Saturday, November 6, 2010

Alaska PART 2

Wednesday - Skagway, AK

Overnight we went the short distance from Juneau to Skagway and were allowed off the ship at 7 AM. But, were my mom and I up at 7 ready to walk off the ship? Ha! NOPE!!

The sun had started to show it’s face that morning, so we were very excited about that.

My mom and I had decided that we would take the excursion where you took a bus up the mountain into the Yukon Territory to Fraser, BC and take the White Pass Railroad back down. I was very excited about this because this would be my FIRST STAMP in my PASSPORT – EVER!!!! Cool!!!! The railroad also has a very interesting history. Click here to read about it!

We arrived at the bus depot early, so I decided to walk around town for a bit. It was so cute, but SO small! There was one main road with mostly shops, and the town was mapped out like a grid. It was a flat town so you could see basically to the other end of it!

Here are some pictures:

We boarded the bus and it was pretty much a straight shot right up the mountain… sometimes I wondered if we were driving a little too close to the edge! It was a far way down!

When we got to the top we had to wait in line to have our passports checked. I was in awe! This town consisted of ONLY the Canadian Customs people!! Ha, ha. There was their office, a small apt building for them to stay in, and a building for bathrooms for visitors. That’s IT! I hoped these customs people could rotate out their assignment because it would get VERY boring after a while and VERY cold there! The temperature had dropped about 20 or 30 degrees on our climb and it was just August! Imagine January. UGH. That would be a terrible assignment if I worked for Canadian customs.

Fortunately they accepted my passport :) We were allowed off the bus to take pictures and wait for the train to come up with its passengers. They would get off and take the bus down and we would take the train down. We got the better end of the deal. The train down had AMAZING views!

So, while we waited for the train, we took pictures.

The Canadian and US Flag on a peak by the
side of the road as we arrived in Fraser, BC
Then another one with the Canadian and British flag
This was the building with the bathrooms!
The lake that was up there. I thought the picture with the clouds in the background was pretty. The clouds were so low because we were high up o the mountain!
My mom and I by the same lake.
By now the clouds had lifted and the sun was out!
It was very, very chilly though!
So pretty!!
Me before boarding the train.
As we started down the mountain... clouds...

This was the river down below.
Literally, the train hugged the mountain.

My mom on the train! It was such a pretty ride down. As the clouds were breaking... we had such a great view. I am glad we didn't take the train up because the view on the way down was so much better! We even stopped and picked up some hikers along the way!
Ships at port as we come down the mountain

After we arrived back in town, I had a little bit of time before my ZIPLINE adventure. So back to the ship for lunch :) We could have had lunch in town, but there were four ships in port that day, and it was INCREDIBLY crowded in the small town. So, why not go back to the ship and enjoy lunch while still eating outside and the ship wouldn’t be very crowded at all!

I was a little nervous about my ZIPLINE adventure, but I am SO glad I did it and totally bonded with everyone on my excursion!! There was a family of two parents and two teenagers. The mom and I talked a lot while we waited about the trip so far, etc. Then, there was an older couple on their honeymoon on the cruise! And, finally, there were two hilarious married couples from the south so I loved their accent (A brother with his wife and a sister with her husband). They were so funny and lightened everything up!

We took a bus out of town a ways and met up with our two female group leaders who were true nature-loving people. You’d have to be to work in Alaska in the summer. There’s not much to do in town, so you either work, or on your days off you hike/camp/rock climb, etc! You also work rain or shine! Ha, ha… not a job for me! I did find out that a lot of BYU kids come up and work there in the summers! They love the Mormon summer crews up there!

The view was amazing. So beautiful! Everyone in our group was a bit nervous, but I was more nervous than I let on. I didn’t understand how this one rope was going to hold all my weight as I flew through the sky! I also didn’t like the first zipline they sent us on to get used to it. It was this tightrope walking thing that wobbled back and forth. So frustrating as I couldn’t keep my balance! After doing the first short zipline through the air, I realized I couldn’t think about what I was doing and just TRUST my guides and have FAITH in the rope!!

Well, I LIVED and LOVED it! However, they tried to get us to do silly things with our hands and feet as we flew through the air. I tried, but always ended up being too scared and holding on with my hands!!!

Here are some pics:

View from the mountain
The first one we went one. This rope was rediculously wobbly.
I felt like I could flop upside down on it!
Look at that. There's no room for a foot!
This was another wobbly one, but not as bad.
Do you see that tree and platform in the distance.
This was one of the shorter ziplines through the trees!!

I am so glad I did it though. But, I was glad to board the bus back to the safety of land and the ship!! Now it was off to dinner and some fun entertainment for the evening. Oh - and some ice cream and cookies too!!!

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