Zip It

I’ve found the newest way to explore the Hill Country: flying from tree to tree.

FORTY FEET ABOVE THE CHIGGERS AND POISON IVY. Moving faster than the mosquitoes. Flying without wings or motors or fear, taunting the water moccasin fishing in the creek far below, pretty certain he can’t climb trees.

Now, this is the way to explore the Hill Country. Sure, we’ve got wee versions of steel-cable-and-roller-trolley zip lines scattered in backyards and at team building facilities across the state. And monkey researchers and tourists have been whizzing through far-flung rainforests for years. But why didn’t someone think of zip line canopy tours in Texas before? Why didn’t I? As I watched group after group—six to a party at $60 a person—gather on the starting platform and soar off, disappearing into the greenery at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours, in Spicewood, suddenly Velcro lost its top ranking as idea-I-wish-I’d-had. I tried to tame my envy with thoughts of the liability insurance payments that the visionary owners, David and Amy Beilharz, must have to cough up each year.

Besides, I didn’t want to haul a load of jealousy up into the trees with me. It would only slow me down. For despite the nature around me that I meant to note in Thoreau-like detail, I have to confess that when I was zipping,

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