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Flying High On Life: Adrenaline Rush Zip Line Tour


Written and Photographed by Lynn Dark

If zip lining is on your bucket list, you should definitely check out Adrenaline Rush Zip Tour. Located about six miles south of Jacksonville, Adrenaline Rush boasts eight zips that are spread out over 52 scenic acres. Most of the zips take you across beautiful lakes. The 8th and final zip is one of the longest in Texas at 1700 feet.

Adrenaline Rush Zip Line Tour tyler txWhen I visited the property to meet with company owner Annette Kimbrell for an interview, she graciously invited me to return the next day for a zip tour. Unfortunately, I have a condition known as acrophobia, more commonly known as fear of heights. Kimbrell explained that some people come out specifically to conquer that fear. Sadly, I will not be one of those people. However, I strongly encourage others to do that very thing.

If you are interested in zip lining, you couldn’t find a better place to do it. For people who are willing to leave the ground, it seems like it would be very exciting. You can travel from one station to another at up to 40 miles per hour – even faster if the conditions are right, and you know what you’re doing.

For those who have never been, or only have a vague idea about what zip lining entails, here are some of the basics: First of all, you wear a harness which is then attached to not one but two galvanized steel cables. You also wear a helmet. You climb onto a stand for each zip. Once there, a staff member attaches you to the cables with carabiners and sends you on your way. Another staff member is waiting at the other end to catch and unhook you.

Adrenaline Rush Zip Line Tour tyler tx 3Closed toed shoes are required (no flip flops), and long hair should be placed in a ponytail. Weather appropriate attire should be worn, and gloves will be provided.

To zip the longest line takes anywhere from 30 to 50 seconds, depending on certain factors. Wind, weight, and technique are among the things that determine your speed. There are tours of five, seven, and eight zips available. It takes about an hour to complete five zips, and about an hour and a half to do all eight. Times vary depending on the number of people on the tour, as well as whether people stop to visit, etc. You should arrive 30 minutes prior to your tour time.

You don’t have to be in great shape to zip line, but you do have to weigh less than 275 pounds. Children should be at least seven years old. Adrenaline Rush strives to accommodate the elderly, having had guests as old as 90. They have had participants with a wide range of disabilities including missing upper limbs, and blindness. People diagnosed with cancer who choose to live life to the fullest come out for tours. Visitors must be able to get up the steps of the stands on their own. Zip lining while pregnant is strongly discouraged.

The company has an impeccable safety record. There have been no equipment malfunctions or accidents, and the only minor injuries (bumps and bruises) have occurred when people have failed to follow instructions. For example, you are told specifically not to try to stop yourself by putting your legs down, but to keep them up and be caught at the end. Those who disregard that directive place themselves in a position to receive minor injuries. All tour participants are required to sign a waiver prior to their tour.

Adrenaline Rush Zip Line Tour tyler tx 2I assumed that the purpose of two lines was that if one line breaks, the other is there to catch you. While that presumption is technically true, that isn’t the reason, rather there is actually less wear and tear on the lines if two are used instead of one. The lines are inspected monthly by the company and annually by an outside inspector. Using two lines means that they won’t have to be replaced as often.

Adrenaline Rush Zip Line Tour, LLC opened in 2011, and is open all year. It is busier when the weather is nice, but they will do tours all year for those who are willing to brave the elements. Summer is
usually the busiest time, and the company has averaged about 2500 visitors per year. People from as far away as England, Africa, China, and Greenland have found their way to the property.

When a photographer is available, you can purchase photos of your zip tour for $5. The pictures are placed on a CD, which you can take with you when you leave that day. Adrenaline Rush does not advertise this, as they are not always able to have a photographer present.

Gift certificates are available for birthday or Christmas gifting. The company currently sells t-shirts in the gift shop, and is considering offering other souvenirs in the future.

The company operates by reservation only, and 24-48 hour notice is required. You might want to consider more notice during busier periods, as a tour could fill up during your preferred time. The facility will sometimes close for a day or two to give the staff a short break.

Once you’ve made your reservation, a staff member will text you directions based on where you are coming from. Groups of up to 37 people can be accommodated at one time.

For more info including current pricing, please visit their website at www.daretozip.com. To make a reservation call (903)683-6855. A credit card is required, and there is a no-show/late cancellation fee.


