Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Bird's Flight: Day 3

We woke up to a cloudy gray day.  Our plans of a helicopter ride were iffy.  We drove the concierge at the El Tovar crazy with checking to see if we could fly.  The weather map said clearing by 2pm.  This bird was ready.  Howard, Virginia Lee, and Bob were all as excited as I was.  We took the only taxi available to the airport/heliport.  The sun was peeking through the clouds.  The front desk said it was a go.  We weighed in...yes, one has to weigh in.

The rim

A rainbow going into the Canyon
Clouds ahead.

The duskiness gave the landscape a new look.

In minutes we were being loaded into the French Ecostar that seats 7, including the pilot.  Headphones on, harness seat belts fastened, lift off.  We flew over the manicured pines to the rim.  Our pilot announced he was going to head a different direction to avoid a large ominous cloud.   My camera work was limited, as I was in the middle back seat.  But my eyes widened when we came over the edge of the canyon.  I could see forever !!!  I could also see lots of dark clouds.  The view changed by the second, depending on the light.  The red rocks and green pines could change to blues and purples when a cloud moved over them.  Our flight was cut short and we had to return to the ground.  I savored every second in the air.  The company refunded ALL of our money to our surprise.
Howard and I wait for the sunset. He took as many photos as I did of the raven!
Next, the Sunset Tour at the Bright Angel Lodge.  On to another bus and a short ride to a point that was known for it's sunsets.  To my delight there was a raven walking on the edge who had spotted a hiker's apple core.  He calmly walked over and picked it up.  Took it to a great viewpoint, ate, and posed in the setting sun as I and many others took his picture.  Then he flew into a pine tree: cooed and fluffed up his feathers.  As the sun set he moved back to the edge. As the ball of light slipped behind the horizon...he took flight over the canyon.  At that moment, as many times before I felt jealous of the ability to soar.  He was my highlight that day.
In all his glory.  (copyright 2011)

Feather ruffling, and cooing at me...such a show off.

This will be for sale in my Etsy shop. (copyright 2011)

More about him next time.
Sunset Grand Canyon National Park

Thanks for reading.
Each day is a gift. Open now.

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