High Flying on the Aerial Course at Mainland Adventure Park

“Man, you gotta place your fingers up in the air, like this. That is the finest way.” 
And with that, Natalie Oliveras, 24 of North Bergen, courageously stepped from the platform virtually 60 toes over the pavement and concrete of the go kart monitor underneath, and flew to the subsequent system.
Natalie Oliveras reveals off her design and style on the zip line. (Photograph by JD Watson)
Perfectly, ‘flew’ could be a extend. Connected by a protection harness to a zipline, her travels were being no cost of the concern of plummeting to the ground underneath that at situations accompany the worries of some when flying. Still, with her arms stretched out higher than her head, Oliveras was encountering a sure semblance of the thrill of flight.
And, real truth be instructed, Olivera’s bravado may have been at the very least to some degree directed at herself as she awaited her flip atop the system her fingers fidgeted nervously, betraying her trepidation.
The zip line from the best of the key tower, stretching west alongside Route 72 before returning to the superior system, is the pinnacle of the procedure of aerial road blocks comprising the Mainland Journey Park. The adventures incorporate a 50-foot climbing wall with a few routes for climbers to use the go kart track showcasing the two one and double seat go karts a children’s engage in fort and aerial program in excess of 50 aerial obstructions of growing issues the greater a single ascends the middle staircase. There is also an indoor arcade featuring some retro video clip video games these kinds of as Pac-Guy.
The aerial road blocks commence off as largely stationary troubles: logs with protruding bits, some shaped like shark fins supposedly to intimidate all those in the younger established, which adventurers need to navigate, all the although tethered to the protection line.
Adventurers on the Aerial Training course. (Image by Joanne Roe)
As the adventurers access more recent heights, the issue raises. Stationary hurdles turn out to be a set of ropes, most likely secured to each and every other by a established of ladder rungs or railroad ties. Unstable sufficient to be a obstacle but markedly easier than rubber swings climbers want to scurry throughout, which are additional steady than the solitary ropes comprising the better challenges.
While the actuality that all are properly secured to the overhead traces by means of their basic safety harnesses (reassuringly known as the “Koala”) may perhaps allow for some if not most adventurers to defeat their fears of beating these road blocks, it doesn’t completely negate the visceral dread of doing so dozens of ft in the air.
Twelve-12 months-outdated Isobel, from Hoboken, was vacillating among her concern and her want to conserve deal with in entrance of her more mature siblings (Xavier, 17, and Maisie, 14) and their cousin, Seamus, 17 of Toms River.  “I cannot go out there,” she quavered. “I’m scared.” 
Definitely, even 50 %-way up the 50-some-odd foot tall tower, the heights are daunting.
Dan Mercurio, Functions Manager for the Mainland Experience Park, acknowledged that fear, and the beating of that dread, is a massive component of the attraction of the obstacle park. Talking of the guests, he spelled out “they’re hooked in at all periods so it’s safe and sound but in some cases we even now need to have to get them to conquer individuals fears.” 
Of his employees, Mercurio reported that many have returned around the a few yrs the study course has been working and they recognize that various patrons come with different requires. “Some you hook in and go away them on your own.” Acknowledging that some adventurers succumb to worry and freeze out on the study course or, more generally, just just cannot handle to incorporate the strategic system with tactical specifications of power and equilibrium essential to navigate the specified impediment. Throw in the top at which they’re functioning and occasionally assist is demanded. “We have a pair of guides on each amount to go out and help, if required,” he described.
As if on cue, a guideline, Cat Cherence, 19 of Manahawkin, hooked into the basic safety line and went out to guide a youthful climber who, by means of a blend of panic and aggravation and confusion, just could not progress any more and found themself trapped in the center of a part of a rope obstacle. In spite of the basic safety harness, peak seemed to be the fantastic paralyzer.
Upon her return, Cherence explained how they do what they do. “It’s like we’re part psychologist,” she stated with a thoughtful chuckle. “That’s basically my major at Rutgers. We’re genuinely making an attempt to enable them get earlier their worry. Most of us just offer you moral assistance. In that way, it’s just about like coaching.”
