Friday, June 1, 2012

Facing My Fear

Just a quick heads-up - my blog post today has nothing to do with education. Hopefully, you won't mind some non-educational rambling and some personal photos from time to time! I'm typing this from a hotel in Boone, NC. Yesterday my husband and I went for an awesome hike on Grandfather Mountain - but it was probably the most strenuous and scary hike that I've ever been on! Our daughter Amy will be attending Appalachian State University next fall and we traveled to Boone for her orientation. Since we love to hike, we decided it would be a great opportunity to hike as well.

Yesterday Marco and I drove to the top of Grandfather Mountain and set out for Calloway Peak, about 2.5 miles away. Little did we know that this "hike" would involve scrambling over boulders and climbing up ladders that were bolted into rock faces. If you've ever done much hiking, you'll know that most hikes are marked as easy, moderate, or strenuous. This one was marked strenuous, but after about 2 miles of hiking, I decided that there needs to be another difficulty level beyond strenuous - the word "treacherous" came to mind! Not only did you have to be in great shape to tackle this trail, but you had to be agile enough to climb over boulders and up wooden ladders such as this one.

It turned out to be a spectacular hike, and I've included a few pictures to show you what I mean. The rhododendrons were starting to bloom and the weather was perfect. However, the pictures don't really do it justice, nor do they convey just how scary this hike was for me.

You might be wondering why I titled this post, "Facing My Fear," so it's time to fess up. I'm afraid of heights, and this hike caused me to face that fear many times over. My dad and my husband are both rock climbers, but even when I'm roped in, I'm terrified on a rock face or anywhere close to the edge of a cliff. To climb up some of those ladders and walk across exposed areas of rock was an act of bravery for me! The trail actually had a safer option where you could bypass most of the ladders and rock faces, but you would also miss the spectacular views. I'm proud of myself for taking the scary route and facing my fear! 

But I have to be honest and admit that I haven't totally conquered my fear of heights. My knees will turn to jelly and my heart will pound the next time I do this hike, but that won't stop me from doing it again. Am I ready for anything more? Not yet. Next weekend my husband and daughters are going sky-diving for the first time ever. They asked if I wanted to go, too. Thankfully, I didn't have to decide because I have an important meeting that day and I can't miss it .... really. But if I hyperventilate at the thought of walking across an exposed rock face, I'm quite sure that I'm not ready to jump out of an airplane!

 


12 comments:

  1. Way to go, Laura! I'm terrified of heights, too. So, I can really appreciate how hard this was for you. Good job!

    Elizabeth
    Fun in Room 4B

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  2. Awesome pics and way to go on the hike!! My mom used to live in Boone, then moved down the mountain to North Wilkesboro! The whole area is beautiful! Small world! :)

    Josh
    Mr. B's Beach Brains

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  3. What fun! Good job taking your fear head on. Looks like you had a blast!!

    ~Stephanie
    Teaching in Room 6

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  4. What a gorgeous place to hike!Congrats on facing your fears!
    Alana
    Special Teaching in the Middle

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  5. Laura, you are one brave sole for sure! I get vertigo just driving up the road to Grandfather Mountain, and you can forget the trip across the bridge. Still like you, I love watching the world unfolding below from the top of a mountain. You've reminded me of how much I love the mountains. (My mother was from Madison/Buncombe County.) That will be a day-trip some time soon.

    If you ever get an uncontollable urge to go skydiving, let me know. I'll come and get you. You can tell everybody you were kidnapped. There is a fine line between bravery and are-you-crazy? Stay on this side, please!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret! I'll keep your offer in mind if my family decided to drag me along on another skydiving trip! A few summers ago I got up my nerve and did some parasailing with them and I found it to be really exciting and not very scary. Somehow I don't think that will be the case with skydiving. How can it not be scary to jump out of a plane?

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    2. It's a deal! Also just noticed that I said you were a brave SOLE. I know better than that. Wasn't talking about the bottom of your foot, but that part was brave too. So was your SOUL! Geeze!

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  6. Gorgeous pictures. I do so love hiking, and will have to add Grandfather Mountain to my list of places I want to visit.

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    1. Yes, you definitely need to do that hike. It was great!

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  7. Great pictures! I too have a fear of heights but that looks like a great hike and the views must've made it all so worth it!
    Diane
    schoolhousetreasures

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    1. Thanks! The views were terrific, so I'm glad I did it.

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