Recently, I was able to cross off another item on my bucket list. While in Las Vegas, I took a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon and over the Hoover Dam. It was the absolute best way to see both. I saw more of the Grand Canyon than anyone could from standing on the edge and I got closer to the Hoover Dam than I thought I ever would. It turns out the Hoover Dam is not restricted air space and helicopters are allowed to fly over it. I also turns out that the Grand Canyon is, in some respects, the jurisdiction of the Native American tribe that controls its air space, and the tribe provides permits to helicopter companies to fly into it and throughout the Canyon. When you’re up at 8000 feet you feel as if you are moving in slow motion but you realize how fast you are moving when your pilot flies near a rock formation and then it becomes clear that you are cruising at 150 miles per hour. There were times I would look down and think: “If we crash there is no way anyone’s going to be able to rescue us”. There were times when we didn’t see any trails and there were certainly times we didn’t see any roads but we did fly over a plateau that looked like it had a runway. In fact, those were runways and they were used by the United States Navy to practice aircraft carrier takeoffs and landings years ago since the edge of the runway fell off the cliff.
Unfortunately, a week after I returned from the flight the helicopter company we used had a tragedy. One of its 6-passenger helicopters (identical to the one we were on) crashed. Three people were killed and it became a very difficult rescue to get down to the ones that had survived. If it had happened before we took out flight I have a feeling the wives would not have been so comfortable. We pray for those that passed away and were injured, and thank God that our flight was safe and thrilling.
So check another one off the bucket list.