The Grand Canyon's West Rim

The West Rim of the Grand Canyon
The West Rim of the Grand Canyon

Destiny or Dumb Luck?

In October of 2006, I was asked by my sister and her husband to go to Las Vegas for ten days. Aside from the fact that my job was killing me and that I needed a break, Vegas was on my Bucket List of places to see before I got to my maker. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and so I didn't hesitate when they asked--I didn't even have to think about it. For me, it was a simple question with an easy answer. I started packing almost immediately. Our plane couldn't get to Vegas' McCarran Airport soon enough!

I must say, the sights, sounds, and people were amazing and that was just the terminal! There were slot machines inside the terminal! I sensed danger, like Spider-Man but ignored it. I was here to have fun. Just as soon as we arrived, we followed the escalators down to the sub-level to where we waited for what seemed like an instant for the high-speed Tram to pick us up to bring us to our luggage. I tried to control myself by not looking around too much but I couldn’t help myself. There was just so much to take in. I couldn’t wait to play some roulette and black jack.

By the time my sister--always the shrewd negotiator--got us checked into our rooms, I already had three Mojitos (remember James Bond’s, Die Another Day?) and won $875 at the roulette table. All this, and I didn’t even see my room! The great thing about Vegas is that many of the rooms are suites, complete with Jacuzzis, balconies, bars, and big flat-panel TVs. That’s just how they roll, I guessed. I didn’t regret coming at all when I was asked out of the blue, and also didn’t realize just how much I needed a break until I got there.

After a few days of drinking, dancing, gambling, eating, and LOTS of sleeping, my sister decided that we needed a change. She wanted to go and see the Grand Canyon and as the smart husband as he is, he complied. “Okay, hon,” he said. What a smart fellow! So off we went on this bus tour early the following morning. Where the heck’s the sun? I thought. When we got onto the bus and sat down, the bus driver had an announcement to make. For some reason, I thought it was bad news. In so many words, he told us that “something had come up” and that there wasn’t enough people on the other bus and exactly three spots were available for the much better but longer tour to the West Rim. “Does any one want to go?” The three of us looked at one another and then our hands flew up into the air in unison. We had no idea that we were going to get a rare treat at no extra charge.  Consequently, we got the Platinum Packaged Tour at the Aluminum Foil Price. Here’s what we saw:

Please click photos to enlarge

What would become the Skywalk (2006).
What would become the Skywalk (2006).
Present-day Skywalk at the West Rim.
Present-day Skywalk at the West Rim.
Courtesy of www.grandcanyonskywalk.com
Courtesy of www.grandcanyonskywalk.com

The Grand Canyon Skywalk

In October of 2006, when I ventured out to the Grand Canyon's West Rim, the glass Skywalk was yet to be completed. It wouldn't be until March 28th, 2007 when famous astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin would take the maiden walk to commemorate the occasion. After having made the walk, he was quoted by the Reuters News agency, saying: "I felt wonderful, not exactly floating on air...But a vision of hope for the future." BBC's Andy Gallacher who went on the Skywalk remarked that the glass beneath his feet was so clear it was like walking on a cloud. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is owned and operated by the Hualapai Nation who built the attraction to earn some much needed cash.

Extending 65 feet beyond the edge of the Grand Canyon, the Skywalk offers a one-of-a-kind view of the Grand Canyon at 4,000 feet above the ground (please take a look at the graph on the right). Horseshoe-shaped, the Skywalk's walls are made of 4-inch thick glass so visitors must wear special non-scratch socks as a precaution when taking in the magnificent view. In itself, the construction and engineering of the Skywalk is astounding as it can hold up to 70 tons or 14 African Elephants and withstand winds of up to 100 miles per hour. The price of admission to walk the "walk" is currently $33 a person after the 7% tribal tax.


