My dad had mentioned in passing to my mother this year that he’d like to go zip lining. So my sister and I plotted to secretly pick up three passes to Long Point Eco-Adventures zip line and canopy tour this past Sunday. It was going to be a surprise, but since he insisted on knowing what the plan was so he could schedule his day properly, my mom gave in and let him in on the secret. Ah well, no surprise there.

We picked up the 11:15am passes so we could take the zip line tour and then have a late lunch. My brother in-law was also going to come along for the trip, but then returned his pass after removing a portion of his finger while attempting to slice an english muffin as a snack for my niece. (See the carnage here, if you dare:

I skipped my new anti-migraine medication Saturday night, as it’s been making me extremely tired, and I didn’t want to sleep in and miss the rendezvous with my father and sister at the farm in the morning so we could all drive together.

Once on the road we made quick time and arrived at Long Point Eco-Adventures in under an hour. One of the greatest bonuses about traveling to rural locations that avoid urban centres is that you don’t have to budget in time for traffic. What you do have to budget time for is the 15 mins (okay 5-7 mins) it will take you to sign your life away on the waiver for zip lining. Once the waiver is signed you suit up in climbing harness, do a safety exercise, and then you hit the zip lines.

All of us bright-eyed and ready to hit the zip lines! (And it only took 6 photos to catch everyone smiling!)

The whole course has a variety of zip lines and the guides provide info throughout the tour such as how the course was set up (no treated woods were used), how long it took to set up (3 months), and why certain tree branches are closer to the lines than they should be (the arborist didn’t want to cut them because they are rare – beech basswood – and they provide a good photo op).  – See the featured article image above with my dad posing with said tree.

the edge walk
The Canopy Tour’s Edge Walk (This is our second attempt)

The guides, Shay and Jack, were friendly and knowledgable. All-in-all, I’d say it was a perfect father’s day trip. Or the most perfect father’s day trip that I’ve been a part of.

All of us posing on the suspension bridge.

I asked my dad if he learned anything he didn’t know before, and he said “uh, not really”, but he did say it was “fun” and for a man of few words that’s high praise.  You also have to understand my dad is a voracious reader of local agricultural and environmental literature – so the chances of a 16yr-18yr old guide being able to further his understanding of how the marshes in the surrounding area were being affected by the lake levels was unlikely.

Dad repelling down from the zip line platform.

We went to the “Burning Kiln” for lunch, but the band playing was so loud that we couldn’t hear ourselves talk so we headed back to Long Point Eco-Adventures to try the VG Meats “Big Beef Mobile Butcher & Eatery” food truck. I had the Rueben sandwich, Ellen had the Panini, and dad had the perch tacos. The food was quality – the kind that fills you up for several hours. None of those three dishes made my tastebuds lose their minds (and yes, we’re a family that shares), but then I realized they wouldn’t make my stomach have any issues out on the trails either – so really, they were the perfect meal for option for where I was. The highlight was the salad – super fresh and delicious!

VG Meats Mobile Butchery
My dad is a details man, the first thing he said when we sat down was to comment on how the faux-crosscut saw marks on the table were made with a belt sander (and not very carefully).

The trip home was the real adventure with dad having us put away our phones so he can make guesses as to the route and say things like “let’s try this street” as he explored various roads while finding the way that ran closest to the lake. I remember as a kid that these Sunday trips drove me crazy (I just wanted to  get home so I could get as many hours in as possible playing WarCraft or Command & Conquer on the computer) – now they make me smile. It’s funny how the lens of time and age can teach you to appreciate things. I mean, now I know there’s a farmer (and have driven by the farm in Bayham.. I think it was Bayham… I was writing this article on the laptop at the time) that is producing 200,000 lbs of asparagus a day as opposed to the 100,000 lbs a day they were producing last year.