By SEAN DALY
Times Staff Writer
My fear of heights is neither irrational nor persistent; it does, however, show up at lousy times — like climbing the Hitchcockian stairs to the top of MOSI's new Sky Trail Zip Line, several stories high.
Never mind that I had been safely snapped into the contraption before I even left the ground. Never mind that there are at least three safety checks along the way. Even if I fell off the side of the blue steel beast on my way up I couldn't actually fall.
Part of the problem — or thrill, if you're not a giant ninny — is that you have to traverse a swath of the Sky Trail Ropes Course to get to the zip line platform. The ropes course, which debuted last year, is a far more nerve-testing experience, a series of bridges, tightropes and tiny platforms with no guardrails to protect you from the 65-feet drop. (Trust me, that's higher than you think.)
It can play with your head for sure, total spinny Vertigo action. I was actually relieved when it was my turn to "zip," which you do in a cradled, sort-of-seated position. You sit, you lift your feet and they give you a friendly shove across 350 feet (and then back!) of lush lawn between the museum's main building and its adjacent children's wing
No screams, just fun.
In fact, I got stuck not once, but twice, dangling from the zip line in the middle of nowhere. But I wasn't afraid of that. Not in the slightest. They just sent out a rope to help pull me to safety — that is, the knee-knocking horror of the platform. (To be fair, the second platform is more enclosed than the launch site.)
According to Wit Ostrenko, the president and CEO of MOSI — and, as we stood in line together, a man much braver than me — it cost close to $1 million to have the folks at Sky Trail bring in an intricate ropes course and the accompanying zip line.
It's a nice addition for the venerable Museum of Science and Industry, especially as it's also relatively cheap: $15 for the zip line, $20 for both the zip line and ropes course. There are other pricing plans that include museum admission, all of them fairly affordable.
By the way, I should add that the vistas from both zip line platforms are lovely, especially the second landing, which offers a gorgeous view of Busch Gardens and its myriad majestic coasters — none of which made me whimper like climbing up to conquer MOSI's newest thrill.
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.