Zipping into total darkness: Off the Grid Mountain Adventures offers “trippy” zip lining experience

Published 3:22 pm Thursday, July 7, 2016

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For some, zipping down a 3,000 foot zip line is enough to feed their adventurous needs .

The folks over at Off the Grid Mountain Adventures, however, wanted to take things to another level and are now giving thrill seekers the chance to ride their 3,000 foot zip line in the blackness of night.

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Off the Grid owner Monie McCoury said that riding the 3,000 zip line during the day is pretty exhilarating, but riding the longest zip line in the eastern United States in the dark is a completely different experience.

“As the guest take off, they are zipping into total darkness,” McCoury said..” So you don’t you see anything. So it heightens all the feelings of zipping. Everyone who has done it during the day says how amazing it is. Those who come back at night say, ‘Man, that is trippy.”’

McCoury knows all about the feeling of zipping in total darkness because he has experienced it first hand.

“It is amazing,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect, because you don’t see anything. During the day, you see the trees, you see the mountains, you see the horizon. At night time, you don’t know where you are starting or where you are ending. I mean, to not know where you are going is pretty insane.”

The nighttime zip line ride is apart of Off the Grids’ Black Light Tours, which takes patrons on a neon-filled, psychedelic adventure. The tour starts out with an ATV ride that  slowly climbs a steep path adorned in graphics and visuals that glow bright under black lights. At the top is where riders will then strap in and take flight on the zip line.

“We go up the mountain slow, so that you can take in all of the things,” McCoury said. “We have thousands of things up there that are painted. We have trinkets and different things, like, horses and butterflies. We have a lot of little things that are painted and placed into the mountain as well as trees that are painted with graphics. During the day, it looks like graffiti. At night, it glows three dimensionally and comes to life.”

It may be a crazy experience for those riding the zip line. However, McCoury said it is a pretty crazy sight for those watching at the bottom of the zip line.

“Every one of our guests have a glow stick on and a flashing light.,” he said. “We have a blacklight at the bottom and they have all that neon blacklight stuff on. They may not see anything, but we can see them and they look like a Learjet coming in.”

Off the Grid is offering the Black Light Tour for $29 which gets the purchaser a ride on the 3,000 foot zip line, the ATV ride to the top of the mountain, and a ride on the Tower in the Sky zip line.

The Black Light Tours are being offered on ThursdayFriday and Saturday and require reservations. Tours start at 9:30 p.m.

Right now, Off the Grid has the longest zip line on the eastern coast, but McCoury and his crew are not stopping there. In the future, McCoury plans to start construction of a zip line that will be around 4,000 foot long,  making it the longest zip line in the country. And the reason for building it is simple.

“Because nobody else is,” McCoury said with a smile.

Call 423-707-6022 for reservations and more information. Off the Grid Mountain Adventures is located at 1825 US-19E, Elizabethton.