Western history Western Travel

Scenic Views from a Desk Chair

When I was young, one of my favorite toys was a ViewMaster. When you held the device up to your face and looked into the eye holes, a vast array of scenic views in a quasi-3D format unfolded. This was my first exposure to treasures such as the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Garden of the Gods, and Old Faithful Geyser. As I pressed the lever down, the reels transferred the beautiful images before my eyes, around and around, again and again. Little did I know that I would leave the Midwest as a young adult, and would live near these scenic areas in the Western United States during my entire adult life. To this day, I keep a ViewMaster and a few reels in my desk drawer. Since my son was more attached to his GameBoy, I felt no qualms about repossessing as my own the magical viewing device we must have given to him on a birthday or Christmas.

Cave Without A Name
Cave Without A Name

I had not indulged in a peek at these secret treasures in some time, so I recently gave it a whirl. There they were, the same scenes I relished as a youngster. I’ve visited most of these places by now, or at least something like them. For instance, I’ve never been to Carlsbad Caverns, but I’ve seen Cave of the Winds in Colorado Springs, and Cave Without A Name near Boerne, Texas. The scenes there were equally as thrilling and possibly more adventurous due to their remote locations. I never cease to relish the views of the West and to appreciate the many ways to enjoy the land and its illustrious history. When time and money are sparse, or I’m feeling confined to my desk chair, I can always rely on the trusty ViewMaster to lift my soul with the beauty and wonder of the most scenic places in our country, and beyond, at least for a while.

Joyce Lohse, www.LohseWorks.com