I said I never had and never would – and I meant it. Everything God created to fly has wings, and those things do not. So, why would anyone want to get on a wingless creation of man and expect it to fly?
I said I never had and never would – and I meant it.
Everything God created to fly has wings, and those things do not. So,
why would anyone want to get on a wingless creation of man and expect
it to fly?
But the schedule clearly states, “Helicopter from Bar 10 ranch to bottom of Grand Canyon and awaiting raft.”
That night, sitting round the ranch, I casually ask
the owner, “About that helicopter ride in the morning …”
“Is there another way to get from here to where the rafts will be?”
The purpose of the trip is to raft down the Colorado River through the
Grand Canyon for three days. To get to this point, we ride a major
airline and, then, a commuter plane that flies us over the Grand Canyon
and up the canyon to an isolated airstrip on this working ranch of
250,000 acres with some 1,000 ranging head of cattle. The planes have
wings. The horses we ride did not have wings, but they never got that
far off the ground.
“Yes, sir,” the owner replies to my earlier question. “You can ride a mule.”
“How long does that take?”
“About six to eight hours, depending on how fast the mule is feeling.”
“Is that possible?”
“Yes, sir. If you leave right now, you might get
there in time to leave on the raft with your friends in the morning.
You want me to saddle up ole Jude? She knows the way.”
“How long does the trip in the helicopter take?”
“ ’Bout 15 minutes at most.”
Even the helicopter ride sounds better than sitting astraddle ole Jude all night.
The next morning, getting ready to mount the helicopter, the pilot asks, “How much do you weigh?”
It is a rather personal question to an overweight
person, but the pilot is making sure the helicopter’s load is balanced.
This adds to my discomfort. Anything that must be that balanced to fly
is, well, just too sensitive. It needs wings.
I watch the first flight shoot straight up from the
helicopter pad and, then, swing toward the canyon. Then, the next six
people take off. Then, it is our turn.
I ask the rancher, “Have you taken this ride?”
“What’s it like?”
“Ever been on one of those big roller coasters?
Well, you know that first big, tall hill they take you up and that real
big drop right after that?”
I nod that I know, and that bothers me.
“Well, multiply that by nine or 10, and that is what
you are going to feel when he drops you down into the canyon,” the
Where is ole Jude when you need her?
However, it is too late. My macho friends all laugh, and say, “Sounds great.”
I gather my wits about me and get ready to board the
wingless wonder when the rancher says, “When you get out of the
helicopter down there, but sure to remember to go down the hill and not
up. If you go up, you walk into the propeller, and we don’t want to
lose you that way.”
That way?! There are other possibilities waiting?
So, I’m supposed to be excited about getting out of the helicopter and
onto the raft?
Some thrills sound a lot more fun when you read
about them in your recliner than they appear when you are about to
It is kind of like witnessing.
Witnessing sounds a lot easier in the security of a
church building than when you are getting out of the car to walk up to
the door of a stranger’s house.
But, obviously, I did not “lose it” when the pilot
“dropped” the helicopter into the canyon, although my stomach did
relocate for some time, and I did not walk up hill when I got out of
And you know what? I have never read of anyone dying
while knocking on a door to talk to someone about Christ. However, some
folks have said their stomachs relocated for a while.