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Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

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Zip line offers Bobcats and their dads an opportunity for adventure [PHOTO ESSAY]


Adventure was literally in the air this Ohio University Dads Weekend as some fathers and their Bobcat sons and daughters took the plunge at the Outdoor Pursuits' zip line at The Ridges.

The Dads Weekend Zip Line Adventure was offered Saturday and Sunday of Dads Weekend, which was held Nov. 8-10. The zip line adventure served as a unique bonding experience for not only OHIO fathers and their sons and daughters but also amongst the Bobcat fathers who cheered each other on as they waited in line for their chance to take the leap.

For some, like OHIO senior Jessica Luzar and her father, Frank, the weekend was the culmination of four years of Ohio University Dads Weekends. For others, like sophomore Cassie Brown and her father, Mark, the weekend was a first.

This weekend was not only the Browns' first Dads Weekend at Ohio University but also their first experience zip lining.

Cassie Brown noted that zip lining with her father seemed rather appropriate.

"He was the first person to take me on a roller coaster," Cassie Brown said of her father. "I feel like my first adventurous experiences are with him."

Cassie Brown said she was enjoying sharing her OHIO experience with her father.

"It's fun to show him around, what I do and to show him what I call home," she said.

This was the fourth year that Frank Luzar attended Ohio University's Dads Weekend but his first time zip lining.

"I zip lined on Moms Weekend two years ago for the first time," said Jessica Luzar. "My mom loved it, so we had to come back for my dad to try it."

While Frank Luzar enjoyed the experience, he commented, "I think once will be enough. We're going to take a good memory and hold on to it."

The Zip Line Adventure was first incorporated into Ohio University family weekends on Moms Weekend in 2010. It was extended to Dads Weekend in 2012.

"The zip line activity has been offered on all of the family weekends and has been so popular that we have a hard time meeting the demand," said Dan Vorisek, director of OHIO's Outdoor Pursuits, the adventure recreation department of the Division of Student Affairs.

"Students like it because it is a new experience, it is a good value and provides an easily accessible outdoor adventure option to the standard activities in Athens and on campus for visiting family," Vorisek said. "In the future, it would be nice to add another zip line to meet demand and allow even more students to experience a little outdoor adventure on our campus."

The zip line at The Ridges is a permanent fixture that runs about 300 feet long with about a 20-foot vertical drop. It is part of the Outdoor Pursuits Challenge Program and ropes course for team building exercises, leadership development and simply having fun and is available to the OHIO community through Campus Recreation and Outdoor Pursuits. The course is also offered as a university class, REC 3200: Challenge Course Theory and Practice. It is a three-credit course primarily for recreation majors offered in fall semesters. 

Clare Palo zips

Ohio University student Clare Palo screams as she takes the plunge during the Dads Weekend Zip Line Adventure, held Saturday and Sunday at the Outdoor Pursuits' zip line at The Ridges. 

Mike Baumgardner zips

Mike Baumgardner, whose daughter Carlee is an OHIO Bobcat, is all smiles as he celebrates Ohio University's Dads Weekend by zip lining with his daughter Saturday at The Ridges. 

Cassie Brown zips

OHIO sophomore Cassie Brown has her first zip line experience at Saturday's Dads Weekend Zip Line Adventure. 

Addie Keyerleber zips

Addie Keyerleber is one of several Ohio University students who went zip lining at The Ridges this past weekend.

Carlee and Mike Baumgardner

Bobcat Carlee Baumgardner and her father, Mike, pose for a photo after completing their zip line adventure.

Bill Keuse

Bill Keuse of Kent, Ohio, soars across the 300-foot-long zip line at The Ridges. The zip line is part of the Outdoor Pursuits Challenge Program and ropes course. 

Clare Palo prepares to zip

Ohio University student Clare Palo prepares to drop from the rockwall and let the zip line carry her away while Cassie and Mark Brown and Outdoor Pursuits employee Ruth Lammers look on.

Mark Brown zips

Mark Brown whose daughter Cassie is a sophomore at OHIO rides the zip line during his first Ohio University's Dads Weekend.

Mike Baumgardner watches daughter zip

Mike Baumgardner watches his daughter, Carlee, experience the zip line as he waits for his turn.

Cassie and Mark Brown

Ohio University sophomore Cassie Brown and her father, Mark, pose for a photo after their first zip line experience.