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Around East Texas

July 26th: Daddy Daughter Date Night returns to the Rose Garden Center

Tickets are now on sale for the Daddy Daughter Date Night sponsored by the Tyler Parks and Recreation Department and Chick-Fil-A. The special event is on Thursday, July 26 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive. Tickets can be purchased at http://daddy-daughter:eventbrite.com for only $20 per dad and daughter. Several seating times are available to choose from on Eventbrite.

Each dad and daughter will enjoy an evening “Under The Sea” with a meal provided by Chick-Fil-A and Smallcakes. There will be photo opportunities, which are included in the ticket price. Live entertainment and a craft project for dads and daughters to work on together are lined up and surprises to take home.

“It will be a great night for dads to treat their daughters like a princess, hang out with the Chick-fil-A cows and have great one-on-one conversation throughout the evening,” said Debbie Isham, special events/recreation manager.

This event is sponsored by the Tyler Parks and Recreation Department, Chick-Fil-A, Smallcakes, Evoynne’s Florist, Flowers and Gifts and All American Tent and Party Rental.

For more information, please call Debbie Isham, special events/recreation manager at (903) 531-1214.

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Downtown

It’s Time for Ice Cream: Move Over Summer Heat

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Summer is a wonderful thing. When the weather warms up, people head outdoors. Days are long and hot and it’s perfect conditions for swimming, canoeing, biking, and picnics.

And best of all, a sweaty brow is a great excuse to gather your friends and go out for a drippy cone of ice cream. It’s cold. It’s sweet. It’s creamy. And that burst of fruit-filled, nutty, or chocolate-chunky flavor can be incredibly refreshing when the steamy heat of summer starts to weigh you down.

As far as we’re concerned, ice cream is summer’s most delightful treat. Here are a few of our favorite sweet treats – from ice cream and froyo to shakes and custards.

Grub Burger Bar

Grub Burger Bar (6421 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler, grubburgerbar.com) features some simply wonderful shakes in traditional flavors: strawberry, vanilla bean, and chocolate, plus Nutella, salted caramel, Root Beer float, and a monthly special.

Several hand spun specialities of the house are the “Kitchen Sink,” featuring pretzels, peanut butter, salt, butterscotch sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate chips, coffee grounds, and potato chips (yes, potato chips). It is unique and heavenly and has a wonderful salty-sweet combo with a slight surprise crunch. Another favorite, the Worms & Dirt shake, has a ton of crushed Oreos and gummy worms.

If you are a chocolate lover, these two are for you. The ET Shake is like getting the entire candy aisle all in one glass with Reeses pieces, peanut butter, chocolate, and a peanut butter cookie. The Mint Chocolate Chip will hit the spot too with homemade crushed brownies, Andes mints, and a ton of chocolate.

For adults, Grub Burger Bar offers spiked shakes too. They have Bourbon & Caramel, Boozy Mint Chocolate Chip (vodka, crème de cacao, creme de mènthe, and Andes mints), the Tipsy Worms & Dirt (chocolate vodka, crushed Oreos, and gummy worms), and the ET Drunk Dial (chocolate vodka, Reeses pieces, peanut butter, chocolate, and a peanut butter cookie). Our favorite is the Spiked Dirty Kitchen Sink (chocolate vodka, pretzels, peanut butter, salt, butterscotch sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate chips, coffee grounds, and Grub’s signature topping – potato chips).

Andy’s Frozen Custard

Andy’s Frozen Custard (6106 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler, eatandys.com) has always been fanatical about custard and has served it with pride since March 19, 1986. For more than three decades, only the freshest ingredients have been used for a frozen custard experience you can’t get anywhere else.

The difference? Ice cream is made from milk, cream, or a combination of the two. Andy’s Frozen Custard is made from milk, cream, and egg yolks. Also, while the machine used to make ice cream churns air into it to make it light, frozen custard is produced in a machine that barely incorporates air into it at all, which means it comes out way more dense.

Andy’s Frozen Custard has mastered custard and they offer a lot of creations that will cool you off this hot summer. A few of our favorites are Andy’s Ozark Turtle (custard covered with hot fudge, crème caramel, roasted pecans, and topped with a cherry), The Original Straw-Ana (frozen custard covered with delicious strawberries and sliced bananas – think banana split ala custard), and Butter Pecan Concrete which is Andy’s frozen custard blended with butterscotch and roasted pecans.

For chocolate lovers, you will think you have found heaven with Andy’s Triple Chocolate Concrete (chocolate frozen custard blended with chocolate chip cookie dough and melted chocolate chips).

