February 09, 2011

ski lifts are VERY DANGEROUS. (tm)

I have no problem flying. I don't mind boats. I love roller coasters.

But ski lifts scare the pants off me.

In China, we went to "Dragon's Gate" in Kunming. Basically, you take a cab to almost the top of a mountain. Then you take a gondola up for about 30 minutes. Then you hike a kilometer up steps. And then you are at the top of the mountain and you get to see these temples carved into the side of the mountain that are very old and beautiful. Sounds like fun!

When the family I was with suggested that we take the gondola, I was on board. Gondolas! Yay! They sound enclosed and safe.

Wrong, silly. By gondola, they meant this: (hat tip to Lattany for this picture. I was holding on for dear life and did not take any while actually ON the gondola.)

gondola? WRONG. death carriage.

They meant open with a little bar across your lap as you traveled HUNDREDS OF FEET ABOVE THE GROUND UP A MOUNTAIN.

I wasn't really okay with that.

At first I was all like "This is irrational, Jenna. Really irrational. Look at all of the people that are going up and down this mountain. Have any of them died? No. They have not."

Then Lattany started to rock the ski lift and I was like "AAAAAH WHAT IF THEY JUST ARE REALLY GOOD AT HIDING THE BODIES?!"

see the ground? FAR AWAY.
I decided a better way to pass the time was to imagine what would happen if we were to fall off the ski lift at any given point. Examples of our conversation: "I think if you fell on the rocks right there you would die. But these trees might break your fall, so you would only have some badly broken bones and possible be impaled with a tree branch. Here you would definitely just die. Here you might survive with only a broken leg!"

I'm surprised that my debbie downer mantra didn't cause Lattany to PUSH me off. 


at a few points, you were just dangling tens of thousands of feet over this lake. (the view was kind of like this. although i took this picture once we were on solid ground.)


the other problem with this ride was that it went on and on. It wasn't just a 10 minute ride. Or 15 minute ride. It went on, and on, and on, and on. . . .

FINALLY we made it to the top. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had no idea how much it affected me though until Mrs. G and I were standing by the pool of the sacred cow. (I do not mock, it really exists, and that was its name.) She looked over and saw my knees were literally knocking. very repeatedly. Normally sacred cows do not make one this nervous. Then they started taking me a little bit more seriously--ok, not really.
heights are okay. ski lifts and heights are not.

Instead, Lattany made me pose for pictures like this one.

(and lest you think otherwise--it actually was AMAZING. once we were off the ski lift. 


I realized that I needed to conquer my fear of the ski lift. I'm working on it. But I've also realized that maybe I just don't ever want to go skiing ever. EVER. in my life.

 then we went to the great wall of China and had to ride another "gondola. . . " but that's a story for another day.


After I got back to the US, this happened and I felt totally justified.

Okay fine, a little bit justified.

see? it was really beautiful. I just liked it when we stayed pretty close to terra firma.


1 comment:

Valerie said...

Hey, Jenna, been thinking about you and wondering how you're doing. I could completely identify with you on this gondola/ski lift adventure/tragedy. I don't think there's anyway to "talk" yourself out of it. The fear of heights is in my genes. You were awfully gracious NOT to strangle Lattany after she rocked the lift. I broke out in a cold sweat just reading about it. Valerie Benavidez

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