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HomeTravelA place to go: Arizona, USA

A place to go: Arizona, USA

The Grand Canyon is a breathtaking sight, to begin with, but what happens when you merge beauty with adrenaline? A helicopter ride that takes the cake when it comes to adventurous excursions. Drawing millions of tourists annually from all across the globe, The Grand Canyon is said to be one of the most recognizable places on Earth. Its reputation alone makes it a bucket list place for many people.

A large portion of the enormous Grand Canyon is located in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, whose stratified bands of red rock show millions of years of geological history. Scientists estimate the Canyon may have formed 5 to 6 million years ago when the Colorado River began to cut a channel through rock layers. Some of the viewing spots are Mather Point, Yavapai Observation Station, and the Lookout Studio and Desert View Watchtower of architect Mary Colter.

Image of the cockpit taking flight

Alex Mason was a young man in the UK on the cusp of adulthood when his parents decided to take a family trip to Las Vegas. With a father who loves to plan and a mother who always wonders, Alex found himself in the perfect mix of a looming adventure. From there, the English trio filled their trip with experiences that could fill a scrapbook. They visited Area 51 and took over the Vegas strip, but the helicopter ride through and down the Grand Canyon resided with Alex the most.  

Being from the UK, Alex didn’t know what to expect from American culture other than what he now views as an American stereotype. However, he did admit there were some significant differences, his favorite being the weather; they traveled in May. Alex also noted the ‘gargantuan’ food portions and said that many people were just there to ensure they had a good experience.

helicopter Alex rode in

Alex claimed that no pictures, videos, or virtual reality headset could ever touch the true vastness of the Canyon; the simple scale and magnificence of it all was what truly baffled his mind. The family booked their helicopter ride with Sundance Helicopter Tours approximately six months before the event. When the day finally arrived, the group drove not three but four hours to reach their destination. 

Riddled with excitement, Alex, a boy who always adored flying, felt no fear but rather anticipation in the best way possible. The helicopter ride lasted a total of one hour. During that hour, Alex said he felt like he was in heaven, declaring the aerial views from the helicopter beat any ground view of the Canyon.

Upon entry into the helicopter, they were asked to put on headphones where the pilot would feed fun facts about the Canyon to their customers. The family wasn’t asked to bring anything specific other than the pilot suggesting sunglasses to “…Not only look awesome but also to help with the blaring sun in the sky.” Unfortunately for Alex, the headset inside the chopper while staring out of the window made it difficult for him to listen in on what the pilot was saying.

The only regret Alex has from his trip is not drinking as much complimentary champagne given to them at the bottom of the Canyon when they landed. He felt the experience gave him “a real sense of how fragile and important this planet is.” 



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