I can get up (if I don’t look down). I can spiral to great heights (if I don’t look down). I can even with some courage wiggle up thru a portal door with low head clearance and come up, rise up, to the view. To the miracle of distance, heighten perspectives and even perceptions. But down? I cannot go back down. I struggle and clench the ice-cold cast iron and brass railings (with both fists) until the cold hurts my hands and I find a mantra. “This is an irrational fear. . .This is an irrational fear. . .This is an irrational fear.” Until I am down and out and breathing the warm air outside the lighthouse tower.
You can read more on the Point Iroquois Light here.
So I laughed as Mike who was ahead of me looked back and signalled he was going ahead. I blew him air kisses and gave and air hug and waved him on. We would not have been heard over the crash of waves and the roar of the wind.
When I reached the divide I knew why he paused and looked back to me. Mike knows my fear of heights. I fell behind as I took 70 some photos of frogs in a tidal pool. We often separate on hikes but let each other know which direction we are headed. I stood analyzing thechasm. No going down the back side of the rock as it was pretty shear. Lake Superior roaring up a storm on the other. It had to be acrossthe divide. The rock shelf I was on stood slightly taller. It was a drop tot he next shelf. The gap was in my mind a bit over two feet. I threw my water bottle across, slung my camera over my shoulder and to the back. I began to cross. On my butt, I put out one leg to the far shelf, great hand holds on my current shelf, and one leg. Yhe idea I had was like going down stairs on your butt. I would just kinda shove myself. WRONG!
I froze in place. I felt like I was going to sag and pour into the chasm to the crashing waves below and drown. It was a 15 foot drop. I began to yell for Mike, which I thought was utterly futile. But Miracles do happen and he heard me. “Like a mosquito buzzing in his ear,” He said.
Mike perches between the two sides like some great mountainneerman and says use me to cross. Well I had to keep urging myself and I was now fearful for the nose of my camera. So I surrender my camera to Mike. I get my bottom and body across. The scenery was worth it.
On the return I hadto cross again, It was not pretty and basically I have been telling the story as Mike shoved my *ss over the crevasse. But I feel I did get over a fear. I did not let it hold me back. I just needed a bit of help. I successfully bouldered the trail despite my fear of heights.