Arts & Culture News

Trinity Forest Adventure Park Tests Out the Theory That Only the Good Die Young

First of all right off the bat and here at the top, let me say that the Trinity Forest Adventure Park -- a tree-top park combining zip lining with a kind of ropes course -- is fun, brand-new, clean, well-run and operated by very nice people. But that would bring us to the second thing.

In the accompanying video here you will see my own personal encounter with the park, which, if you can hear it, includes a lot of foul-mouthed nattering that I sort of wasn't even aware of until I watched the video for the first time. I can explain that, I think.

But I just wanted to say right at the beginning that none of the profane rambling in the video is directed at the park, which I thought was a great place. It is all about the Dallas Observer, which would bring us to the third thing.

Pretend that you are an editor at the Observer. You see an interesting event coming up -- the opening of a new treetop adventure and fitness center -- and you decide to have someone cover it. You have an entire staff of very fit enthusiastic young men and women. But there in that far dark little cubby hole, who is it you spy? Oh, it's that old guy! Hey. What if we sent the old guy out?

In fact, did the old guy not mention once that he has an insane fear of heights? All of a sudden we get a vision of him up there with a bad case of the spastic wobblies. Great video, right? Him up there in the treetops doing the stanky leg dance on a high-wire! Which would bring us to the fourth thing -- the question that was raised, in fact, by the old guy's wife. Why would he agree to do a thing like this anyway? This is still America. They can't just tell you to kill yourself.

Ah, but you see, there's the rub. Whatever you refuse to do on the grounds of being old, the next thing will only be worse. Show weakness once, and you're going to find yourself chained to a stake with young people siccing their child-substitute pets on you.

So here is what I want to do. I want to issue my sincere apologies to the proprietors of Trinity Forest Adventure Park, which is a new part of Southern Cross Ranch, an event center in far southern Dallas near the intersection of Interstate 20 and I-45. I was not fully aware of the self-nattering issue. I'm genuinely sorry. I think I may have Tourette syndrome. They deserved better.

The adventure park, set in the Trinity Forest area, is not the Southpark episode, "I should have never gone zip lining," about how four fourth-grade boys almost die -- well, one of them does die - from boredom at a zip-lining park. Beginning with a kind of beginner's bunny slope, which is what I did, to higher and more difficult courses, the park is really a combination of zip lining with other aerial challenges, some of which even on the bunny course did trigger my Tourette's.

But, look, there were two 13-year-old boys there when I was there, one of whose mothers drove them all the way from Frisco, having a heck of a time. A couple of Navy Seal-looking dudes were way up above us doing something that involved shouting and a high-pitched mechanical screaming noises, but I couldn't look. I just saw dark masses flying around like meteors out of the corner of my eye, which also triggered some Tourette's. There was a romantic young couple who drove three hours from Shreveport.

It costs $35 to $45 for three hours depending on age if you walk in, less for a reservation. The availability dates are a little complicated, so I will let you figure that out by looking at their reservations website. It's 9 a.m. to dusk. I do notice that they will be open all week from March 9 through 15.

By the way, if you Google "zip lining Dallas" you will see that they are not the only zip-line park in the metro area. But I think they're a great one. The lower age limit is 10. There is no upper age limit. I think people older than 65 should not only get in free, we should be paid, and our appearances should be staged at regular intervals.