Archive for July 20th, 2014

SKAGWAY July 20

Oh for the love of all. We are on vacation, right? So why, why, why do we keep having these terrible early morning departures? Up, dressed, food, at dock by 8:05 am. Shoot me.

 

Our first adventure for the day was zip lining. Now, I have zip lined once in my life. It was a tiny zip line from one tree to another; that was it. The worst part for me was climbing the dang tree to get to the platform. I don’t climb trees. The zip line itself was quick and fun. So we get all hatted and harnessed up, listen to the general safely spiel and head up the trail to the little ropes course. I should probably point out at this point, that Arissa was the one who wanted to zip line. She was adamant. I thought it kinda weird, but hey whatever I was game. And so here we found ourselves, walking up the hill because you have to get up to eventually zip down. Only this never occurred to Arissa, who clearly had not thought this plan of hers through, as I discovered as she seemed confused about why we were hiking up the side of the hill in our hat & harnesses. Oh boy, was she in for a big ol’ surprise! Step 1: go through the ropes course. Arissa did not look exactly….pleased.

 

Now as this zip line was a tour through the tree tops of Alaska, you may imagine that we were quite a ways UP. So there we are on the first real platform and Arissa is not happy about zipping down, until I inform her that I’m pretty sure that if she doesn’t want to zip down, she’d probably have to rappel down. Hahahahaha. There were quite a few of us on the ridiculously small platform. So we’d zip from one tree platform to the next. Which was super cool. Except the trees swayed A LOT when someone would take off or land. Oh yeah. A LOT. Of course I knew, logically, that I was tethered to the line and blah, blah, blah. But dudes, when those trees started to sway I held on for dear life!

 

I will be laughing at Arissa about her choice to zip line until the day they put me in the ground. And she will keep asking me why I didn’t bother to explain what zip lining was!

 

Starving after our adventure, we stopped at the Skagway Brewing Company. Because, as I said many posts ago, my job was to try as many local brews as possible and report back to Chad. So Skagway itself looks like a movie studio lot. It’s owned – mostly – by the National Park Service who restored the buildings and rents the retail spaces out.

 

Now full of delicious food & beverage, and having some time to kill before Yukon Jeep Safari, we headed out to grab some caches. The first one, my GPS pointed me deep into the shrubbery. I hesitated. Getting jabbed with Devil’s Claw – and there was a plentiful supply right before me – seemed like a poor way to spend the afternoon. So believe it or not, I declined to go after that cache! From there we went after a micro on a picnic table. Arissa and I gave this picnic table the shakedown of a lifetime for at least 5 minutes, before I noticed a brand new (all metal) table right behind here, precisely where the GPS was pointing. Dur, dur, dur. A quick stop at the Driftwood House to get the virtual cache there, and talk with the gentleman behind the counter about how weird their weather and our weather had been, and then we speed walked back to catch the Yukon Jeep Safari.

So, we got a black JK, so that was good. It only had 10,000 miles on it, also good. Joining us were Jeff & Betty from the Myrtle Beach area. Arissa & I split the driving duties. It wasn’t much in the way of offroading – heck I’ve taken the Subaru on rougher roads – but the scenery was stunning!

It looked foreign – not much vegetation, but lichen & some pines. Lakes everywhere and some pine trees.

So we had to cross into Canada on our little adventure. I was driving on our way back. We had to stop and hand the Border Guards all the passports. The fellow asked if we’d seen anything, I said, “Yeah, the state bird of Alaska that I can’t pronounce that they call a Rock Chicken.” He said, “How do you know that’s what it was?” I said, “Well, it was brown, sat in the middle of the road, and didn’t move. Looked kinda like a rock.” He replied, “Yep, that was a ptarmigan.” (Take that, Arissa!)

Post Script: There’s a cantilever bridge on the Klondike Highway.

Here’s our gallery for today’s trip. Enjoy!

chris on July 20th 2014 in Travel