So we got as far as visiting a cowboy town and Oatman was great but it didn’t stop there.
A wonder of the world I have always wanted to see is the Grand Canyon. I have sometimes thought that it may not be as Grand as it is made out to be but I wasn’t about to pass up a chance to go see. The intrepid 4 set off in our trusty minivan to Hualapai land and the two sights of eagle point and guano point with the added bonus (not for a person with a distinct fear of heights) of the skywalk. Driving there we got to appreciate the expanse of the states and the Joshua Tree forest was amazing – stirring thoughts of the U2 album of the same name and a little trivia from who knows where that’s suggests due to climate changes the Joshua trees are on the move. One day it is said that they will be no more in Joshua Tree national park as the environment will not be conducive. My three travelling companions were suitably impressed with my gargantuan knowledge base so much so I don’t think they heard a word I said 🤔.
So after being taken from the car park by bus to a replica ranch (not the most impressive plastic cowboy town I have seen but aimed at youngsters and with some startlingly good ice cream) we arrived at Eagle Point.
To say we had driven here, we had not had to scale any mountains or drive up one of those precarious hillside roads where the side falls away and for your car window you feel like you are having off the edge, I was gobsmacked!!!! The land just falls away to the steep sides ravines that are massive and deep and wide and go on forever. There is no fence or wall on the edge and the surface is worn smooth by tourist footsteps. It is not a let down at all it is GRAND! And took my breathe away.
I couldn’t bring myself to go near the edge but could imagine the drop by looking out at the other buttresses I didn’t need to increase the risk. A man in a high via vest patrolled the edge calling for people to move away, this out only protection from certain death – to me it seemed a little too little. To fear factor deviant McCann it was like elf&safety gone mad stopping her from looking down into the abyss from the flaky edge of a billion year old rock face. Her disregard for the potential slippage, deathage and all around calamity whilst something to behold made my anxiety rocket. guy and Jon too seemed to have no understanding of our predicament. I did take an opportunity to look down a fissure and see the strange gray/blue colarado river in the bottom of the valley – blooming amazing.
How can the land just fall away in big gaping ravines like that.
As if the edge wasn’t enough eagle point is home of the skywalk. At a height of approx 4000ft from sea level and with a vertical drop of about 300ft to the colarado river my question was why?
A 70ft long suspended goss walkway over the vertical drop. Of course in the planning meetings for attracting more people to this part of the Canyon everybody thought it a great idea. A seethru walkway where you can clearly see your own demise would be a crowd puller. Well it is!! Humans are just plain crazy.
But this year I am 50, I have had 50 years of fearing heights not able to look over walls or balustrades that are too high, not good with ladders or high buildings. So of course I paid the extra 20 dollars to walk on a glass floor over a 300ft sheer drop!
You cannot take phones on the walk but after putting the shoe covers on (a cheap way to get the glass cleaned by the punters who have paid) we stepped toward the entrance an intrepid bunch of 4.
We had to out cloth covers on our shoes, I think this is a cheap way of getting the glass cleaned. As we neared the bridge I could feel dread rising. The fear of heights is not irrational and to fall would be unwise but to not be able to walk on a secure bridge or building can be debilitating. The three musketeers set off and strode purposefully to the middle, leaned against the railing pointed laughed and smiled. I had only made it as far as the edge of the land. As soon as the land dropped away I stopped and retreated. I met a girl called Meghan in the doorway who also could not bring herself to venture out. We kept trying and retreating like the dolls that come out of Swiss cuckoo clocks.
After about 15 minutes of this Vicky and Jon came back for us and we grabbed their hands and set off. My heart stopped for a short while and it was like a dream that was not real that I was floating in the air. As we neared the middle we had to swap from one side to the other (I wanted to be within grasping distance of the handrail) and this was like a leap across the abyss but I did it. I was 4000ft above sea level and I knew it. Towards the end I did feel like I could stop and admire the view which I did for a milli-second before Meghan steamrollered me the rest of the way around and to solid ground.
Though it was not the amazing stand and stare my fear in the face, more a trick my fear into believing I wasn’t going to do it then make a dash for it – I DID IT!!!!! and I bought the mug.
Moving on to Guano point I could now look at the canyon in a whole new light and appreciate even more its size and beauty. This really was a place worth visiting and well worth making my 50 things list.
If you get the chance do it.