Cat Cherence going to a patron’s assist. (Image by JD Watson)
Coaching is just what numerous on the training course desired. Seamus, having difficulties to achieve the subsequent swing with just one foot though standing with his other foot on the former swing, which–obeying the legal guidelines of physics–widened the hole amongst the swings as he extended his heart of gravity in his endeavor to progress, seemingly unsuccessful to realize the wire suspended underneath the impediment enabling him, or any individual, to simply just stroll across as if on a tightrope. The top, and the perceived threat, interfered with the even most basic of responsibilities. 
The road blocks would nevertheless be a obstacle even with two ropes underneath foot.
Each obstacle is capped by a modest zipline, main the adventurers back to the principal tower and the upcoming obstacle.
Maisie ziplining soon after completing an obstacle. (Picture by Joanne Roe)
Youthful Isobel, soon after getting conquered her fears and the reduce amount of obstructions, now felt certified to critique her siblings’ efforts. As Xavier returned on the zip line after a person notably complicated segment, he grabbed a rope there to assist him in his completion of his operate and aiding in his hoisting himself again up on to the system but he had grabbed it a minimal too early, stalling his development and leaving him dangling a number of toes limited of his target, demanding him to haul himself ingloriously the previous couple of feet, rarely the triumphant soaring return he had certainly supposed. “You should not get the rope so early,” his youthful sister chided him.
In spite of her bravado, youthful Isobel admitted to the psychological games gravity would enjoy. “At the finish, when I would phase (onto the last system) I’d be fearful I would drop above,” she discussed.
And, therein, lies the fun. Like a rollercoaster travelling at perilous speeds or a frightening film, the adventure course allowed patrons to experience and ideally overcome their fears from a secure perch.
Seamus climbs the cargo web as Xavier moves on. (Picture by Joanne Roe)
Nevertheless, as opposed to individuals other vicarious thrills, the journey course needs additional lively participation: one particular desires to navigate the road blocks. A blend of setting up, equilibrium, toughness and, certainly, bravery, is needed for the greatest completion of the class. Receiving caught in a precarious placement, despite the protection harness, is however a terrifying proposition since of the dizzying heights associated. 
Some of the additional difficult obstacles experienced cords crossing in a advanced world-wide-web, requiring the adventurers to step in excess of specified strains in a puzzling, seemingly incongruous but in the long run productive, development. Where by the cords crossed, protecting balance became increasingly challenging. “You’re hooked in so it’s not scary, at all. I felt additional stupid, struggling to continue to keep my balance in the center of the air,” Seamus described with a sheepish grin.
Back on prime of the tower, a line of adventurers have been waiting to conquer the last obstacle, the collection of zip strains. A worker gave them 1 final little bit of guidance: pull your knees to your upper body you will go a lot quicker. Like this? a youthful thrill seeker questioned with a giggle as he leapt from the platform and pulled his knees up to his torso, wrapping his arms around his shins, zipping with youthful exuberance.
Again on reliable ground, the four cousins gathered at the coated patio lounge for a spherical of lemonade and lunch and the chance to trade tales of their adventures. Sometimes, the danger would grow with just about every retelling, as occasionally happens. The shared laughs and contented glint in their younger eyes advised their possess infectious stories. Despite her obvious reticence when aloft, Maisie summed up the group’s working experience. “I loved it,” she exclaimed. “I can not wait around to do it once more.”
Seamus keeping away from having tangled in an obstacle. (Image by Joanne Roe)
Seamus navigating an impediment. (Photograph by Joanne Roe)
Seamus walks a tightrope. (Picture by Joanne Roe)
Seamus stretching to access the platform. (Photograph by Joanne Roe)
Seamus ziplining soon after finishing an impediment. (Photo by Joanne Roe)
Xavier balancing on the ropes. (Image by Joanne Roe)
Xavier stepping gingerly from swing to swing. (Photo by Joanne Roe)
The Mainland Journey Park is positioned at 151 NJ-72 in Manahawkin. Hrs of operation differ and are anticipated to develop to 5 days a week after Father’s Day. Visitors are referred to themainlandnj.com/experience-park/ to e book situations or email adventure@themainlandnj.com or get in touch with 609-481-6111 for far more data.  —J.D.W.

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