Saturday, August 21, 2010

How I never saw...

some of the most beautiful places in the world...or how I spent my summer vacation...
Did I mention I'm Acrophobic, I had my eyes shut most of the time.

Walker, my dear 15 yr old son, has been the one in charge of our vacation destinations, he loves mountains ,water, treasures and much adventure, all wonderful things but in small doses, please?

Walker and mine tour guide and Bill

Here's a little of what my vacation was like...

View of the mine entrance

So DH and DS thought it would be great to go into a mine and so did I, what could go wrong? Nothing came to mind until they crammed all 8 of us BIG adults into a tiny little cage and shut the door.

The Tiny cage

Someone started shouting "I can't do this, I gotta get out, Stop!!!Let me out!!!" ...oh yeah, it was me...Apparently I'm Claustrophobic, hellova a way to find that out, who knew ?...SIGH...
Stay with me it gets better...

Pikes Peak or Bust
A view from the train station

Bill and me in front of a vintage train display, aren't I the happy camper?

I got talked into riding the cogtrain up to "Pikes Peak" (silly silly Flora )less than 1/3 of the way up I shut my eyes tight and didn't open them no matter how many oohs and ahhs!!! An image of the train tumbling down the mountainside kept playing over and over in my head! Mercifully we made it to the summit gift shop and I could open my eyes, I really didn't want to though...
I was in a quandry, should I stay or should I go,I don't know I don't know!!!My dh had to pry me and my sweaty hands off the seat to get me out of the train. Coming down wasn't much easier...No I didn't see that ride either.

The Cog Train

Curiousity got the best of me and I took a peek right about here, can you guess where our seats were...?

The gift shop

Proof he was there,

My fearless son

A magnificent view from the top

Some of the bravest souls or the stupidest, you decide...

A hasty exit

Seven Falls
The first falls and the steep stairs

We went to "Seven Falls", my dh says "do you want to take the stairs or the elevator "...uh, let me see, 240 steps up on those steep stairs vs elevator ,decisions, decisions...DUH!!! Once up, I just stayed away from the edge and did pretty good, Thank heaven for gift shops!!!

Us and the elevators

Billy the kid,he LOVES all this

Like father like son...Walker ,also in his element

Garden of the Gods

We also went to see " Garden Of The Gods " which is an area of gigantic rock formations clustered together, simply beautiful.,even though the drive always includes a journey over mountains no matter where we went,it was a good day and I was feeling better.

Driving up

Embarrassing moment for my son ( Mom,do you have to hold my hand?)

Practicing his pose

Bill and me

One more for good measure

Helen Hunt Falls
The visitors center

The next day we climbed up to see "Helen Hunt Falls", no elevators here.

Walker and Bill at the top

Walker and me at the bottom

Ever the thoughtful man, my dh took a "short cut" on the drive out, because
it was supposed to be a less traumatic way down for me,yeah right... Bill didn't you say it was going to take us down,I'm no rocket scientists but aren't we going up? Bill this is an awfully narrow road are you sure it's a one way? Yes I think so...Bill isn't that car headed toward us??!!!!
Now we were in a pickup, at the VERY edge of a VERY, VERY high mountain with NO RAIL and no where to go, so we stopped to let the other driver get around us.
Afterall he was on the mountain side with plenty of room , but it became quite obvious that he was highly offended that he had to be the one to do that, because as he drove by us that SOB flicked us off .... My son was in the front seat with his dad.

A view from our side

one more

No this one wasn't the SOB, but it was the 4th car we had to drive by and the 3rd tunnel,very scary for all of us.

A shot of the last tunnel on our way down.

Just when I thought it was over...

The Royal Gorge Bridge

DH and DS had saved the best for last " The Royal Gorge Bridge" The world's highest Suspension Bridge that hangs 1,053 feet high and spans a quarter mile across the canyon " I know because that's what the brochure said.
And were it not for the fact that our pockets were very light by this time,(Thank you lord) I do believe I would have more to tell...
So they had to pacify themselves with pictures.

Fantastic isn't it

Some people were quite adventurous/insane, this "swing" is on one side of the bridge and the person in it was swinging it so unbelievably high...

Something to remember

I just want to go home...

Despite my fears and mishaps, I can honestly say we did have a wonderful time and it was indeed a great adventure with treasured memories that will last a lifetime, and as always the time went by way too fast( although sometimes it did feel like an eternity )and we headed home.
If you ever get a chance to travel, I say there's no place like America for that and I highly recommend you do it with eyes wide open!!!

Last year we saw the Carolinas, this year it was Colorado, I am starting to see a theme here and it makes me kinda nervous about next year, especially since I overheard Bill and Walker discussing the Grand Canyon!!!?

I guess there's a reason I was born in Texas and if I look on the bright side at least I'll have a whole year to recuperate...



Nicole said...

