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MOSI's Sky Trail Zip Line isn't so scary, but watch out for that Sky Trail Ropes Course

By SEAN DALY

Times Staff Writer

TAMPA

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 sdaly@tampabay.com. Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

.fast facts

If you zip

MOSI's Sky Trail Zip Line is open daily, weather permitting. It's $15 for zip line, $20 if you include the ropes course, as well. Height and weight restrictions apply; closed-toed shoes are required. MOSI, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000; mosi.org.

Video

Ride along at tampabay.com/things-to-do.

MOSI's Sky Trail Zip Line isn't so scary, but watch out for that Sky Trail Ropes Course 07/18/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 1:20pm]

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