Please click photo to enlarge

See the Eagle?
See the Eagle?
In this one you can see its legs
In this one you can see its legs
One of my favorite pictures
One of my favorite pictures
Ventilation for the home
Ventilation for the home
Hualapai Tee-pee
Hualapai Tee-pee
This would make a great dog house
This would make a great dog house
Fossilized Seashell
Fossilized Seashell
The Hualapai Circle Dance
The Hualapai Circle Dance
A Circle Dancer
A Circle Dancer

The West Canyon

What I personally enjoyed most about visiting the West Rim is the fact that it was uninhibited. There were no railings (to the chagrin of many) and there really wasn't many people there. I enjoyed the serenity of the scenery, the stillness of the air and the tribes people of the Hualapai Nation who were very informative and friendly towards their guests. I didn't get my teeth knocked out when taking any of my pictures and wasn't pushed or shoved when getting on or off the bus. I even made a couple of friends and managed to not getting into any fights.

I really enjoyed seeing Eagle Rock...The first picture is mine. If I were to take the second picture, I would've needed to be aboard a helicopter or quickly falling to my doom, as I leaned over the edge of the cliff so much that both my sister and her husband were screaming for me to step back. Funny as it may be, I am afraid of heights but while there, I had absolutely no fear of falling for some reason.

Being that we were official touring around the Hualapai Reservation, which section was also called West Canyon, Eagle Point, and to the surprise of many, Guano Point. Yes, as in poop. Once upon a time before synthetic fertilizer was invented, men used to collect guano from one of the biggest known bat caves in the U.S. Bat guano is actually very rich in nutrients.

The Hualapai had on their reservation an outdoor museum which I found to be amazing. For the most part, we were asked to stay on the trail. We were able to enter a few of the tee pees and dwellings per our guide and were able to take as many pictures as we liked.

When we came across a little mound of clay with a hole inside it, I tapped my sister on the shoulder and pointed at the clay mound. "Look!" i said. "It's Molly's house!" In response, my sister began to crack up and no one else knew why. Molly is a Pekingese that my sister owns. For any of you that know my hub: Write a 55-Word Story, you'll know that she's in the one photo I have on that hub. Our tour guide then glared at me to the point where I wanted to apologize (and didn't know why). You'd think I punched the guy's little sister in the face, the way he looked at me. Any how, I thought the joke was funny. Turns out that clay dog house was a fire-pit. Very cool.

One the coolest things that I saw while at West Canyon was a fossilized seashell. Our tour guide told me that the Colorado River that once flowed through the Grand Canyon proceeded after the Pacific Ocean flowed through it millions of years ago and here was the proof. I had no idea of this at the time. When learning about Mars another time, I found out that the Martian Canyons are seven to ten times deeper than the Grand Canyon. That would then lead many to believe that Mars was once very much like Earth with an abundance of water.

Lastly, our tour group were treated to a Circle Dance which lasted about seven or eight minutes. It took a great deal of hand and eye coordination, not to mention footwork, as the circle dancer is required to skip hoops or circles on the floor and twirl them with all his limbs. It was very impressive. The speaker told the story about circles and about how important they are to his people. If you've seen Dances With Wolves, you'll know that to the Plains Indians, circles were extremely important as they are constantly recurring in nature (i.e. the migration of the Great American Buffalo).

© Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

So Far, So Good! (Hub 8/30)

Please Vote!

Would you walk the Skywalk?

  • You betcha bottom dollar! Where do I click for tickets?
  • You must be out of your gourd! I wouldn't go for all the tea in China!
See results without voting

More by this Author

  • Visit Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom
    31

    Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kindom If you are planning to visit Walt Disney World, I suggest that you go to Magic Kingdom first. To me and my family, it was the best way to start our tour of all four parks: Magic...

  • Autumn In New Paltz, New York
    140

    Several years ago when first I transferred from Plattsburgh to New Paltz, New York, I didn’t know what to expect. My emotions were an equal mix of both excitement and fear as I began a new chapter in my life....

  • American Express Centurion: The Black Card
    109

    American Express Centurion or American Express Black is the card in which all other cards are compared to. Perhaps the most coveted of all credit cards or charge cards for that matter, the American Express Card is...


