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Adventure Park delivers a day of thrills

Our writer tackles a day of fun at the Mt. Hood Adventure Park
by: submitted photo The hamster balls provide a sort of human demolition derby at the Mount Hood Adventure Park.

After wearing out my welcome at the local golf courses and pools I was in desperate need of a summer activity to quench my desire for something to do. Enter Ski Bowl's Adventure Park.

As a new resident to the Portland area, I wasn't sure quite what to expect from the twenty attractions the park had to offer, but I was not disappointed.

The day began with a trip down the park's most famous attraction, the alpine slide.  Little did I know, however, that the day actually began on the way up to the alpine slide during my trip up the slow-moving and relaxing chair lift.  The lift offered a panoramic, above-the-tree view of the Mt. Hood National Forest along with Mt. Hood itself.

After reaching the top of the lift I got into a cart and began my plummet down the alpine slide.  The slide itself is a half-mile long track down the face of a ski run that was like nothing else I had ever experienced. The best way to describe the slide is a blissful combination of go-karts and sledding that couldn't exist in a more beautiful setting.

From the slide I was able to do a bit of exploring around the miles and miles of mountain biking and hiking trails that take the place of ski runs throughout the summer months.

The next stop in my exploration led me across the highway to the park's East Base Area at the Multopor Lodge.  While the West Base offers a lot of wilderness activities, the East side offers a mix of the park's more extreme activities right alongside their kid-centered areas.

While I didn't have time to check out the park's batting cages or go-karts, I headed straight for the newest attraction, the human hamster balls.  While it isn't often that one gets the chance to run around inside a thick wall of plastic and ram into friends, my time here was short-lived simply because of how exhausting it was.

As tiring as that was, however, it was my next task that left me the most out of breath.

Upon entering the park I specifically pointed out that the only attractions I would avoid were anything involving the word 'bungee.' While it wasn't a fear of heights that caused this reaction, the thought of jumping off a platform or being launched sixty feet into the air just never crossed my mind.

As I approached the table to sign a waiver and get a harness for the zipline, however, my world was turned upside down.  Suddenly after some quick persuading from the people behind the table, I found my toes over the edge of a platform 100 feet in the air with a bungee chord hooked to my chest.  And then I jumped.

While the three seconds of free fall may be among the most thrilling things I have ever experienced, the decision to jump off the edge was not a regrettable one.  So much so in fact, that I quickly moved from there to the 'Rapid Riser Reverse Bungee' where I was once again strapped in, however this time my experience began by lying on my back instead of jumping off a platform.

After the obligatory 'Three, Two, One, Bungeeee!' countdown, the rope attached to my chest was yanked towards the sky, propelling me sixty feet into the air time and time again.

After meeting my quota of time spent free-falling for one day, I decided to end the day with a trip down the park's zipline. While I've always been a big fan of ziplines, one park employee said it best when he told me, 'I feel bad for the people that do this right after the bungees, it must seem like such a let down.'

While I wouldn't describe the zipline as a let down, it definitely wasn't the thrill it would have been had I done it first.

Overall the day was action packed and has definitely secured Ski Bowl's spot on my 'things to do during the summer' list for years to come.