Chair Lift

    I’ll be honest. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again because my therapist says it helps to talk about things that frighten you. I’m afraid of heights. I always have been, and likely always will be. It’s one of the reasons I have never been a huge skier. To get to the really fun slopes, you have to get on a chair lift. This idea is not appealing to me.

    But, lo and behold, my wife loves heights. She’s terrified of harmless things like mice and spiders, but she’ll sit on a chair lift stories above the ground or jump out of a plane any day of the week. So, of course, for my birthday, she bought me something combining a great love with a tremendous fear: a scenic visit to the top of Mt Hood… via chair lift.

    Yep, apparently those mountain sickos have decided that winter time isn’t enough for the fright of chair lifts. Turns out, these things are here to scare me year round.
    “You are a sick woman,” I say to her with a smile.

    “C’mon. It’ll be fun,” She says, smiling back.

    When she buys me a gift, she likes to buy me something that will create memories. She likes to buy me something that will challenge me and make me a better man. So, of course, she buys me something that will also terrify me.

    Turns out, she bought me something I enjoyed. Thoroughly.

    If you’ve never climbed Mt. Hood, especially at Mt. Hood Meadows, you don’t know what you’re missing. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to take in what the great Pacific Northwest has to offer. Just an hour from downtown Portland, the chair lift took me up where I viewed, with jaw firmly dropped to the floor, a wide range of topography and panoramic vistas.

    I couldn’t get over the varied flora and fauna. The way the mountains jut up and seem to pierce the sky. The view was ubiquitous and triumphant.

    But, my wife being the clever girl she is, she had more planned. She had arranged a guided tour on one of the many hiking mountain trails. Here, with my feet firmly entrenched on the ground, thank God, I got a closer and informative look at everything the area has to offer. I’ve lived here my whole life, but I don’t know if I’ve been able to really appreciate all the beauty—and from so many different angles—until that day. It was truly spectacular gift. I loved it. My wife knew that I would. My wife is amazing—and so is Portland, Oregon.

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