As I was looking over pictures taken on our recent travels, I was struck by how many times we found ourselves way up high looking down. Hiking on trails that took us well above the forest floor, riding on a train through narrow mountain passes, biking along a path that traveled over old, abandoned train trestles, peering down from the lip of a dam that towers 550 feet above bedrock, and standing on a “see through” bridge that spanned a rocky river hundreds of feet below.
I know a few people who wouldn’t find these views very enjoyable. Some would muster their courage and go anyway, although trying to avoid a direct line of sight to what was below. Others would probably deny themselves the experience altogether, unable to overcome their fear of heights.
I realize that I have no idea what these fears feel like. I do know that they are not ones that people can just “get over.” They are real and they can be terrifying. And they can be frustrating. And they can be limiting.
For me, getting high is part of the fun, and I am so grateful that I’m able to embrace these experiences and enjoy the incredible views.
67 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: Getting High”
Jan, that is so strangely funny that you just published this post as I was looking at the Kings Pathway in Southern Spain, which for a bazaar moment I thought we could go and see it. After viewing photos, it was deleted off the list 🙂 Ummm yes I don’t like heights, trying to overcome the fear. The photo of the pathway is a good one!!
At least you considered it… even for a bazaar moment! I’m not sure how the fear is conquered, but I’m betting you’ll get there!
Stunning view, thank you!
I also enjoy a view from on high – it offers a different perspective, a bird’s-eye view. However, that “see-through” flooring did me in one one hike up a fire-tower. Actually, it was the hike down – being able to see through the grate gave me vertigo and I caused a log-jam on the stairs. That was embarrassing. 🙂
Yes, even for someone who isn’t afraid of heights, those see-though “opportunities” are uncomfortable. I took that picture, then moved along…
Gratefully, I do not have a fear of heights, but my husband does.You are right in saying it is something that you just can’t “get over.” A view from the top is pretty amazing, no matter where you are in the world. Being the one who takes the photo from the ground is fun too. That way, it still counts as a shared experience.
That’s a great way of sharing the experience – both from the top and the bottom. I have a friend who can’t even look at pictures like that without her heart racing.
I don’t know how or when a fear of heights develops, but I know I have it, and can remember having it all of my life. So I’m happy to admire your gorgeous pictures from the comfort of my computer desk, but will pass when it comes to venturing through mountains and experiencing other dizzying views!
I’m not sure where it comes from either – maybe a bad experience or a parent passing down the fear to his/her children. I’m not exactly fearless… you’d never find me bungee jumping for instance.
Great pictures. I have it to some extent although I still do some height stuff. Of course I would never climb on your roof no matter how good the view!
Several years ago a neighbor fell from his roof (it didn’t end well…) so I’m not that anxious to do that either.
Thanks for the adventure. My wife has a great fear of heights but she is the type of person that tries to overcome it. There are things that she just can not do. The see through bridge would definitely be one of those.
That bridge made me a little nervous too… but of course I had to take a picture!
Janis, I am humming John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” as I page through these, written well before Colorado’s cannabis law change. Keith
“Ain’t no mountain high enough” came to me, followed by “River deep, mountain high”. We have a playlist here!
Funny! I guess John Denver was referring to actual heights too.
Janis, that may have been the case, but they viewing may have been enabled. Keith
My toes are still curling after that last photo (was it the last? – I closed my eyes after I looked at it) 😉
I have to admit that “view” made my toes curl a bit too.
You had me at the title, Janis. And the views that you have shared are exceptional. Looks like your recent travels were truly amazing!
We had a great time, and now have wonderful memories.
Amazing photos, Janis! Thanks for sharing your “high” with us. And so glad you enjoyed your sojourn to the Pacific NW. It’s a great place to visit, and a great place to live!
I could easily see myself living there… at least part of the year. I’m not used to cold and snow, so I would have to have another home for the winter months (one can dream).
I like to get “high” as well. 🙂 The best reward for a strenuous ascent is a wonderful view. The most disappointing part of a strenuous hike is the lack of a view because of clouds/mist/rain. Very diverse and rewarding trip, Janis!!
We were lucky not to have mist and rain (except while hiking in a rain forest in Alaska), but we did experience some of the smoke from the fires up in Canada.
I’ve made that loop from White Pass, through Coulee City and over the North Cascades Highway. One of the most beautiful trips ever. Thanks for the memory-jog 🙂
Isn’t that area magnificent?! I hope we get back there one of these days.
It truly is. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Gorgeous photos. Thank you!
I’m glad you enjoyed them!
Again! The Hiawatha Trail!! Wowzer!! Somehow, someway I have to figure out how I can get someone to make this trip with me!
