In the continuing evolution of the new universe in which I live, I actually made good on a promise to try something new and exciting. Understand, in my past life (The "Old Tim" is the phrase I use frequently) "new and exciting" meant blue-cheese stuffed olives in my martinis as opposed to jalapeno-stuffed olives. So to actually ride the chairlift thingy I mentioned in my last blog was quite a step up. But I did it. I wouldn't say I conquered my fear of heights, but I did conquer my fear of stepping up and doing something a bit out of my comfort zone. For that I'm proud.
Truth be told, the chairlift wasn't all that scary. Once you make it across the street, actually going up the mountain you're not really that high off the ground. The mountain is going vertical at basically the same angle at which you're going vertical. There were times that I actually lifted up my feet for fear they'd drag the tops of bushes and small trees going up the mountain. So anyway, that was no problem. My bride and I shared a moment of victory when we got back to street level. She was proud of me and I live for moments when I can make her proud...there's been way too few of them since we got married in 1997. This accomplishment now safely in my resume I then got cocky...
There's this place there called "Ober Gatlinburg." It's at the top of the biggest mountain overlooking Gatlinburg. I mean it's up there...so up there that there was (in July) a bit of snow on the very top that hadn't melted. They have this huge skylift thing that goes to the top. The cars hold over a hundred people...so you can see it's the graduate course in cable-vehicle college. After attempting it, it's clear that I should stick to the remedial courses. I feared for my life. I stared at the floor and said bad words. I made deals with God. Those who are reading this and have had the (dis)pleasure of flying with me know what I'm talking about. But the point is, I tried it. The door is now open...though I must admit that further explorations will involve strange new worlds much closer to the ground.
Here's a video some brave soul (who didn't stare at the floor and said bad words) took of the skylift ride to Ober Gatlinburg. Notice that when it goes over the huge towers that accelerate everyone screams. That's because it not only accelerates you but swings the damn thing back and forth.