Just like I think every adult should have a list of things to do before they die — a bucket list, as per pop culture — so too every child should have a parental-supported list of things to do before they leave the age of innocence and become a teenager. I decided to write that list down, and from my daughter’s fifth birthday until the day she turns thirteen we’re going to try and do them all. This is one of those one hundred things…
54. Walk across a suspended foot-bridge.
I’m sure I could write many, many words on character building that comes in the form of the adventure-like activities one may pay for whilst on vacation, but (a) it would all likely be a load of crap and (b) it turns out my daughter is not exactly afraid of heights, so such character has previously been built… somehow.
On our recent visit to Vancouver and around the west coast of Canada we did many tourist things and some of those things were moderately adventurous. But I will admit, the only activity that I was a little bit skittish about shelling out the nearly-three-digit admission fee for was the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. It wasn’t the cost; It was that I was a little worried we’d pay all that money for a bridge walk and then get to admire said bridge from the near side with a terrified seven-year-old gripping for dear life onto the platform.
As it turns out, she’s a bit of a thrill seeker for that and scampered onto the wobbly steel suspension bridge without even a glimmer of hesitation. The same for the tree walk adventure on the opposite side, where you traipse tree-to-tree Ewok-style as the wooden platforms suspended by some questionable physics creak and groan under the shifting weight of a hundred aimless tourists. Nor was she scared of the cliff walk, a narrow wooden platform arching out from the side of a cliff which one walks along single file with a bunch of other thrill-seekers.
Illusionary Suspended Suspense
Of course it’s all safe-as-safe-can-be. The information plaque at the far end explains that the delicate-seeming suspension bridge can take –and actually has taken– the impact of a multi-tonne tree landing on it after falling from a wind-storm, crashing down in the night with the force that would obliterate anybody foolish enough to be hanging out on a suspension bridge in the middle of the night during a notable weather event.
To a seven-year old, however, the illusion that clashes somewhere between death-defying thumbing your teeth at gravity and just another walk with mom and dad in the trees… that was worth that admission price.