My day began with a text from my mom reminding me to bring an extra pair of pants to work - she knew I would be riding the TERROR-dactyl.

The Cave of the Winds ride, which sits 220 feet above the floor of Williams Canyon, reaches speeds near 100 mph.

I'm afraid of heights so watching videos of passengers dropping 200 feet on a two-seat bench induced goose bumps. Listening to the yells echo off the canyon walls added to my anxiety.

If not for some peer pressure from colleagues John Schroyer and Michael Ciaglo, I probably would have taken a pass.

"You have to do it. You're the reporter," Schroyer told me. In times of fear and nervousness, those were inspirational words.

As the ride attendants strapped Schroyer and me to the bench, Schroyer peered over and started to laugh.

"You should see your face right now," he said. "You look like you're going to puke."

Before I could respond, the floor beneath us began to pull back and my feet soon dangled over the side of the cliff.

The bench slowly tilted forward 90 degrees, leaving my torso parallel with the ground below. I grasped onto the harness with as firm a grip as I could muster in anticipation of the moment.

Then, without warning, it came. I was dropping ... fast.

With a combination of fear and excitement, I screamed as the bench sailed through the air. It was a swing on steroids, taking us from one canyon wall to the other.

For the first time all morning, I was able to enjoy the stunning scenery surrounding me. And smile.


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