Helicopter ride over Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon
Years ago I came over to America from England on a vacation. We rented an R.V. and toured through California, Arizona and Nevada. We arrived at the Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon area, and decided the best way to see both magnificent landmarks would be by helicopter. We paid our fee and were shuttled out to the airstrip. In front of us was a navy blue helicopter with an all-glass front. Our pilot came over and introduced himself and we got in. I was sat in the front seat, and then wished I hadn't once we were in the air...
I had no idea how I would feel going up in a helicopter, because it looks as though there is nothing below you at all! All you can see is straight through the glass and therefore all around and below you is clear; you feel very vulnerable but at the same time very excited and it is the best view imaginable! Our pilot was young and bold. He must have enjoyed the smell of fear emanating from me and so decided to take the helicopter in and out of the pylons and then swooped straight down deep into the dam, leaving my stomach in my mouth. He then climbed up the side of the dam at angles which defied gravity and made the helicopter (and me) groan. When we got as high as the tallest pylons he would once again weave in and out and swoop down at such a speed I received a temporary face-lift. He continued at this pace for the full half hour. It was outstanding and a great experience. When we got out my legs were wobbling and shaking so much I could barely wal!. It took a little time for me to gather enough confidence to take our short jeep ride to our next flight.
We boarded the second helicopter along with another couple for our Grand Canyon flight. This was also an exceptional experience descending to the inner depths of the Grand Canyon and witnessing millions of years of geologic processes. We went so low, we could see the Indian dwellings and people milling around; we could even make out the brave (or stupid) people on ponies going down the precarious and narrow winding paths of the Canyon to the bottom. Then we soared up the rock face at top speed. It was nearing nightfall as we took our flight and as the sun lowered, it spread gold over the rock face, changing the colors to deep reds, pinks, mauve's and purples. It was truly magnificent. The pilot was experienced and knew all the best places to show us. We paid quite a lot of money for these two helicopter trips, but in truth, they were worth every cent as we look back on those memories as very special events in our lives.
Nowadays you don’t need to board two different helicopters to see the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon; they even land deep in the Canyon for a champagne picnic - 3,200 feet below the rim, and you can dine under an authentic Native American shelter. But we were happy and completely satisfied with our fantastic airborne adventures.