Ziplining is always exhilarating. Ziplining in Alaska adds an extra layer of exhilaration, as Nerdy TravelingMom learned this summer. Ziplining through the treetops of Skagway Alaska means crossing suspension bridges, zipping over rivers, and hootin’ and hollerin’–all the while accompanied by a couple of awesome nerds.
Ziplining in Skagway
Our big family vacation this summer was a cruise to Alaska. This was our first cruise and our first trip to Alaska so it was a very big deal. Months of planning finally got us there and we had a wonderful time aboard the Disney Wonder. There were three stops along the Alaskan coast starting at the northernmost point of our trip in Skagway, Alaska.
There were dozens of excursions to choose from in each port and, being a cruise newbie, I was a little overwhelmed by all the choices. We wanted to do everything, but the boat is only in port for so long. Choices had to be made and we went with things that were both familiar and completely new.
We had it in our heads that there were certain things we wanted to see. It was a list of hopes and expectations with no guarantees. Our list included bears, bald eagles, and maybe some salmon swimming upstream. We saw all of these things through the course of our trip and it was amazing. What we did not expect to see were two of the nerdiest guys in Alaska hiding in plain sight at the Alaska Excursions Grizzly Falls Ziplining Adventure in Skagway.
Soaring Through the Treetops
We signed up for this excursion before the cruise because we love ziplining. We’ve gone several times closer to home in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts and thought it would be fun to fly through the trees up north. You simply cannot beat the scenery in Alaska. The excursion had us crossing suspension bridges, zipping over rivers, and hootin’ and hollerin’ like a bunch of fools.
Also, the whole thing looks very much like Endor once you’re up in the trees, which my husband noticed when we got to our very first zipline. Seeing an Ewok peeking out from behind a tree would not have been a surprise.
What made the whole thing one of the highlights of the trip were our guides, John M. and Sam, who led us on our adventure. Once we were all suited up, they took us out onto the course and gave us the safety rundown. It wasn’t until I had zipped a few lines that I noticed John’s green helmet was painted to look like a rather familiar bounty hunter. I took a second look and, yes, it was definitely Boba Fett’s helmet.
I asked him about Mandalorian wear and he said he was a huge Star Wars fan and had even attended Star Wars Celebration several times. Sam joined in the conversation, tipping his head to show the Magic symbols covering his helmet.
Nerds of the North
The rest of our ziplining excursion was a fantastic mix of information about the landscape and talk about our favorite books. Skagway, Alaska is beautiful and remote, which means there isn’t ready access to entertainment like movies and television. Even the Internet is a scarce commodity so the guys entertained themselves the old-fashioned way, with lots of books.
They were both voracious readers and we each ended up making lists of new books to read based on each other’s recommendations. The usual suspects like Tolkien and Hebert were on the list, but there were some entirely new writers that we’ll now be exploring. We even had a chat about New York Comic-Con and San Diego Comic-Con and which is the better of the two. My vote, by the way, always goes to New York.
The People You Meet
It was a wonderful experience. All the guides, even the non-nerds who were guiding some of our friends, were fantastic and made the experience something to remember. Much of the fun of vacationing is the people you meet along the way. Those brief connections made over common interests can spark some truly joyful moments.
Should you find yourself in Skagway, Alaska doing a little ziplining, look for the guides with the nerdy helmet decorations. They’re a great couple of guys who will not only have you loving your adventure and learning a little something about Alaska, but they might end up introducing you to a great book to read on the flight home.