Airmen Fly Through Colorado Gorges with Zip Adventures Vail, Colorado

Adapted from 2nd Lt. Bari D. Wald | Air Reserve Personnel Center Public Affairs

Zip Adventures of Vail hosted members of the Buckley Air Force Outdoor Recreation program in September.Zip Adventures of Vail had the honor and privilege of hosting Airmen and families of the US Military on September 20, 2014.  Buckley Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation program organized an exhilarating day of zip lining in the Vail Valley.  The day couldn’t have been more perfect for this admired group of active duty, Reserve and civilian personnel.

"When you have a deployed member and they come back and haven't seen their family in a while, sometimes it's difficult to bring back the cohesion and this is a good way to bring that back," said William C. Link III, outdoor recreation adventure programmer from the 460th Force Support Squadron. "A healthy family will create a healthier Airman and that will create a healthier Air Force.  It all adds together."

It certainly does add together.  Every participant had their own reasons for signing up for the tour.  For me, here on orders from March Air Reserve Base, California, I wanted to meet new people and experience what beautiful Colorado had to offer. I was not alone.

"These opportunities are exciting! They're fun and you get to meet a lot of new people and start networking.  It's not all about having fun, but also networking and getting to know other people," said Maj. Bradley K. Bair, assignment facilitator from ARPC.

After lunch at the Dillon Dam Brewery, we piled into the bus, bellies full and anxious to get to the highlight of the day, the zip line course. We arrived at Zip Adventures where we were given a safety brief and with the help of the tour guides, donned our zip gear.  Once geared-up, everyone piled into circa-1974 model Pinzgauers.  The Austrian-made, six-wheel-drive, all-terrain vehicles were originally manufactured in the 70's for transportation of military troops over rocky terrain. These vehicles delivered an authentic outdoorsy experience and as the dust kicked up around us, we headed for the course.

One by one we braved the six-part zip line course with lines ranging from The Bunny Hill, a beginner run, with a very gentle slope and easy take-off and landing to the What was I Thinking line that features a 1,000 foot-long zip line down the canyon with an aircraft carrier style landing.

With the turn of the season underway, we soared, zipped and flipped our way through the golden hues of fall.

"I missed some of it because I was hanging upside down but it was beautiful. The Aspen trees have fantastic color." said Susan Maier, base records/publications manager from the 460th Space Communications Squadron.

Members of the Buckley Air Force Outdoor Recreation program enjoyed a day of zip lining in Vail, Colorado at Zip Adventures.The best part for Rich was going upside down. "The last zip, the long one, was the most fun.  I got to do a little bit of everything --go upside down and spin around," said Rich.

He wasn't the only one who was "flipped" by this adventure.

"This is the first tour I've ever been on with Outdoor Recreation on any of my assignments and I thought it was pretty awesome," said Bair.  He goes onto say "It was something to get out, get away and have some fun and see the local area. I recommend anybody and everybody to take advantage of these opportunities."

On average the Buckley Outdoor Recreation program plans two trips per month.  Some are geared toward Airmen set to leave for or return from deployment, while others are geared for Airmen and their families.

For more information on the Outdoor Recreation program or to view upcoming events visit www.460fss.com/outdoor.html.  For more information about zipline tours in Vail, contact us today at (970) 926-9470.