Canopy Adventure
Katerina. Age 13. Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Six o’clock was imminent, and Kayla and I were already awake and dancing in our unmade beds with excitement. Today was zip-lining day! After eating a small breakfast, we got on the bus and braced ourselves for the two hour drive to the Punta Cana Mountains. On the ride to the mountains, we were mesmerized by the beautiful scenery, tall mountains, and fifty shades of green.

Pulling up to the drive way of the building, Kayla and I finally got an appreciation for how large the mountains were. When we got to the building where the guides would fit our harnesses, I was ready to have the best day! My helmet was fitted. I was so excitedly-scared, I was practically jumping out of my seat waiting to be given the signal to start our adventure.

Finally! We could go zip-lining, and now I was a little nervous about what lay ahead. As we walked along the trail to get to the first zip-line, Kayla, one of my best friends, was talking about how we never wanted to go back to Pennsylvania—we wanted to stay in the lush green mountains of the Dominican Republic. We got higher and higher going up the trail to get to the first platform. Sweating, climbing, panting to get to the apex.

It was my turn. The guides hooked me to the line—click, click. I was scared I might fall, but when he pushed me off the platform, a sturdy brown stand, and only the line held me above the uncivilized forest, I couldn’t believe I was doing this. Legs flailing, hands waving, I was flying across the striking mountains as high as the sky. Beautiful. All that came to mind were words like “beautiful” to describe this scenery. Palm trees, cocoa bean trees, banana trees, mango trees, trillions of trees below me as I soared across Punta Cana. I wanted to describe how I was feeling, but all that I screamed was, “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!” The blue mist of the horizon cast a ghostly haze over the far away trees. As the wind flew through my helmet—an orange contraption caging my hair—like a hurricane, I heard in the distance, “Pull the brakes!” Like a bear waking up from being tranquilized, I came out of my own little world and realized if I didn’t pull the brakes now, I would hit a tree! I scrambled to the wire, the only gadget holding me from the jungle below, with my gloved hand and pulled down as hard as I could. My eyes were clenched shut, but as I opened them I smiled at my luck—I never hit that tree.

My journey across the mountains was over. My heart pounded with adrenaline as I recapped the once-in-a-lifetime adventure I had just experienced. And how with all the fun I had, I was very courageous. Not all thirteen year old girls would go across a 1,600 meter long, 125 foot high zip line across the Punta Cana Mountains. I love zip-lining, but doing it extremely high up made it worthwhile (and a little scary), proving to myself that I could it. Driving back to the hotel, Kayla and I tried eating mangos by ripping the skin off with our teeth, and also tried raw cocoa beans—which were disgusting.

Six o’clock was imminent, and this time, Kayla and I were asleep. Bouncing in our dreams for the next courageous thing we might do on this last day of vacation in Punta Cana.

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