Six minutes in a helicopter, that’s how many I got for my $45 this afternoon, and it was worth every penny. I sat in front next to the pilot, my seatbelt holding me from carreening out the open door. My arm flew out every twenty seconds to wave at someone below me. The altimeter showed we were at about 1,000 feet most of the time, but our daring pilot liked to skim the tops of trees and dive to the river.
The tour of the mountain and the river included the cross on the side of the mountain, the competition areas, the full ten miles of river and up and over the top of the campground. It was beautiful and peaceful to see all the people spread out enjoying the recreation available. The wind buffeted the craft and created a peace all it’s own, there was nothing else to hear but the hard rock being pumped through the headphones, one more thing to get your adrenalin pumping.
All of us were wearing headphones and microphones, I could hear the couple in the back exclaiming regularly, “on my, God” “ whoa, whoa” and the giggles. That’s my favorite go-to when I’m scared. But I wasn’t, it seemed like the most natural thing, I have flown before, even piloted before, in my quest for a license I never finished. But, the helicopter seemed a natural flight to me. It gained speed quickly, dipped and dove, the only thing I looked for – and didn’t find – was an “oh, shit” handle. Even the Jeep has one of those.