995 Feet Straight Down

Recently I wrote about the fear of snakes and how, when I was a child, a huge viper appeared right in front of me, creating an indelible fear of snakes. Not long after that, another event occurred – which I blame for my fear of heights. My parents decided to take a tour of the wild west. The route included Pike’s Peak, the Garden of the Gods, and crossing Colorado’s Royal Gorge via America’s highest suspension bridge.

Bridge - Royal Gorge

We parked the car and walked nervously part way out onto the bridge to see what it was like. It was like…the scariest thing I’d ever seen, since the snake. To me, a little kid, it looked like this: the floor of the bridge was made of real thick wooden planks placed about two inches apart, but looked like two feet apart to me. The further out we got onto the bridge the more we realized just how crazy deep this gorge is. The bridge is 995 feet above the floor of the gorge.

My knees went weak, my toes turned numb, my heart doubled its beat. I turned and walked briskly away from the bridge. My folks did not try to persuade me to go across that bridge, by car or any other means. We drove a long, long way to find another way to cross the river that winds far below the Royal Gorge Bridge. Later my mom confessed that she was relieved. My stubbornness was a perfect reason to take the alternate route.

Note: It was strictly coincidence that I wrote about fear of heights the day after writing about guys walking on the moon. Or, was it?

To learn more about the now commercialized, fun-filled, tourist area at the Royal Gorge  click here 

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