On a mountain ridge near Ponca, a group of adventurous souls gather. There is safety gear involved, none of it particularly comfortable or flattering. But considering everyone will all be hanging by a cable 60 feet in the air -- no one complains.
One of the guides comforts the crowd, "If you're a little nervous, let them know. Say you know what, I'm a little nervous about this."
There are introductions because everyone will be in close quarters for the next three or so hours in the tops of the trees. "I'm Tiffany from Shreveport, and he saw it online so we figured we'd give it a try,." Two thousand feet of steel cable make up the course we'll be taking -- the result of careful construction and years of planning
Mike Mills, owner of Buffalo Outdoor Center explains, "My wife and I were in Costa Rica about five years ago. We did a zip line down there. We're very good friends with the gentleman who owned it. He said you ought to let me come up and build you one. You're in the mountain with trees and all that kind of stuff. And I said, you know that's a great idea. I just didn't feel like it was quite the right timing yet."
This March construction started on Arkansas' first zip line canopy tour, And after a couple months of rigging and construction, folks are lining up to fly through the tree tops.
If you're not a fan of heights, that first step can be a bit un-nerving. Buit there's good natured encouragement from the others on the tour.
And by the second or third try -- you actually get comfortable with the equipment and the height.
Zip line canopy tours originated in Costa Rica as a way to observe the fauna of the rain forest.
Mills says, "Right now our society is looking for some soft adventure, something they've never done before that's completely safe. And as you can tell from the people and tour we've got people who've never done anything like this before out there just having a blast."
"I loved it", says Jessica Macre. "It was really fun. It was a good thing to do especially on this gorgeous day.
Jessica and Jeffrey Wallace are from Blytheville and in spite of his reservations, even Jeffrey liked the tour.
"It was fun, once I got used to it," he admits.
You can feel the trees sway as everyone takes a turn on the line. Safety lines keep everyone secure as you take time to enjoy the scenery.
But it's the thrill of zipping though the air that brought everyone here -- and will likely bring some of us back for another trip.
The Buffalo River Canopy Tour - it's another place that will leave you Amazed by Arkansas.