John Wayne McKinstry

In a mansion in Denmark we saw a collection of John Wayne memorabilia, and were pleased to recall to its owner that John Wayne was born in Iowa.  No, my middle intial  "W" doesn't stand for  Wayne but for Walter.  We rode marvelous horses up and down steep, muddy rainforest trails.  Heading uphill we leaned forward and heading downhill we leaned back and put our feet out in front like riders on a bull to aid in the horse's balance.  My horse ":Cantina" huffed up and down steep hillsand broke into a celebratory trot at the relative ease of travel after reaching each ridge top.  She blinked slowly to acknowledge my praise of her climbing efforts by my  stroking of her neck.  On a steep slope above the corral a man with bare feet and a broad-brimmed straw hat had just finished harvesting corn which was grown on narrow terraces in the same manner as coffee.  He had piled the silks and husks in the middle of the corral while we were on the trail and I guided Cantina to the pile and let her eat before I dismounted.  After a two-hour ride I felt like I'd just gotten off of a boat with sea legs. Ziplines and horses are supposed to be the means by which we penetrate the rain forest to see its wonders, but they become activities in themselves.

Me Tarzan- you Nancy.  There were eleven zip lines and one Tarzan Swing separated by several steep climbs on paths through the rain forest.  Sometimes we were 30 feet above the tops of 100-foot trees rolling along on narrow steel cables at 25-30 miles an hour.  Sometimes we were climbing 50-foot steel towers at the edge of deep ravines only to step off of them into a Tarzan Swing, to rapelle down 50 feet, or to glide on yet another zip line.  What a rush!  Facing my own mortality by stepping off of a platform was much easier than being with a dying friend and didn't make me feel any more alive.  Being frightened and going ahead anyway is empowering in any case.

John