Comments 50 comments

kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

What amazing pictures! An amazing stroke of luck you getting those 3 spots on the other bus! Lucky you :P :D


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you Kirsten. I have a lot more photos but didn't want to SPAM my own hub with them. I highly recommend going out there as it really is an alternative to going to the South Canyon (the most visited Grand Canyon site) even with the popularity of the Skywalk.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

What fun. How amazing it must have felt on that platform. I'm not too sure how I would have handled it. The eagle is amazing.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Frieda. I really recommend going out there (I'm getting repetitive). Not only is it beautiful in its own right, but its a shorter ride if you're coming from Vegas! Great, memorable, uninhibited fun.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Excellent hub. I'd love to visit Vegas and the Grand Canyon. However, you would not get me on that skywalk for a million dollars :)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Shall we then say one...billion dollars???

Although I've yet to go to the South Rim, which is the most popular of the Grand Canyon sites, I like the West Rim because of its close proximity to Vegas.

If you do go, I'd like to hear about it! Thanks, UW.


Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago

Beautiful pictures Dohn. I am glad you were able to take many pictures.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Right now, I'm using still using an outdated Cannon ELPH 5 Megapixel which is what I used for these pictures (all but 2). As soon as I get more money in the till, I want to buy a professional digital camera from Cannon with the BIG zoom lens. I love taking pictures and always try to take good quality pictures every chance I get. Thanks for the comment, UH.


wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

You know looking at the grand canyon the first time feels surreal. It really does look like a picture. It sounds like you had a blast.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yeah, Wesley. It was a life experience. Everyone should see the Grand Canyon at least once. Just seeing it reiterated to me just how big the world is and that any moment, anyone of us are in danger of dying...Even Superman died, didn't he? But then he came back:)


WildEyes profile image

WildEyes 7 years ago

Oh wow!!! What beautiful sights! No way could I go out on the skywalk..just no way.

I've been to Vegas on business, but there was no time to play or sight-see while there. Thanks for sharing these awesome photos!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Not a problem, WildEyes. I'm working on a hub on Vegas right now. I hope it'll be done by tomorrow. Your not the only person to refuse the Skywalk by the way! Imagine going on it and jumping up and down! Just kidding. Thanks for your comment!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

OOOOhhh, I love it Dohn! I can't wait to go! Thanks for sharing. I'm all about the skywalk too! Can I have Uninvited Writers' million or billion? I'm not picky.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Apparently one million doesn't cut the mustard! I wanted to add more pics but decided that less was more. As soon as you return from the West Canyon, I'd really like to hear about it! Thanks for stopping in to say hello!


Mrvoodoo profile image

Mrvoodoo 7 years ago from ?

Cool hub dohn121, loved the Vegas start, it's definitely a place I'd like to visit (though perhaps not for too long), then on to the Grand Canyon which is something I'll probably never see but am always in awe of, then the reservation which was very interesting, even if you did nearly catch a smack for insulting their fire-pit. ;) It's always cool to travel through someone else's eyes, enjoyed it.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks again, Mrvoodoo. Never say never, my man! Anything is possible. Be on the look out for my Vegas Hub, because I'm going to do that next. This 30/30 thing is tougher than I thought. I'm trying to find a happy medium between quality and quantity. Wish me luck :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

dohn, thanks for sharing your great trip. we went to las vegas in the 90's, and boy, i wish we would have made that side trip. your pix are great.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

It's never too late to go back! I went from 2006 until 2008. The jury's still out on whether or not we'll go this year, because my sister's doing in-vitro. We'll see what happens. If I do, I'll definitely bring back more pictures. Thanks again!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Awesome pictures. I went to Grand Canyon but didn't go on skywalk. Thanks for making me go again. :D


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you for being such a daring soul! The vote now is about 50/50! I should have made a poll so others could vote:( Oh well, I guess I could still do it. Thanks for the comment!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Yes you can still add the poll. That would be interesting. :D


Raggits 7 years ago

Great Hub!! I got to visit the Grand Canyon in 1970. And we just drove the rim. So I never saw Eagle Rock. With 5 kids and 2 adults in a sedan, there was a lot of tension. But I will always remember it. Thanks so much for sharing.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I wish someday I could visit the Grand Canyon. The photos are beautiful Dohn. :-)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you Raggits, for your comment. I'm sure that your adventure was more than you bargain for! I hope you had air conditioning at least! The roads outside of the West Rim can be treacherous and unforgivable. The worst thing that could happen is to have car trouble.

