Zipping along above the treetops
Get ready to scream, said Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times. Zip lines, which rely only on gravity, are sweeping through California’s wilderness, and these high-wire acts appeal to “adrenaline junkies of all ages.” Riders simply mount a wooden platform and fit themselves into a secure harness that hooks into the zip line’s metal trolley. The speed and length of the ride depend on each rider’s “aerodynamic form” and the angle of descent. Among the most exciting in the state are the twin 1,500-foot-long zip lines above the treetops at Moaning Cavern near the old mining town of Vallecito. The average top speed is 40 mph on a thrill-a-second descent that lasts slightly more than a half-minute. It’s $39 for the first ride, which averages out to “about $1.10 per second.” As I launched, the wind blasted my ears as I soared 80 feet above the canyon floor, but my flailing limbs ruined my aerodynamic form.

Louisville’s two cultures
Louisville is two cities in one, said Gary Lee in The Washington Post. Sitting squarely on the divide between the Midwest and the South, it offers both traditional Kentucky pleasures and a hip downtown. Churchill Downs, “the country’s ruling stronghold of horse racing,” is among the city’s most treasured American classics. Patrons at the Old Seelbach Bar can order a different vintage bourbon each week for a year. Gothic Revival, Colonial, and “chateauesque mansions” line the elegant streets of Old Louisville. Downtown, by contrast, is fresh from a renewal spree, the urban equivalent of “a spiked-hair makeover.” Attractions include eclectic museums, hip restaurants and watering holes, and the famed Actors Theatre. The tony Proof on Main is the best way to straddle the city’s two dining cultures—order an elegant entrée with a side of grits. And as for bourbon? “With a twist of lemon peel, of course.”