Two octogenarians “zip” across Alaska forests

{gallery}09_29_09/helen{/gallery}Most Eagle Point folks probably know Helen Wolgamott as the flag lady, local historian and museum docent. They may also know Ann Brookins from her involvement in the Veterans Auxiliary or from her many years in District 9 when she ran the print shop. Both women have worn many hats in the community for many, many years.

But, at the age of 81, they took on a new challenge as they joined 14 others including Ann’s son Tom and his wife, and several from their church on a cruise to Alaska.

Tom described Ann and Helen. He said each time a 30 ft. boat would near the dock, they would say is that it? Each time the reply was, “Oh no. It’s a big ship.”  And sure enough, when the 11+ story Celebrity Cruise ship arrived, they were wide-eyed and speechless. There are bigger ships, but this one held 1,800 plus the crew. They went to Vancouver, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau and Ketchacan.

Helen said they couldn’t believe that after the first meal the waitress knew exactly what they liked and did not like. To their surprise, there was no way they could bus their own dishes. Little things made somewhat of an impression, but the thing that really caught everyone’s attention was what the two grandmothers did for “entertainment.”

At a stop in an Alaska rainforest they took advantage of an opportunity to get a good look down on the forest as they experienced a zipline challenge–not once, but five times. Participants had to be at least 11 years old, 56 inches tall, between 70 and 285 pounds, free from back and heart condition and be comfortable with heights. Age was not capped. But it was suggested if you have false teeth you keep your mouth closed and if you have a special hair-do, that you protect it well. The first trip down ,it was closed eyes for Ann. But after that both octogenarians handled it like they do everything they tackle, full steam ahead.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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