Our day started at 5:00 a.m. as we needed to be waiting outside at 6:20 to catch a shuttle van to a small airport at Henderson, where we began our Grand Canyon Adventure. After much perusing of brochures we’d decided that, although expensive, the full tour with Vegas 500 was the best value. At the airport we were offered coffee and comfortable couches to sit in, after we’d signed all necessary waivers, while we waited for the plane to be prepared. Pictures were taken, instructions were given and we climbed aboard the nine-passenger Cessna Caravan and were lifted up into the bright blue yonder. It was a cool, but clear day, unlike the two previous days when three of our fellow passengers, who hailed from Ireland, had attempted the tour. This was their last chance, and luck was with them.
We all had window seats, which made for much picture taking all around as we flew over historical Boulder City, Lake Mead and Grand Canyon West. Upon arrival to the Hualapai Indian Reservation airport our plane pilot got us our arm bands for the rest of the tour. We were thrilled to learn that we had been assigned front seats on the helicopter that awaited us! Lots more picture taking as we dropped over the cliff and down 4000 feet into the Canyon.
From the helicopter we were hustled down an embankment to a large pontoon boat that would take us on a twenty-minute trip on the Colorado River. Wow!
Back to the top in another helicopter, we boarded a bus to Eagle Point, where we awed at the vistas and ventured out onto the glass Skywalk. No cameras were allowed here; no phones or purses or backpacks either. Lockers were provided for such items, and we were given cloth booties to put over our shoes before we stepped onto the glass. A professional photographer was available to take as many pictures as we wanted. Of course, they were all beautiful and we couldn’t choose, so ended up purchasing the whole package! When we were ready, the bus was waiting to take us to Guano Point, and then onto Hualapai Indian Village. The designated three and a half hours slipped by too quickly. At the Village we were given a delicious buffet lunch before we had to catch our bus back to the airport for our reluctant return to the city.
Another long, exciting day ended in a very early retreat to our beds while the younger members of the family partied into the wee hours. A text message received long after we’d been asleep told us that one of them had won $1,000 at the slots! Did we want to join them? We had to pass.