It was going to be just another beautiful fall day. The air was fresh and crisp, the sky was a brilliant shade of blue and the leaves were aflame in hues of orange and red.
But the peacefulness of this day was broken by enthusiastic shouts of encouragement and exhilaration echoing through the forest as a group of 15 valley kids, from 9 to 18 years of age, zipped through the pine and oak trees.
Zip Yosemite, located at Calvin Crest, treated this group and their adult companions to a day of zip-lining that they will not soon forget. This adventure was coordinated by Tamie Taylor who has been a guide with Zip Yosemite since they opened earlier this year.
Previously, Tamie worked with Golden State Family Services in the valley. It was Tamie’s relationship with Assistant Program Director Anna Moradian and her staff that made this adventurous day possible for these kids in Golden State’s foster program
“Everyone has been talking about this,” said social worker Nicole Leggett. “They have all wanted to zip for months. For some of our kids who are siblings living in different foster homes, this is a chance for them to hang out together. It’s a chance to step out of their shells.”
Before taking off, the group was briefed on what to expect, how their safety equipment worked and just how much fun they were about to have.
Zip Yosemite’s course consists of six zip lines, three rope “sky bridges” and three rappel platforms.
The course starts off with a relatively short zip to get everyone comfortable and to build some confidence. There was plenty of hesitation at the first platform, from both adults and kids, but after a zip or two everyone was getting into the zipping groove.
Zip Yosemite’s manager, Wade Beane, shared with me his excitement about hosting the group, “Zipping is a great way for kids to push their limits and to build friendships. We’re really happy to do this and to give back to the community we’re a part of.”
Wade’s thoughts were echoed by Golden State staff member, Blanca Cisneros when she said, “They never get to challenge themselves this much. They’ve come so far today. It was really fun to see how they encouraged each other.”
After a final zip that flashes through the trees and over a pond at up to 40 mph, the entire group got to sit down to a delicious lunch provide by Taqueria Plazuelas of Oakhurst. Lunch was a time to relax, share stories and relive the day’s adventures.
Assistant Director Moradian summed up the day by saying, “This was a fabulous experience. It was great to see the kids work through fearful or unpleasant experiences. I am so proud of them.”