Thursday, January 29, 2009

What A Vision! by DL Larson

On my recent trip to California, my husband and I visited an engineering marvel called the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. If you are afraid of heights, then this excursion might not be for you; the mountain station sits atop the San Jacinto Peak at 8,516 feet. The eight and a half minute trip by fancy cable car is like traveling from Sonora to the Canadian tundra. It's a geological miracle.

The experience is awe inspiring, the view spectacular, but what really captured my heart was the history behind building this architectural titan. Electrical engineer Francis F. Crocker had a vision to build a tram straight up the mountain. The year was 1935. Newspapers quickly nicknamed the idea as Crocker's Folly. World War II shelved the plan, then the Korean War stole his dream once more. Finaly in 1960 Crocker approached the California governor Earl Warren for permission to resume. No government money was used in building the towers, and Crocker hired the best engineers in the world, many from Switzerland who were already familiar with the many obstacles in facing such a task as building into a mountain. The use of helicopters took much of the equipment up the mountain. The winds alone would have had me thinking twice on taking that kind of ride.

In 1963, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway opened. It's been called the Eighth Wonder of the World. In 2001 the orginal cars were replaced by cars with rotating floors. Let me tell you, the panoramic view is so cool, and the dip and sway when passing through the towers is better than a Disney ride!

As I viewed the valley, then the boulders and crevices along the trams path, I marvelled that someone would hang on to a dream for over thirty years. Mr. Crocker never let go of his dream. He faced untold obstacles, yet his focus is to be commended. So the next time I get a little down in the mouth with my writing career, thinking I'll never finish what I started, never make it big, never get the satisfaction I'm seeking ... you know what I'm talking about... Well, I will remember my tramride, I will remember the fortitude it took for Mr. Crocker to see his dream become a reality. So I will hang on. I firmly believe the journey is just as important as the vision!

Til next time ~

DL Larson

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

I would be terrified. I'm deathly afraid of heights.
Glad you enjoyed yourself.

Morgan Mandel