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Grand Canyon Skywalk

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For months, the two of us eagerly read engrossing travel magazine articles for hours at a time. We studied special newspaper sections jammed pack with an assortment of touring suggestions and additionally, promotional pamphlets published by organizations that make a living steering would-be-travelers like us to proper destinations. Furthermore, she and I crisscrossed the internet before watching a host of videos on both VHS tapes and DVD’s. Naturally, the newly found information enthralled us demanding countless hours of valuable time investment. After awhile, the irresistible data became an echo delved deep into our minds. It presented a clear eye view of destiny.

When our research finally came to an end, Ms Valentino and I understood that there was a great big wonderful wilderness of historical value just waiting to be rediscovered. But that was okay with us, for we stood ready and able to handle the task. The only problem noticed would be what locations to visit and which ones to miss on this particular drive. Finalizing our decisions had become extremely difficult. Still, we were more than up for the challenge!

Our first trip of 2014, took us to five states…..Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Idaho. The drive took us a total of two weeks. Nonetheless, we chose to begin with Arizona because of the state’s amazing painted background and natural features. Although, I’ve chosen to describe but one Arizona story to put in writing at this time, in future chapters there’ll be many more enthralling tales. Traveling throughout Arizona, the sixth largest and fifteenth most populous of the 50 states, in these United States, is the same as wearing a comfortable fitting glove; it presents the proper size of comfort with an old friend on hand.

As Californians driving to the north, east, south and west of this western state, it’s almost as easy as driving around our home-state. In fact, considering how many times we’ve driven throughout this Southwestern desert state, it often feels as though we’re riding through our own backyard. Isn’t that the feeling all travelers should share when on a road trip?

Each year tourist will visit this Mountain West State to enjoy the “red” wonderfulness of Sedona, the Pima Air and Space Museum, or to enhance one’s intellectual creativity at the Grand Canyon national Park, the 15th largest state park in America. Besides, we have quite a few friends and business associates who’ve we visited in Arizona or they’ve spent time with us here in California.

Although, the hot climate can test your strength of passion, beautiful scenery, along with the friendly citizens, can thrill you with excitement and helpful information at a moment’s notice. However, this particular road trip had stirred up a very special spark in our hearts. Yes, we were determined to conquer the Grand Canyon West and therefore, take a good look at the canyon’s new “SKYWALK” first hand. This exceptional expedition came to light once we’d seen a fifteen minute documentary on television showcasing the Grand Canyon West Skywalk; the proposal to build it, the initiative to follow through on the advanced design and then, their strategy to get tourists like myself to travel to this legendary Arizona National Park in order to gain thorough satisfaction. Well, now, you can take our humble opinion when we say that it was well-worth such an effort. And …after this featured story, I sincerely hope that you’ll feel the same way, too.

Skywalk at the Grand Canyon

Often on our sojourns to Arizona, we begin our journey by first going through Kingman, Arizona, where the National Route 66 Museum and Gift shop is located. Please believe me when I say that stopping there is a must. Why, you might ask? The truth is that if one is going to visit key locations, then, first check with the visitor’s bureau at the museum for complete information according to your personal destination. Next, find out not only the historical facts, but, what’s happening now, today. These people will bring you up-to-date fast, quick and in a hurry. If they can’t answer your question, believe me, they’ll find someone who will!

The Route 66 Gift Shop is amazing. In fact, every time we stop for a visit, Glorietta and I spend a lot of money on gifts for friends and souvenirs for us. By the way, before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight. My lady and I are big fans of Route 66! We’ve been hooked on Route 66 ever since the television show premiered back in the days when we were both teenagers. The TV series spotlighted two handsome young men riding from one end of Route 66, to the other end of Route 66. Only, they drove a bright red shiny Corvette from town to town and each week, this television series introduced guest stars and enthralling stories of interest. So, you can picture me with a great big smile on my face as I describe mucho events. “Route 66 begins in Santa Monica, California, and ends in Chicago, Illinois.”

 

As were about to departure, Glorietta and I were instructed to go upstairs to the Hualapai Tourism and experience the Hualapai Indian legacy. Hualapai tourism brings you: The only Grand Canyon SKYWALK, 4,000 feet above the canyon floor; the only place to take a Helicopter/boat ride in the Grand Canyon and the one-day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting adventure. The Hualapai believe in Sky, Earth and Water.

