Thursday, October 29, 2009

Getting Queasy In Texas Looking At Pictures Of Mountains

An acquaintance of mine, Big Ed, is well aware of my morbid fear of heights. The only thing I have a more morbid fear of is my morbid fear of morbid obesity.

I have been in a situation, or two, where my acrophobia will kick in, bringing with it a very queasy, yet somewhat exhilarating feeling.

I remember that queasy feeling kicking in on the elevator ride to the top of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. It is a very bumpy ride. And then when we neared the top, emergency sirens were blaring. The electricity had gone out. My nephews and I were stranded high above Vegas. We walked up to where the bizarre rides are on top of the tower to see people stuck in the roller coaster in the 115 degree August heat.

It took 2 hours to get us back to the ground. We got a free buffet out of the ordeal.

So, like I was saying, Big Ed is aware of my morbid fear of heights. Today he sent me a bunch of pictures. Looking at them caused that familiar queasy feeling. I don't remember the last time I got queasy in a mountain setting. Maybe at the top of Church Mountain in the Washington Cascades. You sort of pull yourself up the last 30 feet to the summit using a cable.

I have never gotten queasy at the Grand Canyon. I don't know why. I've been on some rather steep edges there. I might get queasy on the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

There is an overlook that you hike to from the east end of the tunnel that leads into Zion Canyon that got me a bit queasy.

I've really not had the queasy feeling kick in while driving some treacherous road like the Moki Dugway in Utah or Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park in Montana. A long time ago I did drive a road that started in Redding, California and ended up at the Pacific in Crescent City that turned very very primitive, with a very narrow, flimsy, wood-planked bridge that needed crossing. I think of that road every once in awhile and wonder what was I thinking to be driving there.

I have had a time or two where I've been on my mountain bike and had the morbid fear of heights acrophobia kick on. All bike incidents happened in Moab. The Porcupine Rim Trail has a section that sort of hugs a cliff. At the Gemini Bridges Trail you come to a spot, where the bridges are, that is hundreds of feet above the valley below you. I had a queasy moment there. I also had an acrophobic moment on the Slick Rock Trail at a notorious part where you have to negotiate a tight turn on a downhill. So notorious is this section of trail a photographer lurks nearby to takes pictures of the bikers when they scream in horror. I don't know if he makes a good living doing this. I didn't buy one because I didn't scream. I was too focused on not losing control to bother screaming.

I wonder why flying doesn't bother me? I don't even remotely get a queasy feeling. Same with carnival rides. Maybe I have to be touching the ground or be manually powering a locomotion device, like a bike, for heights to make me queasy.

I have no clue as to the locations in these pictures Big Ed sent me. I'm showing you only 4 of them. There were ones of the aforementioned rides on top of the Stratosphere Tower, more mountain biking ones, more scary hiking ones and 2 guys playing tennis on top of a really tall pinnacle in Dubai. It was the close up of that one that got the queasy feeling started.


Steve A said...

Do ski lifts or gondolas get you queasy?

Durango said...

I've been on the Palm Springs tram and a tram that takes you down to Hell's Gate in British Columbia. Didn't get queasy. Have been on many a ski lift without getting queasy. You'd think something like the Palm Springs tram would make me queasy, but I just remember it as being scenic and fun. It's a conundrum.