Nothing's impossible, Michelle. A few months ago, I was telling a friend from home how much I wanted to see Australia for a "little while, like a month." Last weekend, I received a phone call from my aunt in Melbourne asking me if I would like to come and visit! Weirder things have happened! How do explain that one? Thanks again Michelle!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

WOW!! You are going to Australia. Some of my favorite hubbers are from Melbourne both Agvulpes and Earnestshub would be delighted to meet you. :D


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, hopefully! There are a few things that I have to take care of first before I do, but I certainly will keep you updated for when I do. I've been wanting to go for awhile and feel that if I don't take advantage of the opportunity, I'm going to regret it!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I hope you will have a great time. There are many wonderful places to visit in Australia.


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America

Another beautiful hub dohn! I love Vegas and the Grand Canyon. After renting a houseboat to live on Lake Havasu for awhile, it spoiled me a little - glad I hiked it before that.

Your way of writing makes me feel as though I walked right beside you and viewed all - you are a master storyteller! I appreciate all you share :)


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

That sky walk is making me sick, just looking at it! I would hate to walk out on it.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, SEM Pro! I always look forward to all your comments:) It's so good hear from you! I would love to someday live in Lake Tahoe, ever since I saw the Godfather (2?) where Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is at his home and hosting his wedding reception! I love the scenery and serenity there, not to mention of course that it's near Vegas--it's certainly a bonus! Thnaks again, SEM Pro!;)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Sorry that you don't like it Ivorwen. I hope you enjoyed the rest of my hub? Thanks for commenting.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Yes, I did enjoy the rest. The Eagle rock is something I have ever seen before, or even heard of. Love the little hut and the adobe oven.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks for confirming that, Ivorwen! I appreciate you visiting me twice as it's definitely a bonus!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Great seeing the Grand Canyon from your perspective. Have been there several times but all before that skywalk was built. You certainly lucked out with your tour!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, I definitely did! Maybe someday you'll see it yourself (I highly recommend it) Thank you so much for visiting me! I look forward to reading more of your hubs!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

hi DOHN< WOW, it was really stunning, I have a Filipina friend here, she promised me, we will go there next summer, I hope can skywalk like that too. Good for you DOHN< you should go back there, you need a break! nice and awesome pictures too, and winning in the roulette for you!

have a good day always!

Maita


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I really hope you get to go soon, Maita. I don't think you're that far from the Grand Canyon are you (less than 1,000 miles or so). You're really going to love it, I know. Don't forget to bring lots of water and a camera with extra batteries too! Thanks as always.


Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 6 years ago from Michigan

Good Post, great information. I went there as a kid, and need to go back. my wife still has not seen the grand Canyon, even though we went to Vegas 5 times. but next time for sure.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Please do, TFT! You won't regret it. I really do recommend the West Rim as it's still not as commercialized as the South Rim, being that the West Rim belongs to the natives their. Thanks again!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great hub and pics! You'd never get me on the Skywalk!!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Would you do it for a Klondike bar? ;) Thanks for visiting, habee. I appreciate it and knew that you'd like it.


Bbudoyono profile image

Bbudoyono 6 years ago

Excellent description. I learned a lot from you on how to describe things.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, Bbudoyono. That's wonderful to hear. Maybe someday you'll visit the Grand Canyon as well, my friend.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy

