Hop in your Sonic and head off on one of these turbocharged trips, because nothing is as life-affirming as a shot of adrenaline
By Greg Barbera
Sometimes you just need to get out of the office, get out of town and get away. Nothing rejuvenates your spirit and feeds your soul (or releases adrenaline) quite like a thrill-seeking adventure. Below are some trips that will not only provide excitement but will also give you some animated stories to share with your friends and family when you return.
1. Hang Gliding the Outer Banks, North Carolina: What could be better than sailing 2,000 feet above North Carolina’s barrier islands on a giant kite? Beginners can start off easy and lift-off from the comfort of a sand dune to experience the same thrill the Wright Brothers did in 1903. If you’re courageous enough, you can latch onto a tow rope and fly tandem with an experienced pilot as you’re pulled high in the sky. Once you reach maximum altitude, glide home on the breeze of the sea like a pelican while gazing out at views of the sound and the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Sandboarding Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado: Already mastered all the traditional board sports? Then try sandboarding the tallest dunes in North America. If carving down the face of a 750-foot sand slide in almost complete silence doesn’t rejuvenate you, what will? You can also ride down—in a flat-bottomed sled (a more family-friendly option)—if you can’t stand on a board.
3. Ziplining in Kauai, Hawaii: Nothing makes you feel as much like a kid again as zooming 35 miles an hour along a zipline. Nevermind that it’s in the jungle and has you soaring over mango, bamboo and eucalyptus trees at almost 80 feet above the ground (on the oldest island of Hawaii’s main islands). The panoramic, bird’s-eye view is breathtaking, and given the density of rain forests, what better way to see them than up close, personal and from above?
4. Overnight Spelunking in Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee: Exploring caves can be muddy, wet and tiring, but it’s a great way to jumpstart your senses. Turn the experience up a notch by navigating your way through the 14th largest cave in the United States. If you enter in the afternoon, you won’t exit until the next morning! Make your way to your underground campground by navigating the Lemon Squeezer—where you’ll have to squeeze yourself through an 11-inch crevice—and the world-famous sticky, slippery Bubble Gum Alley. This turn-back-the-clock sleepover gives new meaning to the word caveman.
5. Wakeboarding by Cable in Florida Keys, Florida: Boat-less wakeboarding? It may sound like an oxymoron, but being pulled by a tow rope attached to an overhead cable is an environmentally friendly alternative. Work on your Fruit Loop, Tootsie Roll and boardslide maneuvers in water temps that average 80 degrees. No teeth-chattering here. Also, you won’t have to worry about waiting for the boat to turn around and pick you up after a fall.
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Greg Barbera of DadCentric is a dad blogger, beer magazine editor and the singer/bass player for the punk band Chest Pains. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. You can follow him on twitter @gregeboy, tumblr, Facebook, and Blogger.