Summer dates in our house are a tradition, I guess. About three years ago, MOTH and I saw the importance and beauty of having a little one-on-one time with the kids. It started as a dinner and a movie kind of date, but has recently morphed into more specific dreams and desires that are kid-specific. No matter what, it's something about them . . . and for them. It's fun.
Well, last year, Middle's summer date was cut short and she got the crap end of the stick. So she got the first date this summer. She picked me. Usually, the girls pick me and Little picks MOTH. She gave me free reign to plan the date.
I chose to do a Lantern Tour in Manitou Grand Caverns. It's about a 90-minute walking tour through a semi-fixed-up cave system that is about 30 minutes from our house. Of course, there'e no electrical and there are some very low tunnels and narrow passageways. The tour guide tells ghost stories the whole time and gives you the history of the folks that discovered this cave system. It's pretty cool and it was worth every penny.
BUT . . .
The really fun part was this . . . .
This is The Wind Walker Aerial Challenge Course. Check it out here. When I showed it to her hours before the date, she was gung ho, as was I. We were so brave in the safety of the office just viewing pictures. When we got there, it was a bit of a different story. Suddenly, we were chickens. Big chickens with fluffy feet that wanted to hide in the hen house and incubate eggs. See below. Part of the course hangs out OVER the rim of the gorge, so when you are out on that little brown platform, you are, um, I don't know exactly, but really FRICKIN" high in the sky. See that person out there?
We took our tour and decided we'd give it a go. I figured if we did the obstacles on the lower level, of which there were 10, it would be worth the month. There were beams and jagged little sticks to walk on, different configurations of cargo nets . . . all kinds of Survivor-slash-Fear Factor obstacles. Before I go on, YES, you wear a harness. You're clipped it and it's safe. It's a fear-of-heights thing. Even IF you fall . . . and you can . . . you only fall a few feet . . . however much slack is in your line.
Middle and I were the ONLY ones on the course that night . . . so . . . our 20 minutes of time turned into an hour and we both mustered the 20 seconds of insane courage to go up to the upper course. It started with, "I'm just gonna stand up there." And then it turned into, "I think I'll do this one." Which led to, "Ok, I'll follow you, I'm feeling brave."
Then suddenly, we were on the edge of the canyon and I looked at her and said, "Want to?" And she said, in a moment of wisdom far beyond her 10 years, "I think if we get down at this point, we'll be full of regret and will be back tomorrow to prove to ourselves that we can do it." Side note: HELLO! Winner's attitude!! I became a tad verclempt up on that precarious, treacherous scaffold overlooking 500 vertical feet of gorge. I'm so proud of that kid & I love her so much! Seemed like icing on the cake to take the first step out on that single wobbling rope and work my way over to that little brown platform.
We did it!!
We both did it!!
We both had bravery beyond words and insane courage and we not ONLY went out to that tiny little platform overlooking the world, but we did ALL of the obstacles on the overhang. One, I will admit, was damn frightening. The reach was pretty stinkin' far and it was windy as heck up there. The wind was blowing fiercely from the south and, for the obstacles with just a dangling rope, they were really swinging in the breeze . . .
The most unfortunate part is that you can't take a snapshot while you are up there. Phones and anything that could fall out of your pocket stay on the ground, for good reason. Today, I'd even endure the hell of a BAD cell phone picture of myself just to have the physical evidence that I did it. I'd pin it up in my office and make it the wallpaper on my computer. But, it's one of those things that I'll remember forever . . . It was so fun!
We spent an hour on the course, came down with rumbling tummies & adrenaline coursing through our veins. We had a great dinner at Texas Roadhouse & came home with great stories to pass along to the family!
|Middle's 2012 Summer Date at Cave of the Winds. We tackled a bear-of-an-obstacle course.|