The grandest canyon

Thar she blows: BA’s Tara, Vegas expert Tryphavana and a blowy Bandanaman

Wild horses wade into the inviting Lake Mead, 2,500ft below, barely breaking its still turquoise waters.

Behind us the Colorado river wends its way though the West Ridge of the Grand Canyon, one of the Natural Wonders of the World, on its way to Mexico.

Ahead of us is the glittering Las Vegas skyline. Miked up we sit in a hover of helicopters whirring our way through the valleys, turning and twisting above the Hoover Dam. But nobody speaks.

The majesty of the scene speaks for itself.

Dam impressive: The Hoover Dam

In my pocket I have a collection of stones older than the dinosaurs themselves. I am bringing the Grand Canyon home with me.

Minutes before, we had swooped down to its lower plains with pilot Toon, of Maverick Helicopters.

The Grand Canyon is a valley of unimaginable vastness… if you want to get some kind of handle on it, Toon tells us that it would take a chopper, spinning at 180kph, two and a half hours to traverse it. And yet he is able to float down like a feather to our landing spot.

We open the Champagne quietly, respectfully, muting the pop. There is a rush for mobile phones to capture THAT selfie, that exact exposure, that perfect vantage point.

But no smart phone has been invented smart enough to capture this.

I sit and scan the Canyon trying not to blink in the early-morning glare of the Nevada sun for fear of missing a thing.

And then our half hour is up, ours has been but a nano-second in time, we have not made a mark, not an impression.

We live there: The Venetian from the helicopter

Somewhere below we ar told, spots in the distance, are hikers, campers, swimmers, waders. Toon tells us that he set up tent one weekend down there only to be awoken by the unfamiliar braying of a Grand Canyon donkey by his pole – no Dobbin him.

Like the Wild Horses and 90 other species indigenous to the Grand Canyon including the Big Horn Sheep they are a hardier, sturdier mammal which calls this unforgiving, spectacular environment, deathly cold in the winter and prohibitively warm in the summer, home.

Hubris: Yes, that man again

For all our great hubris there are some things greater, grander than us, some things that only HE can craft, some that can be seen still even up there in space, the heavens.

This is the Grand Canyon and we are but guests.

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