We all have a bucket list that includes life goals and at least one heart-stopping, adrenaline-jolting activity that we dream of doing before, well… the inevitable.
If you’re wondering how to get your adrenaline pumping, here are a couple of high-flying suggestions – all within easy driving distance from Springfield.
1. Ready to Parachute Out of a Perfectly Good Airplane?
Skydiving is one of those extreme sports that makes you say “what in the world was I thinking?” the first time you step out of an airplane at about 3,500 feet in the air and plummet to Earth. However, once you’ve made that first leap of faith, have felt the rush of air, followed by that really cool sensation of flying, you’ll be hooked.
Cost varies, depending upon what type of training you choose. However, as a point of reference, cost for the tandem freefall skydive – a popular choice among first-timers- is $209.
If jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is on your bucket list, visit Freefall Express in Mount Vernon, just 40 miles west of Springfield.
2. Up, up and away… Seeing the Ozarks from a Hot Air Balloon
Remember Around The World in 80 Days? What a grand adventure. Well, how does gently floating above the beautiful Ozarks landscape in a hot air balloon sound?
The experience of flying between 500 and 3,000 feet above terra firma in a hot air balloon is an experience like no other.
Because a hot air balloon rides on the wind, you don’t actually feel the wind. Removing that dimension creates a surreal, dreamlike sensation, and you end up feeling as though you’re simply suspended in midair.
Cost of a balloon ride is around $200 to $225 per person. The balloon ride lasts about an hour, but your adventure will actually continue for two to three hours, as you may be asked to help in the setting up and taking down of the balloon. Balloon rides are wrapped up with a glass of champagne – or a non-alcoholic beverage.
Ready to ride the wind?
Based in Springfield, BalloonSport USA gives rides at sunrise and two hours before sunset, as weather permits. Their Chief Pilot, Shane Robinson, is also the pilot for the Bass Pro Shops balloon. For more information, call 417-865-0800.
Ozarks Balloon Adventures, is located in Nixa, just south of Springfield. Call 417-725-3449 for more information.
3. Ziplining: This isn’t your grandma’s clothesline
This brings to mind Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where Indiana Jones steps off into thin air. Okay, well, maybe not… because he found footing. If you step off a zipline tower, you’re going to be reminded that Isaac Newton’s universal law of gravity was right on.
Ziplining is a kick and it’s quite simple. After a 10-minute orientation, you’ll climb to the top of the tower, or sometimes zipline companies will offer some form of transportation to the top. Then, all you have to do is hook up, step off the platform, and let it ride.
Zipline companies like Branson Zipline and Canopy Tours at Wolfe Creek Preserve, offer several different experiences that are designed to fit just about any budget and level of thrill-seeking. Prices range from about $40 per person for a 30-minute zipline adventure, to $130 for the Canopy Adventure Combo that lasts from three to four hours.
And, if you’re wondering what the difference between ziplining and canopy tours might be, it’s simply that canopy tours involve travelling from one tower to another via a zipline over a canopy of trees, while ziplining (or fastlining) involves a quick ride from the tower to the ground.
Check out ziplinerider.com for more information about local zipline companies.
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