No. 26: Go Tree Climbing
The groves were God’s first temples. ~William Cullen Bryant, “A Forest Hymn”
Last Sunday, 60 ft above the earth, a little yellow butterfly landed by my foot on the bark of a giant red oak tree.
Yes, I was 60 ft in the air…and I was climbing a tree like I had only done in my dreams before.
Bill Bryne, co-founder of Earth Joy Tree Climbing, made me feel completely secure in my harness, and he taught me how to use the system of ropes attached to me and the tree so that I could climb with confidence. His friendly nature and encouragement made me feel right at home in the forest.
Reaching the branch that was 60ft in the air, was a workout. I sat and rested for a few moments before going even higher. Tree climbing for Bill and his wife, Shelly, is not just about how high you go, but how connected you can feel to nature. This is a different kind of ‘view from the top’ where your day-to-day agenda, ambition, and worries dissolve away as you stare out into a spectacular panorama that few, except for the birds, are privy to.
This is adventure and childlike romance at its best, and its the kind of experience we adults don’t nearly get enough of– When is the last time you have felt thrilled physically, mentally, and spiritually all at the same time?
Way up here, with a vantage point that takes in much of the park, it is easy to understand William Cullen Bryant’s Forest Hymn.
The love of nature as well as their fondness for adventure is what inspired the Bryne’s to bring tree climbing to Northern Kentucky.
Seven years ago Bill and Shelly did their first tree climb in Georgia and five years ago they decided to become instructors and guides themselves to take advantage of the forest beauty in their own backyard of Alexandria and bring the opportunity for this kind of adventure and environmentalism home with them to Kentucky.
The Earth in EarthJoy stands for Empowering Adventures Rejuvenates The Heart, and Bill and Shelly believe that spending time on their ‘tree playgrounds’ does good things not only for your body, but for your mind and spirit as well.
I can attest to all of that. When I finished the climb, I was sweatier than I had been in awhile and, strangely, more relaxed. Feelings of exhilaration, connectedness, awe swirled within me as I wiped my brow and looked up at the bird flying from the branch where moments before I too had been. In a word, a felt restored and it reminded me of the power of adventure in our lives to wake us up and make us feel alive.
As for romance…I hear Earth Joy also does ‘romantic tree climbs’ where they will serve you and your partner dinner up in the tree tops while the sun sets. That is something Mr.Cecil and I will definitely have to check out.
Take a look at the pictures below from our climb and see the bottom of the post for contact details to schedule your own tree climbing adventure with Earth Joy. I think you’ll enjoy spending time with the EarthJoy team as much as we did.
Details about Earth Joy Tree Climbing:
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Tree Climbing Tours
Call to schedule:
859-653-2907 or Shelly@climbtreeswithearthjoy.com