Saturday, June 25, 2011

Road Trip, c. 1961

I've no memory of this early road trip. It was probably blocked out from the trauma of perching on the edge Niagara Falls. It is absolutely the last time I was voluntarily perched on the edge of anything. My sister (on left) has no such fears. Whenever we traveled she and Daddy would scale whatever there was to scale. I still remember her legs dangling beneath the fence (literally queasy as I write this) on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. I stared up at them on the Eiffel Tower, saw them waving atop the Tower of Pisa, and every other monument over two stories tall we visited while we were growing up. 

I've made some progress in adulthood. With enough time I've been able to creep close to the edge of the Grand Canyon and peer down into Bryce Canyon. I've walked on rope bridges in the jungle and even climbed the Statue of Liberty. None of it has been fun, but I've managed. Still, there's no way this picture will EVER be recreated. 

Mother's caption on the back reads "Terror at Niagara Falls" so perhaps my fear of heights was inherited. 


  1. I'm glad you don't remember the actual event, but the feelings remain. Do you think your mother was referring to you when she wrote on the back? BTW, I hate man-made heights, but am okay with natural ones. On a lighter note, I love the photo.

  2. My mother hated heights too. Even crossing the bridges over the freeway. once we climbed a little up a fire observation tower in the middle of the manistee national forest. never, ever been to any of the famous high sites you have seen.

  3. I can almost start hyperventilating just looking at that picture.

  4. My memory of Niagara Falls was the stinky rubber raincoats rented to tourists under the falls. There is a photo in my mother's album of all of us standing under the waterfall in our big black raincoats, and I have a look on my face like I just smelled a dead pig nearby. We all talked about the smelly raincoasts for years. I love your post, and maybe I should try to scan that raincoat photo from Mom's photo album.

  5. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson are at Niagra Falls today! She called and asked whether we had taken her there as a child. We had. It was also one of the only family vacations my parents took my family of nine on. Still have the movies!

  6. Imagining your sister with legs dangling from the top of the Empire State Building makes me light-headed! When I was 2 or 3 our family used to go to a reservoir to feed the fish. My brother, 11 years older than me, would lean me back over the edge and let go, grabbing me just at the moment before I fell. I used to have dreams about it. It wasn't as high as Niagara Falls but frightening, nevertheless. My highest building to date is Marblehead Lighthouse in northern Ohio, at only 65 feet. It was sheer determination that kept me climbing those steps! Terra firma for me!

    It's a great photo and the most important thing is you survived!

  7. Don't forget, you did go up the Sears Tower in Chicago, but if I recall it correctly, you never left the interior wall right by the elevator! So close and yet so far.

    Still love the heights -- Love the pic, I don't remember ever seeing it -- and I Love reading your blog!

  8. Oh,my. You are all making me feel super brave, as Niagara never bothered me too much, well, that tram ride thingy cross the whirlpool was a tad spicy, but standing at the falls did not bother me.

    But, Empire State building, NO, NO, ICK! Never ever again.

    I have managed to do some of the revolving restaurants, Toronto and Niagara Falls to mention them. NF was actually pretty cool, as we did it in the middle of the winter and stuff was frozen, looked really neato! LOL

    Then, there was that Palm Springs Tram ride this winter, That one fixed me forevermore! NO MORE tram rides, no sky lifts, NOTHING! LOL

    I had weak knees at Grand Canyon, all those people standing on rocks and even looking happy about it, Just what is wrong with them anyway??? LOL

  9. The first time I remember being somewhere where the height terrified me was at Niagara Falls when I was about 10 years old. In my 20s, I desparately wanted to become a climber and I conquered my fear of heights by just doing it. After I stopped climbing, the fear came back... sigh...


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