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It’s a zip to have fun at Dell’Osso Farms

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It’s a zip to have fun at Dell’Osso Farms

Manteca Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell tries out the Zip Line at Dell'Osso Farms in Lathrop that's part of the Pumpkin Maze open through Oct. 31.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED October 18, 2009 2:38 a.m.
Brian Dell’ Osso is leaning against a rail some three stories off the ground, recounting testing the family’s newest attraction – the one that I happened to be getting ready to try for the first time.

While details need not be disclosed, if it is safe enough for Brian to do it after those early trials, I knew that there wasn’t anything that was going to prevent me from having the greatest experience possible on the Zip Line at Dell’Osso Farms that is part of the 12th annual Pumpkin Maze through Oct. 31. The cost is $6 for a single time and $10 for two times.

While it’s more recognizable from is action movies as the mechanism for how the bad guy gets away from tall buildings after shooting a hook to create tension, the Zip Line in this case consists of several steel cables that are strung up and attached to massive posts that are sunk far beneath the soil that once yielded all sorts of crops.

Now while I wouldn’t consider myself an action junkie worthy of Warren Miller film coverage, I do enjoy everything from overhead ocean waves to black diamond ski runs – testing my fears against the elements.
In this case, however, the only element that would come into play would be gravity.

With Brian as my guide, he clipped me in to the line and checked my harness to make sure that everything was tight and secure before plunging off of the platform that seemed like a perfectly good place to hang out for a while.

He reminded me again not to touch the wire while I was going down, and even gave me a tip on how to make the ride a little bit more thrilling.

With a quick look around at the mob that was gathering below, I grabbed hold of the two canvas lines that would be suspending me and leapt forward without a second thought.

Those first two seconds – where it seems like you’re hanging in a virtual freefall as the cable picks up the slack – seems like an eternity.

But before you even get the chance to work up any regret for what you’ve just done, you’re suddenly gliding at what seems like 100 miles an hour (I tried to find a baseball radar gun to no avail) over the man-made pond in a fit of exhilaration that made a few people offer their “yelps” of approval.

Barreling down the line, I managed to spin myself back around and hit the carpeted hill on my bottom before sliding at least another 10 feet and coming to a full and complete rest – slightly speechless from the fun that I just had and overcome with the feeling that I wanted to race right back up those stairs and do it all over again.

That’ll have to wait for another day.

And so as another holiday season sneaks up on us, the Dell’ Osso family has added a few new attractions that make family fun something that can be both affordable and exhilarating at the same time.

It’s almost hard to believe that it started with just a pumpkin maze, and has now grown to include a mile-long railroad track, a massive general store, two additional pumpkin mazes, the famous “Pumpkin Blasters” that Ron Dell’ Osso spent one off-season figuring out how to manufacture, and all of the attractions for the kiddies.

When you throw in the upcoming snow covered hill and the Zip Line, you’ve got yourself one heck of a local amusement park that is owned, operated, and constructed here locally by a family that cares about the community and those who reside in it.

So if you’re looking for a thrill, strap on the harness and clip on to the line – the ride is one that you’ll want to take over and over again and the rush from flying through the air is something that you’ll be experiencing for days after you try it.

I can almost feel the wind in my face as I type this right now.

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