessica with hers.  I could tell he didn’t want to be anywhere near my, uh…lower extremity region.   This was fine with me, so I did the best I could.  When I was done, I felt ridiculous, yet strangely kind of sexy.  I’m certain I looked like a Village People reject. 

Panelist Judge: Sorry Jeff, but we’ve decided to go with the construction worker.

Jessica and I donned our helmets and gloves and started climbing the stairs of Tower 1.  

My wife took this picture of Tower 1 from the safety of the ground.

The zip is a two part flight from Tower 1 to Tower 2 at Bloomsbury Farm in Atkins, Iowa.  The zip line expert waiting for us at the top was very friendly and didn’t appear have any qualms about being near my lower extremities.  “Those straps need to be tighter,” he said in an authoritative voice.  Then he breached my personal space and pulled them so tight I would’ve messed up Macho Man if I were singing at that particular moment. 

This shot taken from the top of Tower 1 is from the Bloomsbury Farm website. There were hundreds of people roaming the grounds the day we were zipping.

We were 51 feet high and had a bird’s eye view of the entire farm on this sunny fall day.  I could see hundreds of people wandering the crowded agritourism grounds, enjoying the hayride, pumpkin patch, and corn mazes.  There were two zip line cables attached to the tower above our heads.  They were 700 feet long and ran parallel to each other.  Tower 2 was our destination and there was only one way to get there:

Go back down the steps and walk.

Okay, there were two ways to get there, and sliding down the cables while dangling from underneath was clearly the most reasonable.    

The zip expert attached Jessica’s trolley and safety rope to the left cable.  Then he hooked me to the right and asked, “Do you guys want me to count down?”

I thought a prayer might be more appropriate, especially since we were about to slip the surly bonds of Earth and touch the face of God.  (FYI:  I was really hoping that second part didn’t happen.)  I asked my daughter, “What do you think?” 

Grinning ear to ear, she said, “Sure.” 

“3-2-1 jump!”

Jessica leaped off the platform.  I followed. 


There we are!

The cable bowed slightly as it took my full weight and the trolley made a “zzzzzzzzz” sound just inches above my head.  I would’ve felt the wind in my hair, but I was wearing that stupid helmet.  I could see my daughter speeding ahead of me as I started to rotate counterclockwise.  My mind raced as fast as my body…

Oh look, that’s where I came from.  Oh look, that’s where I’m going.  Oh look…    

For the record I didn’t actually yell, “Whoopee!”  In fact, I didn’t say anything at all.  The whole experience of zipping down the cable was absolutely exhilarating; I’m just not the kind of guy who goes around hooting and hollering every time something exciting happens.  Oh sure, I let out an occasional “woohoo” in print, but in real life? 

It’s just too embarrassing.

My wife thinks it’s interesting that roller coasters and zip lines don’t bother me the slightest, but the thought of getting home too late to let the dog out gives me nightmares.  “It’s all about escapism,” I told her.  “When I’m doing these fun activities, I don’t have time to worry about things like the economy or the cost of replacing our carpet.”

Before I knew it, my daughter and I were peering off the edge of Tower 2.  She beamed at me, ran a few steps, and jumped.  I took a deep breath, cleared my mind, and followed.    


Yeah, I didn’t say that either.

Jessi comes in for a landing.

Jeff without a care in the world.

To learn more about Bloomsbury Farm, visit their website at

2 thoughts on “The Perfect Escape

  1. Jeff, you looked “ridiculous, yet strangely kind of sexy.” Kind of like a “Village People reject.”
    I loved this post – perfect combination of funny and touching and all kinds of awesome. You rock.

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