Alaska's Capital

It's interesting that someone, some time ago, decided to put Alaska's capital city in a spot that could not be reached but by air or by sea. I wanted to take some time to check out the Capitol building and the Governor's mansion, but, unfortunately, there just wasn't enough time to do that and my excursion.

Zipline adventure And what an excursion it was! Alaska Canopy Adventures took us out to their base camp, first by bus to the marina, then via flat-bottomed boat across Gastinaeu Channel to Douglas Island, where we suited up in our gear for the "Rainforest Canopy and Zipline Adventure."

We roared 2,000 feet up the mountainside in an 18-seat, open truck and followed that up with a short trek to our first aerial platform. After breaking into two groups of nine, our guides, Nick and D.J., showed us how to sit in our harness, manuever and brake, and then we were off—zipping through the forest on nothing but a couple of wires.

Nine zip lines—nearly one mile in all—had us soaring through the trees at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, at heights of 30 to 180 feet above ground. And if that wasn't enough, two suspension bridges were added to the mix, carrying us across one of two glory holes at the abandoned Treadwell (gold) Mine. Lastly, we rapelled from the final, 40-foot platform to return to base camp.

Outfitted for danger Whew! What a trip! After the first platform, I wasn't concerned at all about the height. Cara would have been, though; that's why she went on the "Mendenhall Glacier and Gardens Tour." Not that her excursion was tame: she went with my four-year-old nephew and eighteen-month-old niece.