TCS: Skywalk at the Grand Canyon

Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”

– Wallace Stegner

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When I first heard about the Skywalk project at the Grand Canyon, I must admit I thought: “Standing on glass thousands of feet above the canyon floor? No way!”

But if you look at the engineering, it seems pretty solid, and the view is spectacular.

When I was a kid, we took several side trips to the canyon going to or coming back from our summer vacations. A lot of things that seem so big or special when you’re little, are real let-downs when you see them again as a grownup. I’ve been back to the Grand Canyon as an adult, although not recently — and it’s never stopped taking my breath away.

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You may not have time for the whole suite this morning, but it’s worth a listen when you do have some time:


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Or if you need a gentle, centering wake-up, try this track by Carlos Nakai:


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It’s good to be reminded that some things will never disappoint you.


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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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14 Responses to TCS: Skywalk at the Grand Canyon

  1. Terry Welshans says:

    I love the Grand Canyon. I have taken many trips there in my travels as a young adult. I took my newly-minted bride there on our honeymoon in 1970. On the other hand, the sky walk is pretty scary. It is pretty new and the owners (a Native American tribe) charge quite a bit for the privilege of standing a few feet past the rim.

    It is hard to believe it is so deep and wide, to say nothing of its length. On our way to Hawaii in December the pilot of our flight made a PA announcement as we flew over it. Very visible at 30+ thousand feet.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Well, the Skywalk did cost a fortune to build – it’s kind of refreshing to see a group of Native Americans making money from something other than gambling..

  2. I have never visited the Grand Canyon. I have seen it from an airliner at 40,000 feet, but not up close. You would need a very large gun to force me out on that skywalk. I would definitely never go voluntarily.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      LOL – That’s how I felt until I saw a full documentary on how it was built – now I’m at least willing to consider it – it’s got to be safer than standing right at the edge of the canyon and trying to see the bottom with nothing to stop you from falling in, which many idiots do.

      And believe me, the Grand Canyon is something you really should see from closer than 40,000 feet up, whether you go out on the Skywalk or not.

    • Ron Stokes says:

      I’ll be standin’ with you, Chuck and I think I’ll choose the big gun. I have been ‘fraid o’ heights all my life. If I want my balls jumpin’ up into my throat I’ll simply look out from the second floor window. I’ll take Florida sunsets from sea-level, thank you.

      • wordcloud9 says:

        Sympathies Ron – I’m not real fond of heights, but the Grand Canyon is definitely worth seeing – truly one of the wonders of the world. There are other viewing spots with protective barriers where you stand on solid ground.

        • Ron Stokes says:

          Oh, it’s on my bucket list, but the forces of nature never created a plexi-glass overlook… I’ll stick with what you call the protective barriers.

          • Most pilots I know hate heights. I knew a Marine fighter pilot who flew Harriers. He was invited to a cookout at a friend’s apartment. The grill was on the balcony of the high rise. He could not even be bribed with beer to go out there.

            You know it’s bad when a Marine turns down a beer.

          • Terry Welshans says:

            Under those circumstances, I agree, but the second through twelfth a marine would have a hard time saying no.

      • Terry Welshans says:

        Funny thing though, standing at the bottom, it looks like any other canyon or perhaps like a narrow valley. From the top, you can see it is like a trench, flat ground all around for some distance pretty level on both sides.
        Airplane gas at the Grand Canyon Airport is a bit pricey though – almost $8.00 a gallon – almost 3 times what it costs here in Kentucky.

        • Approach and landing at the Hidden Splendor airstrip in Utah. Best viewed on full screen.

          • Terry Welshans says:

            Looks more like highway 34.

          • Ron Stokes says:

            I was fine, Doctor, with my ass supplanted firmly on the couch. The vid was cool, like a Nat Geo but I hadn’t realized the plane was gonna land… I saw a foot-path, not a landing strip and a puff of breath was sucked from my lungs. Strange about what some call excitement. Thanx.

  3. We just shared about our experience at the south rim on our blog! Have a read if you get a chance!

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