I really hope you can ride it one day. If I’m ever planning to visit that area again, I’ll let you know.
oooh – thanks 🙂
I enjoyed all your photographs of looking down. I live in the mountains, and most of the time I’m looking up. It was great to have different views with you.
You are lucky to be able to enjoy the mountains every day. I hope you have a chance to experience views from above too!
Lovely images. ESPECIALLY the one looking down the side of the dam.
I was mostly concerned about dropping my camera while taking that one. It was a LOOOOONG way down!
😉 Well done!
Lovely photos and the perspective of gazing downward is never dull! I’ll have to remember to take more photos looking down at that steep angle for future reference!
I hadn’t realized that I had taken so many pictures from great heights until I got back and started to review my photos. It does present an interesting angle.
You must be a thrill-seeker 🙂
Yikes, I’m not good with open air heights, but if there is a wall I’m fine. Enjoyed your pictures though. 🙂
We all have our limitations… that open grate made me a little nervous.
Love the bike trail! That was the one that made me want to be there the most…must put it on my travel list as well.
While my husband has a strong fear of heights, my fear is more about being “unable to get down/back.” It’s an odd pairing when we travel. He’s fine climbing up mountain cliffs, but won’t get near the edge at the top for a view. I worry about traversing back down (and have stopped going up for fear of being unable to get down), but love the views from the top. Similar for church steeples and bridge over passes. We all have our moments!
I hope you can experience that bike trail one day. It is an unique experience and, since it’s mostly downhill, not too strenuous (although you have to be in decent shape since there’s not much coasting involved). The views are amazing! No worries about getting back to the top… you can take a van 🙂
I grew up with a fear of heights, but learned to get over it (at least a little) because that’s where the fun is.
Exactly! I don’t know how you did it, but I bet that you are happy you did.
Actually, hiking has helped me overcome my fear of heights, and those looked like some places I would love to be! The dam picture was especially intriguing!
You would love the hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest… they are everywhere!
Your photos make me want to travel somewhere beautiful, ASAP! But I can’t always enjoy these sights in person. I am slightly afraid of heights, but my husband is VERY afraid of heights, so we are a bit limited.
Fortunately, there are plenty of beautiful destinations that don’t require “getting high.” I hope you get to go soon!
I echo so many of your other commenters in saying that I’m not a huge fan of heights, although I managed a hot air balloon ride just fine. But I do love the photos, and love the idea of putting them together in a collection for this post.
It would seem that if you could go up in a hot air balloon, you are doing pretty well. That experience is still on my list to do.
Not a fan of heights, but I can, if necessary, do what I have to do when I encounter them. That being said, I much prefer to see your photos of the heights. Thanks for sharing them.
If the ratio of comments are any indication, it appears that a fear of heights isn’t very rare at all. As long as I feel that I’m on solid ground, I’m ok, but I am not inclined to take chances.
I would love to go hiking in the North Cascades National Park! When’s the best time of the year to go there hiking?
I’m not sure when would be best, but I would think the spring (once the snow melts) and the fall would be spectacular. I’d love to go back in another season sometime.
Hi Janis! Great “HIGH” photos. I LOVED the one with you shooting down through the grate below your feet. I love high places and your photos were perfect. Thanks for sharing them. ~Kathy
I’ll put you in the “not afraid of heights” column. Just part of the bridge had that grate – most of it was solid. I’m glad the builders made the effort to open up the view for us!
You are one extremely brave woman. I have serious issues with heights – I actually feel nauseous if I have to walk or be where I can see a precipice. Standing over that grill as you are, would be impossible 🙂
I’m not sure that I would label myself as brave – I just don’t have a fear of (certain) heights like some do. You would NOT find me climbing up – or rappelling down – the side of a sheer cliff, for instance. 🙂
Great height of picture sense. Gookluck!!
I guess I love “getting high” 🙂
Every picture is stunning. As I think I’ve mentioned on these pages, I am terrified of heights. But my camera is helping me overcome my fear to take ‘must have pictures’. I didn’t flinch when looking at your pictures until I got to the last one standing over the grate. That made the bottom of my feet tickle which is the sensation that I get when on high.
It’s hard to imagine that you are afraid of heights. With all of the traveling and boat-related duties you must have, I would think that you’d be perfectly comfortable “getting high.” Must have pictures are a good incentive to overcome fears.
The older I become, the less comfortable with heights I am. I am okay with mountains, cliffs, tall buildings, and bridges as long as I have a solid footing, but you would never catch me sky diving, bungee jumping, or zip lining. And I can go up a ladder only three rungs. The fourth rung makes me start to shake.
I would categorized that more as having a fear of falling 🙂 , which is a healthy fear as far as I’m concerned. Although I’ve zip-lined, I’ve never sky dived or bungee jumped… nor would I. And, ever since I fell off a ladder and broke my hip last year, I don’t like ladders much at all either.
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