Sunday, July 24, 2011

Alaska Vacation - Day Five

After our fabulous day in Juneau, we cruised through the night and woke up in Skagway. I was a tiny bit dreading Skagway, because it was here that I signed the family up to zipline.

I knew the boys would love ziplining in the Alaskan forest. Me, not so much.

But we were here, already docked. Had to be off the boat to meet our excursion folks at 7:45 a.m.

There was a wonderful train ride excursion through Skagway. Why didn't I pick that?

These guys were chomping at the bit to go.

We were bundled up as we headed out to seize the day, and all that other jazz.

If anything happened to these boys because I put them on a wire suspended 200 feet in the air and told them to jump I would just never forgive myself. However, I was more worried about myself at this point. It would hurt so bad to fall out of a tree or off a zipline. OW!

When we arrived, they outfitted us in helmets, seat straps, chest straps, all kinds of bells and whistles that were intended to keep us safe.

This is our base camp. It was a bit rustic. The excursion brochure said it would be uneven terrain. It didn't say it would be mountain climbing, which is what it really was.

Goodbye Helmet City, we are heading to the treetops.

These sweet young thing named Lillie double checked Harry's harness. I double checked it after she double checked it. You just can't be too careful.

Geared up and ready to roll!

A bit of the climb. The excursion company leases the land from the State of Alaska for ten years and then they have to give it back in as close to its natural state as possible. They really did as little clearing as possible.

Okay, so we reached the ropes part of the course. They have you walk across some wobbly terrain so you can get used to the harness supporting and catching you if you fall. They said this was the way to start, with baby steps.

My Harry volunteered vigorously to go first at every single station. Chip was right behind him.

The guides all had cool names like Dill and Paradise. They also had a wolf pack howl cry they broke out unexpectedly and randomly.

There Harry goes. Across the first obstacle with no problem. I'm hanging back thinking 'why can't they put handrails up on the first obstacle?' This doesn't feel at all like baby steps. JEEZ!

Next up was this horrible u-shaped rope bridge. It was much harder than the planks.

The guides were trying to learn our names as we were coming up to the first stations. He says to me "What's your name?" I said "You can just call me ChickenSh*t". He laughed and started screaming it out to everyone. In the meantime, I am trying to get up on the stupid platform from the rope bridge and I am all "Paradise, how about you quit singing out my name and give me a hand here!!!" I am hanging on by a thread here dude!

Next up was one they called the balance beam. As Harry and Chip went across the guides were yelling things like "It's hurricane winds, OMG" and swinging and jumping the rope up and down. The boys thought it was so fun.

I looked at Dill and said "Seriously, if you move that board one inch while I am on it, I will kill you. DO NOT, under any circumstances shake that bridge while I am on it!"

Look at these yahoos having fun. What is wrong with them?

On the first baby zipline they all stepped off the platform and slid down. I was scooting down practically on my butt. Did not want to step off.

Look at this craziness!

Can we do some tricks?

Me: Yes, you can hold on for dear life. How is that for a trick?

Lillie: Oh tricks are the best, you have to do one. Do the lazy boy. Oh no, even better, do the kamakazee, fall off backwards with no hands or jump off forward with no hands and do the Superman.

I am looking at her like she has lost her ever loving marbles. Completely deranged this girl must be.

Harry tries the running man.

Here's Chip with the Lazy Boy.

I just did the scootch close to the edge, ease off, scream a tiny bit, zip and start yelling for the guide at the next platform to catch me. I think one time I may have let go of the strap with one hand.

They just got bigger, higher, and faster.

The kids were going from one almost right to the other. I think in all there were six lines.

There were tricks of all kinds done.

What a relief to reach the bottom. The boys would have gone again in a red hot second.

I actually had more fun than I let on. By the end I was in the groove and a little less worried. Maybe six more lines and I would have been enjoying it!

Hello Golden Princess. We boarded to grab some lunch.

Chip had a Hamburger and fries.

Harry and Dad got pizza. I had some watermelon and bread.

Back in Skagway Harbor we watched some Sea Otters playing. Hubby was apparently an expert at identifying them. We joked he must have been up there before us on a tagging expedition. Started calling him Jacque Cousteau.

This little gateway to the Klondike has 832 year round residents. It apparently has some pretty nasty weather in the winter so most people leave. It runs about to about 1,600 during the busy summer months. They don't have a doctor, a dentist, a hospital. The adventure guides are trained in first aid, so they are as close to an EMT as you can get in Skagway.

Lots of jewelry and souvenier shops down here. Felt like I was at the Shark Mall at the Redneck Riviera. Where are the airbrushed shirts?

Harry found some yummy popcorn.

And totem poles.

Russian hat anyone?

Let's get back to the boat.

My boys.

Harry do you want a piggy back ride?


We had been on a plane, a train, a bus, a boat, a zipline...why not piggy back. It lasted about two steps.

Back on board we played another quick game of Shuffle board while we waited to leave.

They were getting pretty good.

Chip was serious about his play. But this was not his first love. Ping pong is where it is at!

Farewell Skagway. Thanks for the thrills. Who can say they have ziplined in Alaska? Me! And it wasn't even on my bucket list!!!

Now we are talking! Ping Pong!

We left and were headed out of Skagway and on to Glacier Bay. Our boat was scheduled to spend all of the next day at Glacier Bay. I couldn't wait.

1 comment:

  1. watermelon and bread....hmmm....can't you get that in round rock?