Dohn - I was there. In fact I feel like I've just got back. Honestly, you sound like the best person ever to go on holiday with - I think your enthusiasm is the holiday in itself. It's funny because usually no one manages to capture the magic of their holiday and the listener's eyes tend to glaze over (or is that just when I tell holiday stories) but that's not the case with you. And I loved your quick decision - even if it is the Grand Canyon I would have 'um'med and 'ah'ed and by the time I'd thought it through the plane would have left. Anyway, I've been now because of your hub! What is it about you and buses? They always seem to march you off them - at least it wasn't cold this time! I'm going to keep that bit of knowledge up my sleeve about the West Canyon (ok, I'm going to have to convince myself I haven't really been) - the one thing that would put me off it would be the fact that (from what I've heard) it's so full of people and railings and all - the West Rim sounds perfect. That second photo though - it doesn't actually look likes it's close to the edge - is that some trick of the light? I can understand your sister and her hubby screaming - I would have done the same thing too! And as for the Grand Canyon Skywalk...uggh, it makes me feel dizzy looking at it! Perhaps it would be different if I went there though. Ugh, no, I've just looked at the photo again. I'd be hiding in that little dog house!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Oh, apricot. You do have a way of making me blush ;) Thank you so much for the comment and compliment (they're always the same with you). I had a really great time while at the West Canyon and just couldn't help but to share it with everyone. The truth is, I don't get to travel all that much (the library, mall, and supermarket shouldn't count). With that said, even the slightest of adventures, like hiking can really have a profound effect in me. There are still so many places in this huge world that I want to visit, hopefully by sailboat if time and tide will allow it :D You really do know how to make a guy blush ;)

I'm so happy to hear that you took this bit of an adventure with me. When reading a story, I always want to escape to a place I've not been before, to smell the new air and hear the new sounds and meet new people. I sure do hope that you too, will get the chance to visit one day. I sure as heck want to go to Europe myself as I have an uncle in Belgium that's egging me to visit and an aunt in Australia that threatened to ring my neck if I don't visit her as well!

When you visit me, we'll go and we'll play this game: "Who Can Get the Closest to the Edge of the Grand Canyon." I'll admit, I've never won before. I guess I'm a loser :D

That dog house is a delight, isn't it??? Just don't tell the Hualapai that it looks like one. They're likely to scalp you for it :D

Dohn


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy

Yes, the Hualapai man sounded like he means business!! I might try and remember to say the dog house comment in a low voice though!

Hmmmm, yes, I'll definitely consider playing the 'who can get closest to the edge of the Grand Canyon' game but I'll be torn between that and an indepth discussion with the Hualapai man on how the clay mould looks like a dog's kennel! I'm not sure which I'd chose in the end..(perhaps going up to the edge of the Grand Canyon would be safer).

That is such a gift though - being able to see an adventure in a mundane outing - what I mean is, it probably isn't mundane at all but it becomes that way to most of us..hang on! I feel a quote coming on: 'And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy' - ok, I was trying to be clever but I realise I don't really understand the second part! You get the idea though...you really should visit Europe - it could do with being woken up! Just don't tell the dogs their houses look like kennels - they can get uppity sometimes!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, the mediocrity of things don't have to be so if you can see the beauty and serenity of life itself and it's place in the circle of such. Great point and I do understand you!

Someday I will get to visit apricot and that I promise you. It was only in October or so that I finally got my passport, so I can actually travel outside of the States without being TOO clever, haha! As a dog lover, I'm sure I can sweet talk them into believing their houses are way better than those in America :D


G Miah profile image

G Miah 6 years ago from Muslim Nation

Platinum Packaged Tour for the Aluminium Foil Price! That's got to be one of the best quotes i've heard in a long time man!

Haven't been there yet, but will go sometime soon. I get breathless just by watching it on tv sometimes! It is beautiful. Thanks for the good read dohn.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Haha! Thanks, G Miah. You're the only one that's pointed that out, so for that, I thank you :D I really do hope that you get the opportunity to do so (I highly recommend the Platinum Package by the way). Cheers!


Mela 3 years ago

The Magic Of Making Up is guaranteed to prdoive you with your boyfriend or girlfriend again. Supporters Increased on his world of one with his fantastic former included a reminder that should spend less their relationship. You're ready to quit fooling by myself and believe that my whole life is nothing with out him. Many people believe that when that time is reached there isn't any additional turning back. | m) There's an mp3 with the entire guide book to help you publish it to your mp3 player and start paying attention to it in a vehicle, that the gym has, whenever you go walking your dog, around the practice, on the shuttle bus essentially on the go. This is the actual-life, action-by-action complement that could enable you to get from the impulsiveness in getting back your ex or maintaining them from abandoning. The one thing you won't ever wish to do if you are for the getting conclusion should be to harrass them with telephone calls. Moreover, you may may perhaps favor online video media format.Related Info

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working