He Says– Having left Edmonton later than we planned, we piled the kids into the car and punched our destination – Glacier Skywalk – into the GPS. Four hours and forty-eight minutes. Doable, but not much wiggle room.
My wife typically does the driving. I don’t know if my parents used to drive me around to get me to fall asleep or something, but ever since I was young, any time I get in a car, I begin to drift off – this is a bit of a joke in my family as it’s a tendency that makes me a horrible navigator, just ask my dad.
The weather was supposed to suck the next day so we really wanted to make it to the Skywalk that afternoon. Normally, a deadline like this would make me tense and I’d be no fun, but the mountains gave me a very laissez-faire attitude about everything.
I wasn’t nervous about the time, I’d already resigned myself to the very real possibility that we weren’t going to make it. I was nervous that we would make it. I’m not a fan of heights and the Skywalk is 280 metres (920 feet I Googled it) above the floor of the valley…Maybe I shouldn’t have had that extra donut back in Drumheller. Looking at the Skywalk, part of me was like – “Nah, it’s alright, I’ll just grab a post-card.” But the draw of being suspended 920 feet above the ground, surrounded by ice-capped mountain peaks, streams, and the sharp-edged glow of the sun as it set was too much.
I ran to the ticket office and $75 dollars later we were off on a short bus ride to the walkway. At 6pm, the bus was nearly empty and the driver – though he tried to be lively – didn’t have much to work with and instead settled for some light humour as he described the glacial formation of the valley and the risk of potential rock slides. When we got off the bus, I expected it to be cold, but it wasn’t, which sucked because the mosquitoes were everywhere. If you do this trip, bring bug repellent. There were signs posted everywhere telling us about bear and wolves that lived nearby, but the only wildlife we saw were a few cliff swallows and mosquitoes big enough to be confused for storks.
The Skywalk was terrifying! I was probably only on it for about 30 seconds before I realized that my family had abandoned me and I darted back to pull my son on with me. Hey, he’s always telling me he wants to do stuff together…potentially plummeting to our deaths fits in that category right? When I looked down I felt like I was going to topple over the seemingly-far-too-short handrail to my death. Every gust of wind could be felt…in your legs! The whole Skywalk moved with the wind, I think. I was done! I smiled to make it seem like I wasn’t affected at all and made my way to the other side, resisting the urge to high-five a total stranger once my feet were on solid ground. If my wife and son were scared, they handled their fear like champs going so far as to lay face-down on the floor for a photo op. I would have too, but I had a baby strapped to my chest and I don’t think she’d have appreciated that too much.
My final verdict? It’s a bit overpriced for what you get. If you’re going to head to the Glaciers, pay the extra and do the glacier walk and boat ride because $75 for two people to walk on a bridge is too much. BUT… I’d probably do it again. The views were incredible and the adrenaline that courses through you as vertigo sets in, was kind of great!
She Says -Here we go our first adventure and we’re facing one of my biggest fears: heights. If you don’t share that fear, it may not seem like a big deal walking out on a bridge… made of glass… hanging hundreds of feet above the ground. My heart is pounding just thinking about it.
It was a long walk walking from the ticket booth to the bus. My heart is literally in my throat. Luckily, I was walking in front of my husband because I didn’t want him to see the fear take over. Posters and videos of the bridge hit me hard and I start to cry a little. Pathetic this was truly pathetic. On the bus ride, our driver asks “is anyone afraid of heights?” I can’t help but mumble “yes” oh then he comes out with a quick remark. “now remember those who said yes and take a big jump next to them when you’re up there.” JERK! My brain starts to weigh the cost. If I turn back now, I’m only out $30 Canadian, that’s like what $23 USD? I mean, I can live without $30, at least I’m alive.
On the walk to the bridge, I try to act nonchalant because I don’t want my son to gain my fears. But it’s not easy. The butterflies in my stomach seem to be armed with tasers. So, I stand at the edge of this glass bridge just starring. Starring at sharp rocks in the far distance. A river that is breaking through those rocks. This river would normally be such a gorgeous view but today it is terrorizing me. I look up to see my Husband out on the bridge with ease. Just like its an ordinary walk in the park. I once again look at the bridge…
My brain starts to argue with its self…’ ok let’s do this slow and steady’
‘Are you crazy this is not happening?!’
My body is frozen. Frozen, I look over and see that my son is nervous. This breaks my heart I never want to hold him back in anything that might enrich his life. Even if it’s my deepest fear, I want him to experience life for himself. I grab his hand and say, “it’s ok bud we’ll do this together.” Who knew being a mother could make you so much stronger just because you want the best for them. Not looking down we both step out together. A few steps in I feel the bridge shake. And I see all those people who think they are hilarious jumping up and down on the glass. RAILING! I NEED THE RAILING! Grabbing onto the railing we continue walking. My son is still nervous so I tell him it’s easier if you don’t look down. I point over to the beautiful mountain view so I can distract both of us. This made it so much better. Once I made it to the middle of the bridge, I decided the point is to experience this, so I made myself look down and it was so beautiful. Frightening yet beautiful. As the bridge is busy with people taking selfies I get stuck standing in the middle of a glass bridge. All that is holding me up is this little sheet of glass.
“They say it can support 2 airplanes” my husband keeps telling me.
I am not sure if this is supposed to make me want to do cartwheels because instead, I start trying to figure out how much each person weighs and trying to remember what a plane weighs…x2. I never knew I was so good at adding (I bet this was the one time where I could probably guess everyone’s weight and be spot on). We get to the end of the bridge “I’m alive!” And then the cheapness in me comes out. That wasn’t long enough for what we paid. I ask my hubby for a picture of me sitting on the bridge… yes,
this will feel more worth it. As I am sitting there something comes over me that says you won’t truly experience this unless you lay face down. That way all you see is the mountains and river just like a bird. So that’s what I did. I am sure everyone around me thinks I am nuts. That’s okay, I know I’m nuts. So I get a little more comfortable with the strength of this bridge and let myself breathe for a moment. Phew… once we are back on secure ground I feel like my legs are jelly. It’s done, it was beautiful and may be worth the dollar value. My cheap side hasn’t come to terms with that part yet.
I said I wanted to jump into these new experiences, this one was more like a crawl. Next up, ComicCon?