by A Happy Flightliner
My imagination begins to churn with images of possibilities to come. I’ve been here before, during the mid-morning heat where everything shone bright in the unabated desert sun, but now I was about to embark upon an altogether different experience.
Our group is in the “shop” now, going through our orientation. The good-humored and well-spoken guides lead us through what to expect on the mountain.
Soon we are on the shuttle headed up the mountain. Fifteen minutes later, we are hiking towards the summit. The views of the setting sun over the Vegas valley are spectacular. There is a beautiful juxtaposition of the 24-hour metropolis against the majestic red mountain landscape.
The sun sets and paints the sky with deep: pinks, purples, and oranges. As the light fades, we reach the first takeoff deck.
It is time. We are beckoned to the takeoff deck by our guide. He adjusts my harness to make sure it is snug and secure. He flicks on my headlamp, and gives a brief review of the instructions. As I am dangling on the line, with a secondary tether attached, and held stationary by some kind of release latch, I strain my eyes to focus in the darkness.
I feel myself subtly swaying in the harness as I observe the line above me disappear into the black. Our guide reaches under my arm, and suddenly I realize he’s detaching my secondary tether. He asks if I am ready, and not wanting to be the guy who says no, I nervously reply: “yes?” I hear “three, two…” and then a click, and then the crescendo of a deep, metallic, zipping noise as I accelerate off of the takeoff deck. What happened to “one?”
I am suddenly soaring through the night sky! I am fast and still all at once. I am enveloped by the darkness while liberated by it. The dim glow of my headlamp, and the faint-colored lights ahead emanating from the glowing traffic cones are the only things that keep me oriented in the abyss of night. The glow of the cones dance like frantic fireflies.
I am lost in the illusion until I hear a voice in the darkness yell: “brakes, brakes, spread your feet!” My brain finally recalls the instructions given to me by the guides, and I comply just in the nick of time. I crush into the secondary brakes with the giddiness of a young child. I can’t help but giggle.
The guides assist me off the line, and as I walk off of the landing deck I am greeted with the luxury of a moonlit picnic. Placed upon a rustic, all-wooden, picnic bench I find a spread of: cheese, grapes and sparkling cider awaiting all of us. I grin at the novelty of the scene, and take a moment to appreciate the extra effort taken by the Flightlinez staff to hike this stuff up the mountain and prepare it for us as we arrived at the bottom of the first run.
I raise my plastic-stemmed glass in a toast with my fellow zip-liners. We laugh and bond over the experience. The romance of the full moon tour that was advertised (half jokingly) to us is realized as I witness a few couples sneak away from the main group for a quick smooch under the moonlight. The view of the moon is awe-inspiring, and as my eyes continue to adjust to the darkness, I am better able to appreciate the subtle beauty of the desert canyons below. Much like one finds faces in the clouds, the shadows of the rocks began to transform into faces and creatures before my eyes. I wonder if these same illusions leant inspiration to legends created by people living here centuries ago. I let my imagination go, and take in the night.
As I process the grandeur of the first run. I am struck with an exciting notion: I still have three more runs to go!
Full Moon Tours run May through October.
Full Moon tours start at 8pm. Daytime Tours running daily, starting at 7am. Must weigh 75 to 250 pounds to participate.
Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon offers photographers, still photos for purchase and video camera (GoPro) rentals.
Gift Certificates are available for purchase.
Boulder City Locals receive 25 percent off.
Group Discounts are also available.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on those discounts.
August is Student Appreciation at Flightlinez. Bring in your student ID and receive 4 riders for $99 each.
Contact for general information please call our office at 702.293.6885 or visit us online at www.flightlinezbootleg.com.