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  1. #1
    Star Man's Avatar
    Star Man is offline Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians
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    Glass floor lets you see staright down 4000 ft!

    Glass floor lets you see staright down 4000 ft!

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16191779/

    Get a bird’s-eye view of the Grand Canyon
    Indian tribe to attract visitors with new suspended observation deck
    Grand Canyon N.P. via AP flie
    An artist's rendering provided by Grand Canyon West shows the Hualapai Indian Tribe's Skywalk, a glass-bottom observation deck 4,000 feet above the Colorado River hanging over the western edge of the Grand Canyon.

    HUALAPAI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. - A struggling Indian tribe is hoping to change its fortunes by luring tourists out over the edge of the Grand Canyon on a glass-bottom observation deck 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.

    It’s called the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped walkway that will jut from the canyon’s lip and offer the kind of straight-down, vertigo-inducing views that had previously been available only to the likes of Wile E. Coyote.

    “We have to do something, and this is something spectacular,” said Sheri Yellowhawk, a former tribal councilwoman overseeing the project.
    Story continues below ↓ advertisement

    But the $30 million Skywalk, financed by a Las Vegas businessman and set to open in March, has also ignited a debate among Hualapai elders who question whether the prospect of riches is worth disturbing sacred ground.

    The Hualapai believe their ancestors emerged from the earth of the Grand Canyon, and the area surrounding the project is scattered with the tribe’s sacred archaeological and burial sites.

    “We have disturbed the ground,” said Dolores Honga, a 70-year-old tribal elder who regularly travels to the rim to perform traditional dances. She said workers on the Skywalk site often complain to her about nightmares.

    “Our people, they died right along the land there. Their blood, their bones were shattered. They blend into the ground. It’s spiritual ground. This is why you’re awakened,” Honga said.
    The Grand Canyon overwhelms you with its quiet beauty and immensity.
    But other elders say the Hualapai have to do something to end the despair and joblessness that plague the tribe’s 2,200 members, more than a third of whom live below the poverty line.

    In 1995, the tribe’s only casino folded after foundering for seven months. Tourists were in no mood to travel 21 miles over an unpaved road to gamble on the reservation — especially not when Las Vegas is just 2½ hours away by car.

    Four years later, the tribe invited daredevil Robbie Knievel to jump a side canyon on his motorcycle, hoping the stunt would raise publicity for the reservation as a tourism destination. (He made it across without breaking any bones.)

    But years later the tribe’s river rafting and horseback riding operations still draw far fewer visitors than Grand Canyon National Park, about 90 miles to the east.

    Planned as an audacious feat of engineering, the Skywalk will be cantilevered 70 feet out past the canyon’s limestone walls. It will be open to the sky, with glass walls and a glass floor.

    It will be supported by steel beams anchored 46 feet into the rock on the lip of the canyon. At 4,000 feet above the canyon floor, it will give visitors a vantage point more than twice as high as the world’s tallest buildings. At that height, the Colorado River will be just a thin brown ribbon.

    Architect Mark Johnson said the Skywalk will be built to withstand canyon winds of 100 mph and will be capable of holding a few hundred people without bending. It will have shock absorbers to keep it from wobbling up and down like a diving board and making people woozy.

    “Hopefully it will give people some security,” Johnson said. “They’ve got a little meat under them.”

    Construction began in April 2005.

    The Grand Canyon Trust, one of the chief protectors of the canyon, has not raised any environmental or aesthetic objections to the Skywalk, which will be almost invisible from a distance because it will be mostly see-through, and will look puny against the gargantuan canyon walls.

    “This is the future of the Hualapai nation,” said Allison Raskansky, a Las Vegas public relations specialist for the project. “This is a view you cannot get at the national park.”

    The Hualapai are completely dependent on the 345,000 visitors who come to the reservation each year to tour the tribe’s end of the canyon by boat or helicopter. Grand Canyon National Park, by comparison, gets 4.1 million visitors a year.