GAMYU…means “Welcome in Hualapai

During our conversation and before we purchased our SKYWALK tickets, the two Hualapai women asked us, “Have you ever experienced Grand Canyon West, or traveled the only road into the Grand Canyon which is only 19 miles? Have you ever rafted the Colorado River and then, stopped by the Supai Village and Havasupai? What about the Keepers of the Wild (mile marker 87) and the Grand Canyon Caverns? But, most of all, have you driven Historic Route 66 or seen the Joshua Tree Forest? Yes, all of this is present in Arizona.

DID YOU KNOW: The Hualapai live 55 miles from Grand Canyon West in Peach Springs, Arizona? Team members commute 2 hours each way every day over unpaved roads to provide a cultural experience for thousands of visitors? Grand Canyon West is not connected to the electrical grid and relies solely on generators for power? The water supply is limited and it often freezes in the winter which requires Grand Canyon West to haul in water? Food must be transported to Grand Canyon West a minimum of 75 miles and then prepared? Next, the two Hualapai ladies discussed the cost for viewing the SKYWALK. It seems that there were three types of tickets for sale.

The Grand Canyon West entry package required:

#1…HUALAPAI LEGACY

Per Person Entry Package…$29.95; plus tax, $8.00 impact fee & $4.00 fuel surcharge.
Hualapai Legacy package includes:
Hualapai Visitation Certificate
Photo opportunities with Hualapai Members
Hop-On-Hop-Off Shuttle to all viewpoints

Eagle Point…

Native American Village

A walking tour of authentic Native American dwellings depicting multiple tribes
Amphitheater:

Live Native American performances from multiple tribes demonstrated continuously all day
Creations by Native Hands:

Features handmade, authentic Native American jewelry and crafts

Guano Point…

“Highpoint Hike” offers breathtaking panoramic canyon views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River
Visit the remnants of a historic tram that stretched 8,800 feet (2700 meters) across the canyon to a quano mine
Hualapai Market: Interact with tribal members offering Native American jewelry and crafts
HUALAPAI Ranch…

Enjoy western hospitality, cowboy entertainment and more Wagon rides included!

Learn how to rope, quick draw and tomahawk toss the cowboy way

Price including taxes and fees: $44.05

#2…Legacy Silver (save $8.00 per person)
Premium Entry Package…$41.95; plus tax, $8.00 impact fee &$4.00 fuel surcharge
Legacy Silver package includes:
Meal at viewpoint of choice
$5.00 voucher towards any $25.00 gift shop purchase
Hualapai Legacy Package (mentioned above)
Hualapai Visitation Certificate
Photo opportunities with Hualapai Members
Hop-On-hop-Off Shuttle to all viewpoints
*Eagle Point
* Guano Point
*Hualapai Ranch

Price including taxes and fees: $56.89

#3…Legacy Gold (Best Value…Save $9.00; save $9.00 per people
Ultimate Entry Package…$70.95; plus tax, $8.00 impact fee & $4.00 fuel surcharge
Legacy Gold package includes:
*Skywalk Ticket to walk on the glass bridge
*Meal at viewpoint of choice
$5.00 voucher towards any $25.00 gift shop purchase
Hualapai Legacy Package Mentioned above)
Hualapai Visitation Certificate
Photo opportunities with Hualapai Members
Hop-On-Hop-Off Shuttle to all viewpoints
*Eagle Point
*Guano
*Hualapai Ranch

Price including taxes and fees: $87.92

Of course, we bought two of the Legacy Gold and paid a total of $195.84 for two people.
For information, call 888-868-9378 or 928-769-2636. Of course, you can take a long good look at their web sites: www.hualapaitourism.com or www.grandcanyonwest.com.

Just like the Hualapai, we drove nineteen miles in two hours on unpaved roads towards the Grand Canyon West, though it wasn’t all a dirt road. The scenery wasn’t spectacular, yet, it wasn’t exactly boring. Occasionally, to the left of the road and sometimes on the right side of the road were interesting picturesque rock formations. There was also what we thought to be a Joshua Trees forest. The road is a two lane highway with very few automobiles. In fact, I didn’t notice more than one car or bus until we’d almost arrived at the Grand Canyon West where a group of men were busily paving the road. That’s when a small amount of traffic appeared and our movement slowed.

