Jung Family Vacation in Arizona, Day 3: Grand Canyon and Acrophobia

We all woke up early on Monday, and headed North to the Grand Canyon. In the back of my head, I knew the canyons were incredibly massive and deep – but it didn’t quite register that we would be looking down from a significant height.

The moment I got near the edge, my knees got weak and my palms began sweating nonstop.

A lot of the photos I took were like this – complete with gate, as I wasn’t able to get close enough to the edge.

The views were quite breathtaking.

Near Mather Point, and about as far as I was able to walk.

Watching people along this trail made me incredibly nervous.

A warning to not feed the squirrels. Because plague.

Two guys, about to launch a quadcopter. They were having camera troubles when we saw the takeoff, but I’d love to see the video they shot.

What follows below are all photos from Liz. My camera ended up dying… and I wasn’t really getting close enough to the ledges for any good shots anyhow.

This is me, trying to look calm and not fall over backwards into the Grand Canyon: America’s Hole.

As beautiful as all this was, my fear of heights really was all-consuming. While I wanted to take in the massiveness of the canyon and really soak it all in… my brain kept screaming that I needed to back further away, and that was all I could really process. Nothing else was able to get through.

At best, I could look over briefly, and then walk away from the view for a few minutes.

I’m actually quite happy for all these photos from Liz.

Liz, Jasmine and Stacey.

Seeing my family walk near the edge as also terrifying for me. Even though I was a safe distance away, seeing them near the ledge caused a great deal of anxiety (my hands are sweating again as I type this).

I’m sure a large part of it was that from my vantage point, they were much closer than they actually were. But it still wreaked havoc on my brain, and in numerous instances I just had to turn around completely and stop looking at them. From my POV, it seemed like all my loved ones were making incredibly reckless decisions regarding their safety (they weren’t)… and I just had to stop watching.

Here’s my theory: every single person on the planet has an ongoing percentage chance of falling to their deaths over a cliff. For most people, this number hovers near zero for most of their lives.

As I watched tourists leaning on the gates and hovering near the ledges, I could see these percentages increase over their heads. The closer you got to the edge, the higher the number got.

There was a decent amount of wind too, at the various points we stopped at. I have a bit of Anemophobia as well, so coupled with heights it was just the worst of both worlds.

I’m afraid of falling down, and afraid of getting pulled up. I guess I’m just incredibly happy with things as they are.

Jung Family Vacation in Arizona, Day 2: Montezuma Castle and Bell Rock
Jung Family Vacation in Arizona, Day 1: Arrival and the Shadow of Castle Rock
Arizona, 2004

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. I have not been to the Grand Canyon yet, but I definitely understand where you’re coming from with heights. I don’t trust my body to not give out at a critical juncture and fling me over the edge.

    Mellzah Reply

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