Our ship pulled into and docked in Juneau, Alaska at 6 am in the morning. As the sun rose all you could see was fog. We were a little nervous that it was going to be rainy like Ketchikan but after an hour or so the fog burned off. The day was sunny and while I wouldn’t say warm it wasn’t too cold.
We were excited about Juneau because we were going ziplining! We had been looking forward to this all week. From the ship we took a 5 minute bus ride downtown. Then we took a little express boat to Douglas Island. The trip lasted all of 10 minutes. Once we were at the location we got all suited up in our harnesses, helmets and gloves. We rode an oversized ATV type thing into the Tongass National Forest. It was gorgeous! It’s a temperate rainforest and green was everywhere. We had to climb a little way to get to the first platform. We climbed beside a little creak and it was charming.
At the platform we got our lesson. It was pretty simple. Keep your left arm up on the metal thingie, use your left wrist/arm to keep yourself straight, use your right hand to break by grabbing the lower cable and cross your legs. Easy peasy, right? It was, except I have short arms so reaching up and holding onto the metal thing wasn’t all the comfortable. I also had a hard time not spinning around but it gave me a better view of the area so I wasn’t to worried.
There were 9 zip lines and two suspension bridges. This part of the forest used to be Treadwell Mine and it produced about 70 million dollars worth of gold. We zipped over some of the old mines and one of the glory holes. It was spectacular! We also had amazing views of Mt. Roberts and the channel from the platforms. The weather was perfect.
Our guides, Sara & Stewart were friendly and knowledgeable. They shared about the area and did their best to make everyone comfortable. We had 8 people, including ourselves, in our group. There was some nice banter between us all that made it even more enjoyable. Come to find out, it is a small world. Stewart is originally from a town about 1o minutes from where I grew up and our high schools were in the same league for sports. He graduated the year before I did.
It took us a little longer than normal as the group ahead of us and some older people (two of them had canes!) that had some difficulties. They got stuck in the middle of the line and had to be pulled in more than once. Other than having to wait around, the whole experience was amazing and I HIGHLY recommend this is you ever find yourself in Juneau.
Once we got back to town we had just enough time to do a little shopping. We were afraid we wouldn’t have enough time but the shopping area is small. Many of the shops were having end of season sales. It worked in our favor as it was the last day of the cruise season. Our ship and her sister ship, the Oosterdam were the last two ships in Juneau. We found our deals and headed back to the ship.
I’d love to visit Juneau again someday. The Mendenhall Glacier is not that far from town and I have yet to see it, even though I’ve been here twice. The first time The Man & I went panning for gold and this time zip lining. I’d love to see it by helicopter or float plane but those two options are very expensive, so I need to start saving my pennies.
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