Lord have mercy - I am exactly the same. I visit a million places - but with my eyes closed. I wish I could just let go of the phobia - but I get vertigo sooo bad!

Amy Gethins Sullivan said...

~wow !~ what an adventure!~ your a good gal Flora.~ but, these are going to be great memories~ you were very brave~:)

Marie Patterson Studio said...

Go, Flora! I would not have been a happy camper going into the mine!
Thanks for sharing your vacation memories and "America the Beautiful"!

Southern Fried Art said...

Oh my Sounds exactly like when we first got up here though I know the mountains here are no way the height of out there I have been out there, the narrow roads the elevators and trains I think you did better than me IF I can't walk it I don't go LOL.... I think Bill and Rod must be in together on "Those "Shortcuts " LOL, BUT WOW The views Flora ! MY what beauty we do have!!! Thanks so much for sharing the photos, and writing up so I could enjoy the whole trip with you and not even be there!

The Grand Canyon is beautiful and must see, and there are lots of places you can go that are no trains, elevators and such just nice trails lol.

Thank you for sharing this was beautiful what a way to start my Sunday morning! and a big hug as you made it through it!!! BTW You look Wonderful and Hubby and Son too :)

Have a most beautiful day.


Christel said...

Dear Flora, welcome back! I too am a fraidy cat! haha These photos are simply astounding! Ahh the wonders God has created, and shared with us. There is not enough money in the world to make me cross that Gorge bridge!!! OMG terrifying! Thank you for sharing these photos, your son Walker is so handsome, and I love his name. Blessings, Christel

Tamara Dozier said...

Flora, I made that very same trip several years ago and I'm not one that enjoys heights so I hear ya on the closed eyes and all. Did you get to go across The Royal Gorge Bridge? If not you missed the wonderful rocking sensation as you walk across all the while looking down at what looks like a tiny ribbon of water, (which is really a very big river)

Anonymous said...

What fabulous photo's Flora!!!

I'm with you on heights!!! Just looking at that bridge made me nauseous. Very NAUSEOUS!

Isn't it great that your 15 year old son wants to travel with you! Our son who is now 24 will still take vacations with us... I cherish it because I know all too well when he gets his own family it will change.

Yes America is where I want to travel!!!! See you ~: )

PEA said...

Oh my poor Flora, oh I can totally relate as I suffer from the same fear. My dream was to see the Eiffel tower and go to the top. I saw that little elevator grinding with 50 people and said no way! So I took pics from the bottom. One day I hope to get a chance to do it again but doubt it. I missed my chance.
That bridge would have done me in. I have a whole another reason for fearing bridges and it is understandable to most folks.
Glad you are home and you made it through okay. I think the boys should send you to a spa for a weekend just for not killing them! LOL

Flora said...

AHAHAHA!!! Everyone of y'all are just as scared!!!!? Too funny!!
I'm not alone afterall!!!No I never crossed that bridge it would have done me in for sure!! I can see the headlines " Tourist dies on Royal Gorge bridge!!!"AHAHAHA!!
Thanks so much everyone for the kind comments about us and my son!!!
Christel ,my dh and I loved the the name Walker too, it is unique!!! Thank you!!!

Gingermelon said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip and photos Flora!! It's so nice to know I'm not the only one who panics near heights! Most of our holiday earlier this summer was spent with me keeping my eyes glued shut on the drive too! And then there's my fear of crossing bridges...
So glad you and your family enjoyed yourselves!

Flora said...

Hello Shelly,
So good of you to come visit with me and to see your lovely face!!!
Isn't it a pain not to be able to really enjoy the sights? I really tried but keeping my eyes shut was the only way for me to cope...LOL!!!

Cindi Myers said...

I shouldn't laugh but your vacation story is so funny! You sound like you were a good sport about it all. I would have been yelling along with you in that mine elevator and probably grumbling as I hiked to see the falls. That drive down and the tunnels!!! OMG! I would have been SO stressed out, trying not to freak! And trying not to be MAD! Ha!
I'm glad you had a good time, Good Luck with next years vacation!
tee hee!

Flora said...

Hello sweetie!!!!
It really was funny in hindsight!!
But it didn't feel too funny at the time... I WAS TOTALLY stressed out each and everytime we went anywhere and yes I grumbled too, but my dh was sooo good and understanding, I had to stop and count my blessings, but it wasn't easy!!! Thanks for stopping by!!!

Tamara Dozier said...

Flora, I was "lucky" enough to get to drive out of some of those mountains. I drove from very high up down the steepest and thinnest road I've ever seen. Afterward my kids teased me about my death grip on the steering wheel and to this day tell people how I bent it in sheer panic ...... lol

Flora said...