    In 1996, David Jin, a Las Vegas businessman originally from Shanghai, China, approached the Hualapai with a plan to build a skywalk with his own money. Jin already was operating a business that brought Chinese tourists onto the reservation.

    “Our thinking is that, if a human being could walk over the canyon, if they had the opportunity, even handicapped people, it’s just really, really, you know, something,” Jin said.

    Under the plan, the Hualapais will own the Skywalk, but Jin will collect up to half of the money from ticket sales for the next 25 years.

    Tribal member Connie Powskey, 56, hopes the tribe raises enough money to help her children get an education and find jobs. Then maybe it will eventually be seen as a blessing.

    “When you get old, they put needles in you and give you things so you can survive,” Powskey said. “Well, that’s like this now for Mother Nature. Is it worth it? I don’t know. I really don’t.”
    ...........................................

  2. #2
    Andrewtx's Avatar
    Andrewtx is offline A little bit of soul
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    Cool!

  3. #3
    Virginian's Avatar
    Virginian is offline Major
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    The view may be a little clouded if I'm there, as my urine will be pooling on the glass. God, that's scary.

  4. #4
    Star Man's Avatar
    Star Man is offline Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
    The view may be a little clouded if I'm there, as my urine will be pooling on the glass. God, that's scary.
    ...........................................

  5. #5
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Ya know, my knees get shaky just thinking of that!

    I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time this past spring. (excluding multiple fly-overs) It truly is awe inspiring site.

    There is no way I would put my trust in something suspended over an 800 foot drop though.

    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  6. #6
    Emily is offline Corporal
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    No thank you. I get sick just thinking about that!

  7. #7
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    phoenixrose is offline Firebrand
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    OMG! OMG!
    NO WAY!!

    I have a hard time at the top of a ladder....NO FREAKIN' WAY would I go anywhere near that thing.
    phoenixrose
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    "WHAT canary?"

  8. #8
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    HardNoseBull is offline HardNoseBull
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    Not to sound sick here, but I'm sure a few of you were thinking this, as far as sex in a public place goes, this should be a topper,no pun intended. It would be the first time the person on top would get vertigo from looking down on their partner.LOLOL. They would get the 4000 yard stare,lolol.
    Giggity giggity Goo!

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  9. #9
    BEB
    BEB is offline Banned
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    I want to rollerblade across it!

  10. #10
    chris2001's Avatar
    chris2001 is offline Captain
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    Hell yes lets go lets go.

    Although god please tell me there is going to be a weight limit .
    Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.

    Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.


    May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)

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  11. #11
    Ducky's Avatar
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    The only time I'm scared of heights is when I'm supposed to be touching the ground. Airplanes, no problem. Cliffs, PROBLEM! I'd be in the puddle club with Virginian, I'm afraid. Better wear a skirt, and hope no one's looking up from the bottom.
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  12. #12
    cntryboy0531 is offline THE five-oh
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    I wouldn't be able to walk out, if I did, i'd puke.

  13. #13
    Buttercup's Avatar
    Buttercup is offline Thrives in sunshine
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    I'd be in the Puddle Club with Virginian and Ducky.




  14. #14
    Trojan 42's Avatar
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    Well it sounds amazing. Although the picture doesn't inspire much trust from me. I want some bracing underneath that thing. Still, now I HAVE to take my yearly holidays in Arizona, I shall take a stroll around it. My wife, on the otherhand, won't go within 50 yards of any cliff edge.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



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  15. #15
    Tennsix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    Well it sounds amazing. Although the picture doesn't inspire much trust from me. I want some bracing underneath that thing. Still, now I HAVE to take my yearly holidays in Arizona, I shall take a stroll around it. My wife, on the otherhand, won't go within 50 yards of any cliff edge.
    It looks like one of those Acme kits Wyle Coyote would order through the mail.
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