The Snowmonster Concrete has frozen custard blended with strawberries and melted chocolate chip. And the customer favorite, Andy’s Turtle Split has custard, a whole banana covered with hot fudge, crème caramel, roasted pecans, and topped with a cherry…Andy’s own version of a banana split.

Andy’s has a convenient drive-thru and picnic tables out front that can accommodate a large group.

Mercado’s Cafe & Posado’s Cafe

In the mood for something a little different? How about ice cream in a fried tortilla! Mercado’s (2214 WSW Loop 323, Tyler) and their sister company Posado’s Cafe (2500 E. Fifth St., Tyler) has a unique menu item – the Bunuelo – a large golden-fried tortilla dusted with cinnamon and sugar and filled with big scoops of vanilla ice cream. It is served with your choice of syrup topping, whipped cream, and their specially-made praline pecans. This is a great treat after any meal and certainly a nice way to cool off on a hot summer day.

SweetFrog Frozen Yogurt

SweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt (2467 Crow Rd., Tyler, sweetfrog.com) is new to the fro-yo scene in Tyler but they are certainly not new to creating a great product. They feature a “create your own” bar where you can combo delicious, soft-serve premium frozen yogurt and a ton of toppings. The combinations are endless! You can create everything from a light snack, a decadent dessert, and everything in between. You pick the flavors, then add the toppings, and you can make it any way you want!

From SweetFrog’s lovable mascots, Scoop and Cookie, to the meaning of the store’s name of F.R.O.G. in SweetFrog which stands for ‘Fully Rely On God,’ SweetFrog is a great place to quench your fro-yo cravings.

Pokey O’s Tyler

Pokey O’s Tyler (facebook.com/pokeyostyler) What exactly is a Pokey O’s? Well, it is a made-to-order ice cream sandwich individually customized for you from the Pokey O’s dessert food truck. You can create any combo you can dream up – customizing the yummy fresh cookies and Blue Bell® ice cream – into a Pokey O’s!

A favorite is the not highly creative but totally heavenly combo of chocolate chip cookies and chocolate ice cream – a chocolate lover’s dream! 

The menu changes daily but standards are chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, fudge nut brownie, white chocolate, macadamia nut, sugar cookie, cappuccino chocolate chip, maple pecan, and more.

Blue Bell® Ice cream flavors include traditional vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate, sea salt and caramel, cookies ‘n cream, coffee, cake batter, rocky road, pecan pralines and cream, mocha almond, cotton candy, peachy peach and peppermint.

The Porch @ ETX Brewing Co.

The Porch @ ETX Brewing Co. (221 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler, etxbrew.com) serves Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream, a Mom & Pop shop in Plano, Texas. You can get a cone or get it on top of their handmade Bread Pudding. The Porch offers a new creative kind of bread pudding every week. Recently, The Porch has had Grilled Peach with Cinnamon Stout Sauce topped with pecans and Henry’s Cinnamon Ice Cream! They always have four different flavors of ice cream and keep them rotating.

Twisted Root Burger Co.

Twisted Root Burger Co. (4601 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler, twistedrootburgerco.com) is known for their burgers but did you know they specialize in shakes too? They have a great selection (some with alcohol) like the Fat Elvis (custard with peanut butter with bacon on top), Banana Pudding & Vanilla Wafer, Banana & Baileys, Creme De Menthe & Chocolate Chips. Our favorite is the Banana Foster which comes with custard mixed with bananas, caramel and sliced almonds, topped with whip cream and more caramel. It is truly drool-worthy!

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Bands

July 27th: SFO, A Journey Tribute Band at Bergfeld Park

The City of Tyler will host the annual Bergfeld Summer Showcase at Bergfeld Park, located at 1510 S. College Ave., on Friday, July 27. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with fun and food trucks and live music beginning at 7 p.m.

This year, SFO – A Journey Tribute, a Nashville native band will take the stage. SFO recreates the experience of a 1980’s concert, playing all the Journey hits that you know and love with a special salute to Kansas and Foreigner. The band is made up of top-notch musicians from Nashville, Florida, and Minnesota who bring the highest level of musicianship to the audience.

Frontman Gabe Jacobs delivers powerful vocals to his audience by closely emulating the vocals and stage presence of legendary Steve Perry.

“This band will transport you back to the 80’s with all the songs you know by heart!” said Adriana Rodriguez, event coordinator.

The local favorite food trucks will be present for quality dining including Say Cheese, Weinerland, Lupita’s, Kona Ice and Pokey O’s.

For more information, contact Adriana Rodriguez at (903) 595-7248 or at ARodriguez@TylerTexas.com.

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