I know about death grips...Better you than me,I could never, in a million years, see myself driving on any mountain, for any reason!!!
Although one year on our way home from upstate N.Y., I was designated driver ( of a coach )and somehow wound up on a mountain rode!!! OMG , OMG , OMG!!!!I almost died and were it not for devine providence , we all could have died. Seriously,once I realized where I was, I panicked and came to a complete stop , mind you it was nightfall,there were other cars behind me and others passing me, I was close to tears. The rest was a blur, my dh somehow got in the drivers seat and drove us off, I cannot remember. So hats off to you!!!

Lisa said...

Oh Flora, that was good, funny, and it brought back my memories of Pikes Peak! Did you know there are mine holes everywhere, and I do remember going across the Gorge...not today I wouldn't! Good times!


Flora said...

Hello Lisa!!!! I'm sure I will look back at these pictures with only good memories, which they really are, I just really couldn't appreciate it at the time!!! kinda like childbirth...almost as painful!!!
I seem to recall many holes everywhere too, the guides said that "surveyors" would dig into the mountains and take samples of earth to have them tested to see if
it was worth the time to mine?
Y'all are some crazy people, one look at the gorge and I got a bad case of vertigo...that was more than enough for me!!!LOL!!!

Whisperings 13 said...

Flora, what a great post! i loved all the pictures- you crack me up- i laughed so hard, the way you describe things! just picturing you white nuckled and chanting- you poor thing! there is no way you would have gotten me within 100 feet of that mine. no way. no how. and while i have no problems with high places, as long as there is a mountain underneath me- that photo of the bridge... the "best for last" gave me heart palpitations! you are a brave woman!
tracey jean

Flora said...

And no one was more suprised than I ,that it was me !!!! Hello Tracey,how are you, I'm so glad you came to visit!!!
Brave? piece a cake!!! I as long as my eyes stayed close....
Thank you and Blessings,Flora

Susan said...

Flora ,
you were about 3 miles from our old home in Woodland Park ,Co . We had Pikes Peak view from the front window! You didn't say anything about feeling dizzy or sick most people find the air too thin when they arrive at the point. So sounds like you did pretty well.Every picture you took reminded of my daily drive into Colo spgs. to go to work. I used to love that drive especially in the summer, the mountains were always about 10 degrees cooler and I always felt like I was headed to a vacation home instead of where we lived. It's a very peaceful place to live. Susan

Flora said...

Susan!!! Oh how I envy you, I would give anything to be able to really enjoy nature's beauty!!!Yes I had a case of vertigo whenever we were anywhere near the mountains, let alone driving on them.
I never stopped marveling about the weather, imagine being able to enjoy the outside in August without burning?
Thank you for stopping by to visit!!!

Hobbygirl Dolls said...

Thank you for sharing these photos. It truly makes me miss home!!! I know what you mean about the heights. I am from Colorado and I am an acrophobic. Go figure! Thanks again. :)

Flora said...

Hello and Welcome Juanita!!!
I can't imagine how or why anyone
would leave such a wonderous place!!! But I really don't know how you could have really enjoyed Colorado with acrophobia !!!!!?
Thanks so much for stopping in!!!

Skeleton In My Closet said...

Oh Flora, you are just too funny! You sure know how to tell a story
: - )

We did Colorado in '08. Pikes Peak, Royal Gorge and Garden of the Gods. We did our tour down the center of the state starting (after flying into Denver, of course) in Fort Collins to visit with my hubby's nephew and going as far south as Alamosa and the Great Nat'l Sand Dunes. I really regret not visiting the southwest corner of the state but hubby said there was no time - so instead we spent 3 days in Manitou Springs ::sigh:: I'd go back in a heartbeat - thanks for taking me there again : - D

Flora said...

THanks Josie!!!You know I couldn't even look at the pictures for a while because even that made me dizzy? LOL!!!SERIOUSLY!!!
OH!!!! Manitou is just the most wonderfully quaint little area!!! We went to the " StageCoach " restaurant and did a bit of shopping there too, it's just like a whole another world and feel!!!
Meanwhile the weather was just too beautiful for words!!!You went on the Gorge...I just got dizzy again...really, I caught another bug and I've been lightheaded too...hehehe!!
I'm glad you enjoyed it Josie, thanks for the visit!!!

Lyneen said...

What beautiful places you had the opportunity to visit...
Great pictures!

Since you are a doll designer did you have a chance to go to the Simpich museum in Colorado Springs. At one time the Simpich family had a factory there. They stopped production in the not so distant past. One of their children had a puppet theater and added the museum after the factory closed. I own a couple of Simpich Santas.

Flora said...

Lyneen, I never knew about these delightful dolls until you just mentioned them, I would have dearly enjoyed myself the!!! If only!!!

Tejae: Heart Shaped Art said...

flora, how funny!!

I live in Colorado Springs! I would've waved to you if I had known you were visiting. :)


Flora said...

Tejae, I'm sad to say I probably would never have seen you wave anyway, my eyes being shut and all?
You are so very lucky to live in such a glorious place!!!
The area is simply breathtaking!!!
Thanks for visiting with me!!!