Upon arrival, we aligned our rented Hertz SUV in a full parking lot filled with other vehicles. A load of buses were parked close by, yet, in a private area. Quickly, the two of us removed ourselves from the automobile and swiftly headed inside the large building to present the tickets that were purchased from the Hualapai tourism.
The inside of the building presented a huge gift store, along with spacious rest rooms. Next, after spending five to ten minutes browsing, we were more than ready to face the main performance of our journey, the SKYWALK. Outside Gloria and I stood in line until we patiently boarded the bus and then, sat back and waited to arrive at Eagle Point. The next stop was Guano and then, last but certainly not least, Hualapai. Each of the three stops gave us what the Hualapai brochure promised.

Things to do at the Grand Canyon

CONSUMER NOTICE…Eat the first meal available at the first place it’s offered, because, the selection of items you can choose from and the food itself are a much better choice. I’ll tell you why. Once Gloretta and I arrived at the SKYWALK, it was breathe-taking. But, the food wasn’t as good as the other stop that had first presented food, nor was the selection. Nevertheless, who wants to Hop-On-Hop-Off the Shuttle after the SKYWALK has already been toured? We’d all ready visited the other stops. After all, who wants to go back to the beginning of the trip just to eat a better meal? Don’t forget, it was extremely hot that day. Understand? One other point to be made is that nobody ever gave us a $5.00 voucher for gifts like the Hualapai brochure promised.

When we arrive at the SKYWALK, our crowd was hustled into a section where we waited for the group before us to return. While waiting, employees of the canyon issues each one of us cloth slippers to slip over our shoes and for the people who were carrying personal items, we were directed to lockers in which to place all valuables. No one is allowed to carry anything out on the SKYWALK and once our group was lead out to the entrance, one could easily understand why. First of all, most of the people were afraid to go out on the SKYWALK. Most of them froze in their tracks. Can you believe it? In fact, they just refused to move one more step even though the tour guide using his kindest voice tried his best to encourage people not to be afraid.

He said, “Jump up and down! I mean it! GO AHEAD AND JUMP UP AND DOWN, FOLKS! It’s perfectly safe! It’s safe, I promise you!” Still the majority of the group hadn’t moved, not an inch. That’s when I turned around towards the crowd and yelled with a huge smile on my face, “Hey everybody, look at me! He’s right, he’s right!” I was jumping up and down on the glass walkway. Then, all at once, everyone began pouring out on to the SKYWALK laughing and joking. They acted as though they’d forgotten their fear. But, Glorietta and I knew different for there was a slight twinkle of terror still showing in their eyes. However, once everyone had the time to look around at the inspiring sights, we were all okay. What’s funny is that while Ms Valentino and I were walking around the SKYWALK, I quietly whispered into her ear.

I said, “Do you know that scared chilling feeling that people get on the back of their legs when they stand up high and looked down to the bottom of something that’s scary? Well, I had that then and I still have that feeling now!” The two of us then had a quick laugh. I could quite easily write a few words about what Glorietta Valentino and Tito Luv saw on that bright sunny day standing on the edge of the world at the Grand Canyon West’s SKYWALK looking out at the canyon and then, down on what seemed like the world, which was far, far away. And do you know what? It was wonderful! Exhilarating! A once in a lifetime view! But, I’ll let you look at the pictures of we two lovebirds walking around the Grand Canyon West’s SKYWALK. Then, you can make up your own mind.

After viewing the SKYWALK, we entered the gift shop and spent around $200.00, without the benefit of using a $5.00 voucher, on assorted gifts and souvenirs, or maybe even more. Outside, we went to the proper area and each picked up a bottle of water. Next grabbed a tray and went through a food line and chose our food. Outside, everyone sat down to eat the promised meal that came with the tour. Both of the offered tour meals are similar to picnic food and hit the spot when you’re tired, hungry and thirsty. Nonetheless, we did receive that cold bottle of water with our meal. Remember…make sure you eat the first meal on the trip and not the last meal served at the SKYWALK. You’ll be even further ahead with a better choice of food if you do. But, unfortunately, most of the visitors (tourist) left their trays of scraps on the tables instead of depositing their waste in the garbage can. I felt sorry for the woman who had to clean the tables in the drastic heat. I guess that many of the tourist, both domestic and foreign, left their manners at home that day. Nevertheless, the magnificent Grand Canyon’s SKYWALK is definitely worth the time and the journey!

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