Thursday, April 29, 2021

'Copter ride over Sedona offers spectacular viewing, bird's eye glide

A helicopter weaves through the rocks of Sedona's fabled landscape. Passengers number only
six, plus the pilot. It's an exciting way to travel through the historic countryside at close-up range.

FLYING SKY HIGH ABOVE SEDONA'S ANCIENT WONDERS OFFERS THRILLS EVEN FOR COWARDS


STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER
Christene "Cookie" Meyers and Bruce Keller prepare to
board Sedona Air Tours for a spectacular ride, below left.  


FOR A COWARD, a helicopter ride could make hands shake, teeth rattle and knees quiver.
Not with a calm pilot, smooth flying and gorgeous scenery.
So I summoned my courage and "cowgirled up" for the adventure. I was not sorry. If I'd been a chicken, I'd have missed a most spectacular 'copter ride over the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona.
We chose Sedona Air Tours for its well maintained 'copters and stellar safety record and reputation for fun.  Our pilot, Joseph, immediately put my jitters to rest. His confident way in the cockpit complemented a soothing commentary as we glided smoothly over ancient rock formations where dinosaurs once roamed.

 "How long ago was the dinosaur era?" a fellow passenger asked. Joseph explained that geologically, the history of Sedona began a staggering 500 million  years ago. Over 300 million years, the land was alternately ocean bottom and coastal plain. Sedimentary layers of sandstone formed, inviting life.  So the reign of the dino kingdom was between 200 and 65 million years ago. We were stepping back in time. 

SEDONA'S WONDERS are world famous.  The natural beauty of its gorgeous red rock formations make it popular with naturalists, geologists and students of history. And in the last half century, Sedona   

The helicopter's controls are in view
as one glides over the landscape.

has also gained fame as a haven for spiritual wellness.
Numerous energy vortexes encompass the region and that attracts another group of fans.
We're open to all interpretations and appreciations. The undeniable beauty of the land remains, no matter one's spiritual or religious philosophy.
SEDONA AIR Tours offers several options to 'copter over Sedona.  The "Hog Wild" tour winds leisurely around the area's iconic rock formations and the Western Wilderness Canyons.  Through the years, people have given names to these fascinating shapes. The narrative helps to explain their monikers -- helpful if you can't discern "Snoopy" right away.
 The "Ancient's Way" takes passengers over Dry Creek and Secret Canyon, Long Canyon and Boynton Canyon, with close-up views of the ancient and fascinating Sinagua cliff dwellings. Cocks Comb and Doe Mesa are also on the docket.
"Bear Wallow" soars over the red rock formations, with an eye level view of Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and the striking Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Passengers are close together.


SNOOPY ROCK and Bear Wallow Canyon await on this tour, too.
One can also book a 'copter flight over the Grand Canyon, past the Verde Valley. One tour offers a landing in the canyon's bottom, a narrated Colorado River boat trip and return to the top of the canyon's rim for lunch, a trek on the famous Canyon Skywalk and a visit to a Native American village before heading back to Sedona.
My favorite fellow passenger called it "a magic flight over surreal canyons for eye-to-eye contact with nature's magnificence. It's a glimpse into the world of prehistoric man, with a close-up view of the living quarters of original inhabitants."
 
Ancient cliff dwellings are visible from a
helicopter, which allows one to see the detail.

The company has been operating over 20 years. Pilots are commercially rated with thousands of flight hours. They're also enthusiastic history buffs and love to share their knowledge.
Because of the closeness to the land, we were, as my pal aptly put it, "Immersed in  the sights -- rather than high above them." 
Yes, for a time, we wound through the rocks, and it was wonderful!

SedonaAirTours.com 928-204-5939



American Cruise Lines' sleek modern ship, American Harmony,
 offers state-of-the-art riverboat cruising in the United States.
The line offers a variety of small-ship luxury, "safe" cruises.
UP NEXT:
  What's up with the cruise industry now that travelers are getting vaccinated? We'll update readers on trends, new itineraries, changing focus from cruise companies, updated CDC guidelines for cruising and more. It's a new world on the high seas, with restrictions and foreign ports an unknown as a result of the pandemic. To play it safe, American Cruise Lines offers a unique variety of all-American cruise options from the Mississippi to Pacific Northwest, coastal New England and more. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us Fridays for a fresh look at travel, the arts, nature, family and more: whereiscookie.com

  


5 comments:

  1. Wow! Splendid photos of a marvelous part of our vast and varied country. Way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We've hiked these magical hills and valleys and hope to again. This piece inspires us!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Seattle SojournersMay 2, 2021 at 11:36 AM

    Wonderful views of a spectacular part of our world. Thank you for this beautiful piece. Enjoyed both photos and copy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Veteran Vermont SailorsMay 3, 2021 at 11:21 AM

    LOVE SEDONA! Nice story and pictures. Look forward to your next story. We love to cruise and like the idea of trying American Cruises....the close-to-home, see America theme worksright now!Look forward.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cruising USA! We love it. However, we have long been American Cruise Lines fans (Jazz, New England foliage, Sleepy Hollow). Shhhhhh. Know you have global readership. Selfishly, we don't want the whole world to know about this all-American treasure.

    ReplyDelete