sightseeing again – part one

LizzieLou | nablopomo,visitors | Sunday, November 15th, 2009

This fall my mother and my sister came for a visit….

They arrived quite late the first night and I had to drive them to their hotel. They didn’t want to share the futon at our house and no one wanted to sleep on the fold-away sofa in the living room so in order to come together they opted for the hotel. I warned them away from the dodgy strip of motels nearby, so they found a place by the mall. My older sister was excited to be getting special alone time with our mother: “Just me and Mommy. Like it was in the beginning!” They were getting settled in to the room and we were waiting around for my sister to freshen up so they could get something to eat (late night dining = Denny’s). Meanwhile my mom unpacked gifts she brought me: rocks from her trip to the Middle East (my request), a sketchbook (into which I immediately drew a picture of my sister), and some newspaper clippings and such.

branut

Then we went to Denny’s which, when you are sober, sucks horribly.

Day one. I got out my new sketchbook and we spent a good portion of the day getting everyone to agree on what we would do when. Srsly. We did a spot of gardening, but it was too hot to do much. After dinner we went to see Julie and Julia.

Day two. We rented a car and drove up to Whidbey Island. We cruised the towns and the beach and the parks. As the sun was starting to set we stopped at Deception Pass. Mom and I had passed under the bridge there on one of our previous jaunts around the Sound when we clippered up to the San Juan Islands. There is a parking lot where you can pull off and go walk around and across the bridge.

Just typing this is making my hands sweat and tingle!! You see we, the lady family members of our family, are a little wobbly with the heights. Some of us do better than others; everyone does better than my mom. My sis walked out a little ways and then stopped and prevented our mother from going any farther, afraid she might just croak from fear. I, ever willing show-up a sibling, took the camera from my mother and strode forward out onto the expanse. . .

As soon as I got past the treeline, I felt a most curious panic run from my fingertips, through my stomach, to my knees. The dreaded tinglehands. But, I was determined to get good photo for my mom – since she went to some effort to get the ones from below on the previous trip (rocking back and forth out on the back of the clipper in the cold and the spray, etc.) so I ventured forth. It was a narrow sidewalk with a low railing on the water side and a cable or two on the road side. There were cars whizzing by. And other people on the walkway. I’d have to pick a side — road death, plunging death — to squeeze towards so they could pass me and vice versa.

I wanted to get to the center-most portion of the span to get a nice photo of the sun n’ stuff, but I probably only got about a third of the way out. I knew I wasn’t steady enough to twist around to get the photos I needed for a panorama. Too scared! When I took the camera down from my face I felt a little dizzy and wanted to grab on to the railing, but I had the camera looped around my right wrist so I couldn’t use my right hand and on the left hand it was just that cable and of no use to steady me so I had to switch hands with the camera and at this point I think I might have started to squat a little. I was getting that frozen feeling, that hey-maybe-my-legs-aren’t-going-to-move-it-sure-will-be-embarrassing-when-I-need-a-fireman-to-come-walk-me-back-to-the-parking-lot feeling. However, I did not pee. I reminded myself that I was not going to suddenly lurch over the railing, nor was it possible for me to be blown off. I looked up to see if my family was at all concerned or if they could tell that I was doing the scaredy-squat, but they were gone. Not even paying the least bit of attention to me. I could have just plunged over the side and they would be wondering where I went with the camera.

Walking back, just I was about to land on solid ground again, there was a fender bender right in front of me when someone stopped short to turn into the parking lot of the scenic overlook. Despite all this I didn’t die and made it back to the car, with the fam, and we were soon on our way again.

…to be continued.

4 Comments

  1. Wow. It is so interesting that people have different reactions to heights. Jenni and I drove to Deception Pass in September with my parents. We got out and walked out on the bridge, and I was thoroughly unimpressed: it seemed much less high than I expected it to be.

    Kudos to you for going outside of you comfort zone.

    cheers,

    Matt

    Comment by Matt — November 16, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

  2. I guess one thing we WON’T be doing when you visit me in Colorado is the Royal Gorge Bridge:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e8/Royal_gorge_bridge_1987.jpg/800px-Royal_gorge_bridge_1987.jpg

    Glad to see your family were so concerned about you, hahaha

    Comment by Eelaine — November 17, 2009 @ 9:48 am

  3. I was surprised to be so chickeny myself; it really came on so suddenly. I totally want to go back and take a leisurely stroll all the way to the other side. And then go stroll on that Gorge bridge too. Bring ’em on!

    Comment by LizzieLou — November 17, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  4. Sure, sure, you’re all brave now. I predict your acrophobia will hit again right about the time you try to buy a plane ticket (or bus ticket. Or any ticket that will get you here).

    Comment by Eelaine — November 18, 2009 @ 11:36 am

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