One (very much-needed due to that morning’s early call time) nap later we docked in Icy Strait Point. Immediately the lines of cable caught my eye from the ship. Gondolas traveled up the mountain, disappearing over the first peak. That would be our way up. The six lines of cable stretching from the top of the mountain to the bottom shoreline would be our ride down.

The ZipRider is the longest zip line in the world (or at least it was until someone built another that’s just one inch longer). Six lines of cable (the most cable of any zip line in the world) allow multiple people to fly down together. Just over a mile with a 1,300 foot drop and 90 seconds of ride-time hitting roughly 65 miles an hour - I was pumped. Rachel… not so much. 

And I get it. The ride looks intimidating from all angles. From the dock you could easily strain your neck looking up at the top where riders are released. From the gondola ride, you can question your decision as you hear riders ahead of you zoom past. From the top you feel other’s nervousness and excitement. But once you’re strapped in, there’s no going back. Only one way down the mountain now.

The ride truly rivaled the helicopter tour I took in Juneau just the day before. It didn’t feel like a huge drop (Rachel agreed once we got to the bottom); it was much more like a swing. A fast swing, I’ll give you that, but the harness really does make you feel secure so you can enjoy the view. I would do it again in a second if I could.  

After the ride, we were (understandably) still pumped from our adrenaline, so we decided to walk down the pier and let the shore quiet our adrenaline. It wasn’t until we walked to the old cannery that I started to really appreciate the local charm. 

In a large red building near the pier, shops from local vendors are set up alongside the cannery. If I have one regret from this trip, it’s not doing my shopping here. Everything was clearly locally-owned and the pieces (from clothing and jewelry to art prints) felt so authentically… Alaskan. Certainly more so than the tourist shops in downtown Juneau and Sitka. If you’re looking to grab some keepsakes from Alaska, spend some time in Icy Strait Point. 

On our walk back to the ship we met a local cat named Wookie and stopped for a moment to appreciate the (many) bonfires that were set up along the path. This walk in Icy Strait was the most relaxed I was during the entire trip. Small towns with ~cozy vibes~ tend to do that.