My first morning in Las Vegas had me being driven down the Strip to McCarran airport in a stretch limo.
There, I climbed into a tiny helicopter that took me over the Mojave desert, within view of Mead Lake and the Hoover dam, all the way to the Grand Canyon. We landed within it and were given time to explore and enjoy a champagne brunch.
Let’s just say this was a more luxe experience than I normally go for. I was until then a backpacker, a camper, a youth hosteler, not someone who stays at a nice hotel and drinks fancy drinks by a pool lined with palm trees! And I most certainly was a frugal traveler, not one who would do such extravagant things as take a half-day helicopter ride from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Nope!
I’m not sure what came over me during my planning of my southwest road trip. I’ll plead mental exhaustion, what with the stress of having lost my dad earlier that year. I needed to be pampered and catered-to, to do things just for fun to reawaken my zest for life. I didn’t know if I’d ever come back to that part of the US and I was so close to the Grand Canyon. The helicopter jaunt sounded like the perfect way to see the Canyon with the time I had available to me. It just about broke my budget, but it is now one of my most cherished memories.
Rather than taking photos during this jaunt, I made full use of the video setting on my camera, so the following images are stills from my movies, explaining the poor quality. Unfortunately, the second half of my Grand Canyon recordings have been lost due to reshuffling between several computers. I have managed to save a picture of me at the bottom of the canyon, proof enough that I was there even if someone did tell me that the image seems to be photoshopped. 😀
Sometimes you end up in a place where you get the chance to experience an incredible adventure. Do it and @%@$ the budget. I applied this lesson when I decided to hike the Chilkoot Pass at a time when I financially had no business doing so.