In Search for a ‘Real Adventure’

I will share with you the story of one of the best adventures I’ve had so far. It was during mid-November of the year of 2010. An idea came to me that it would be super fun to use my climbing rope to create a rope swing, and what better place to do it than from a bridge! So I searched the internet for different potential low-key sites where it would be okay to set up the rope swing. My first choice was a pipeline bridge at a mining facility. I got all my rock climbing equipment prepared (rope and things for anchor set-up, etc.), and made plans to leave early on Saturday morning with one of my friends and my younger sister for a fullday trip.

Before I start, I’d like to share with you my definition of a ‘Real Adventure.’ A ‘Real Adventure’ should include the following:

– A goal (an activity you want to do, or the purpose of the trip)

– Something that goes outside the plan, and makes you change your plan completely.

– Completing your initial goal even though a ‘detour’ had to be made

Those real adventures are really rare, because of the element of surprise – something unplanned has to happen. And when an unplanned obstacle gets in the way, sometimes the circumstances don’t allow you to complete the end goal of your trip. This adventure that I’m about to tell you includes all of those elements that I use to define a ‘Real Adventure.’ So let’s get on with the story!

A good adventure always starts with an event that spices things up and sets the whole mood for the upcoming trip. It doesn’t always have to be a good event… In this case, the night before our road trip, my friend’s ex-girlfriend puked all over the back seat of my car. No matter how hard I tried to clean and get the smell out with Febreeze, nothing worked. The following morning the car smelled like fresh puke mixed with flowery smell of Febreeze. It mid-fall, but we were driving on the highway absolutely frozen to our seats because we had with our windows fully open just to make it bearable to breathe.

It was around a 4 hour drive until we got to our destination (still not getting used to the smell), and to our disappointment, the mining facility was operational, complete with securities on guard. We tried to sneak to the bridge without being notices by the guards, approaching it from the hills next to the valley, but we got caught and sent away. For the rest of the day, we kept driving around trying to find a different way in. We didn’t find any way through where we wouldn’t get caught again. I remember feeling so disappointed and depressed that I wasn’t able to complete my goal and we decided to head back home. The sun started to go down, and with that came the heavy rain. It was a sad night…

But suddenly… a light switch turned in my head! A new idea! I remembered seeing a different bridge on the internet that was somewhat on the way from where we were coming from! That’s it! There was still hope to complete my goal! So we decided to drive to that bridge and, somehow, hopefully, find it at night (I didn’t know the exact location of that bridge). But for me the day turned brighter because there was still hope!

After a good dinner at Triple O’s, we began driving to our destination. The bridge was located on the highway at a much higher elevation, so when we were driving towards it, the heavy rain turned to heavy snow, it was already building up on the roads very quickly. I was driving a mustang at that time (a car that doesn’t drive on snow), so heavy snow was really bad news for us. At that location there was no place to turn around, so the only direction I could drive was straight until the highway dropped in elevation and the snow turned back to rain. With all the stress, we didn’t realise we had already passed the bridge and there was no way for us to drive back through the snow again (which was also our only way home). So we couldn’t get back home that night, and our one day trip turned into a 2 day trip, trapped inside that unbearably smelly car.

We decided to spend the night in Kamloops, a city a couple hours away from the bridge, and continue our search for the bridge the following day. While driving towards Kamloops, we thought, ‘why not make the best of the night and find out what’s happening in that city?’ It was Saturday night after all! We found out there was a rave going on. I had never been much of a raver, but I thought ‘why not, nothing better to do,’ plus it will be an interesting experience for my sister (who was only fifteen at the time). We had no clean clothing, so all three of us went shopping at Walmart for some clean and cheap outfits. While at the rave, it was a very weird experience, everyone was high on drugs and alcohol, and the three of us were fully sober. There were people wearing animal masks and just running around the dance floor all night, it was a strange place to be in. So after a couple of hours we decided to head to an abandoned city, Padova, that is very close to Kamloops. After visiting a few abandoned houses and being chased out by security (the city is abandoned yet it is guarded by security at night lol), we decided to call it a night and sleep in our Febreezed, puke-smelling car (by that time the smell was getting somewhat bearable).

Two hours later, we were woken up by a swarm of mosquitos eating us alive, and we decided we might as well drive towards the bridge!

And we have found it!

The next problem was to figure out how to set up the anchors and attach the rope. It took us a few hours to set it all up underneath the bridge. Meanwhile we were freezing our asses off from the cold and the howling wind that was running through the valley. And the whole time, the fear was paralyzing my body. I was asking myself ‘why do I have to jump it? Just put it off to another day when it’s not that cold…’ But deep down, I knew that I had to go through with it!

After the rope and anchor was set up, we went and sat in the car for 20 minutes to warm up…

Then, it was time.

Time to do what I had planned on doing!

I went up, attached myself to the rope, took a few breaths, and leaped off!

At that moment, my breathing stopped, and so it felt like the time froze as well. It felt like I was falling forever until I felt the rope tighten up and take me for a swing. What I felt, as I swung there… It was unexplainable. I had such a rush going through my body, it was insane!

And then the next problem was getting back up the rope. It took my frozen, tired ass roughly 30 mins to get back up the rope. But after that, what a relief it was!

Two years later, I made another bridge swing that was much bigger than the first one. This time I had enough of rope to rappel down. Here is the video of the second jump did in the summer of 2012:

 

Up to this day, I had many adventures, but nothing felt as crazy as this! 🙂

8 thoughts on “In Search for a ‘Real Adventure’

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