Thursday, September 29, 2011

Anniversary getaway....

So, here it is.... our whirlwind, one night, two day, 11th anniversary getaway....It all began last Christmas; as a WOW! gift, I went waaaay out of my comfort-zone money-wise, and splurged on a gift for Mr. Monkey.  While struggling to decide on the perfect "stocking-stuffer" gift, I had one of those light bulb moments (financially, I hate when that happens).

I said to myself, "What about one of those eco-adventure trips?"  It was something that the monkey-man had talked about often; but, seriously, I hadn't really considered it too much only because I didn't know the cost.  If you know me at all, then you know that I like to hang on to my coin.... it's a good thing.... and a bad thing too.  But, for some reason, I felt like I just had to do it (it may, or may not, have had something to do with the fact that I wanted the gift just as much.... just sayin').  Aaaanyway, I was relentless in my search for the right package.... and I say that like it took me weeks - when really, it took me two days.... hey, what can I say, I'm efficient (eyes rolling at myself).

Well, I finally got around to booking the weekend.  It was to happen the day before our actual anniversary; unfortunately, life sometimes takes over and plans had to change.  Now, I'm a roll-with-it-kinda-girl, so this little bump in the road didn't affect me whatsoever.... Mr. Monkey, on the other hand, was very, very annoyed.... of course, he was the one who had to work on our anniversary weekend - totally understand his frustration.
I found the perfect little bed and breakfast, 21 North, that was hosted by a retired architect/chef named Jean-Claude.  He offers 3 beautifully decorated and spotless rooms, all with private baths.... a definite must in my books as far as B&B's go. 

Our room, the master, looked out over vast apple orchards in the Beaver Valley, to which we had no problem taking in the view.

After dropping our bags at the B&B, we set off.... Our excitement began at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures .... the beginning of our eco tour started here....

As told by our very knowledgeable tour guides, this suspension bridge was built in the middle of a very cold and harsh semi-northern Ontario winter.  Stipulations were that the forest floor not be disturbed whatsoever other than to place the footings of the suspension posts.  This meant that no heavy equipment or machinery could be trucked through to the places where they were needed.  Essentially, everything had to be put into place using a huge crane, pulley systems and good ol' manpower.... did I mention that the weather was frigid?  Imagine, you're at the top of a mountain, stringing cable and slugging 3" thick wood planks from British Columbia in below zero temperatures.... not really a job that I'd like to do :P

After crossing the bridge we took a bumpy; but, fun wagon ride to where we'd do our tree-top walk.  This was a 600 metre, 15-span walk from 20ft-60ft above the ground (as close to the tree-tops as possible).  The only things keeping us from plunging to the ground were our harness systems and some 10" wide boards held up by tension wires.... This was the part of the day that I found the most nerve-wracking.  It was definitely a mind over matter thing, I kept telling myself to focus on my footing and not the big waves being caused by the two huge men flanking me - one being my husband.  We made it across in one piece, as I knew we would, and I am very proud to say that I did it.  Here's a picture of the beginning of the tree-top walk.... umm, there were no photos along the way as our hands were in a death grip on the tension wire "hand rails", and yes, there were white knuckles....

From the last tree-top platform, we hooked up for our first of two zip lines.  This one was between trees and only ran a 330ft. span.... in all, it lasted less than 10 seconds; but, it was less than 10 seconds of TOTAL exhilaration!  Check me out here....

What a rush!  I couldn't wait to get to the next one which was 1000ft long and off the side of the escarpment.  I was originally going to film myself on the ride down, then quickly decided against it for fear of losing my camera.... that would really, really suck!  Anyhow, I took a couple of pictures at the top of the 1000ft zip....

"Caution: When falling, be aware that your head will become dislodged from your body."   At least, that's what I get from this picture.... Too funny!

And, just to give you an idea of how far up our last zip was, here's one of our guides getting into position to harness us up.... you can see Georgian Bay in the distance.... Breathtaking view, and believe me when I say, the zip was AWESOME!  One of the greatest experiences of my life.

I hope you all get to experience the feeling of doing something so inspiring, exciting and daredevil-ish.... The only problem now is trying to top it!

Have a great night folks ;)

1 comment:

  1. This place looks awesome Julie! I remember seeing signs for it when we went skiing at Blue Mtn. last year...Glad you had fun! Do you know much about the caves and hiking? Kid friendly?