I am hanging 50 feet in the air, my feet pointing almost straight down, my eyes focused on giant western red cedars that stand guard all around me.
My hands are clutched tightly, oh-so-tightly, to the handles on the giant swing on which I am sitting.
It is quiet and humid, the 33 C heat mitigated somewhat by the dense forest.
Then, Nathan, my very helpful and reassuring guide, calls out: “5,4,3,2,1!”
And, my stomach speeds up into my throat and plummets back down, past my lungs, across my ribs, through my hips, along my legs and into the tips of my toes.
The giant swing crashes down and forward at an insane speed, the momentum not unlike that experienced on the most-ferocious of carnival rides.
The first two passes on the swing induce delirium on my senses, the very type of pleasure and pain that has me thrilled and frightened simultaneously,
The free-falling object I am riding is the Sky Swing, one of the many remarkable experiences at SkyTrek Adventure Park near Revelstoke.
The adventure park is among a string of fantastic attractions for those who crave a few days away from home, but wish to stay close to home.
Just east of the adventure park sits the impressive Three Valley Gap Lake Chateau, with its adjacent ghost town and railway museum.
Just west of the adventure park is Beardale Castle and its miniature world.
And back at the adventure park, nestled among the trees below the ropes and swings and zip lines, stands the Enchanted Forest, a scaled-down world of its own especially geared toward younger kids.
But first, I must survive the Sky Swing and an assortment of other adventures in this adrenaline-packed park.
The Sky Swing is part of the Adventure Tower, which also includes the 40-foot SkyDrop — a free-falling sensation that begins when you simply step off the ledge with your quivering legs and coast to the ground while attached to the structure with a line — two climbing walls and a climbing log.
The park also features the Kids Jungle Gym (for ages two to 12) and Kids Tree Adventure (for ages five and up).
Beyond these attractions is the High Ropes Challenge Course, which is much more than a series of zip lines.
Oh, there are zip lines and they are extremely enjoyable.
But in order to get to the platforms and zip down to the next, one must first navigate a series of what are called “games,” including bridges, wires, monkey bars, nets and swinging logs.
Beyond offering a thrilling journey through a stunning naturescape, the High Ropes Challenge Course really does challenge, luring participants out of their comfort zones and helping them confront many obstacles, be they fear of heights or dexterity doubts.
However, before guests are geared up and set loose to tackle the varying levels (like ski runs, the courses begin with green and progress to blue and black), they are taken to a low-to-the-ground practise area and taught all they need to know.
In our case, guide Jakob was masterful in making sure we knew all we needed to know by the time we climbed the ladder and entered the green course.
IF YOU GO — Don’t forget to check out Enchanted Forest right next door.
The legendary attraction has been enchanting visitors for 52 years with its 350 storybook homes and characters set deep in the woods.
There is also a self-guided Nature Walk, a self-guided wetland boat tour, a wetland boardwalk, the province’s tallest treehouse at 50 feet and an awe-inspiring 800-year-old cedar grove.