Ear to the ground
“Oh, does that mean you can’t see out of the windows at night?”
-A prospective renter reacting to the news that the unit’s windows had been painted shut
One of the world’s and the Southwest’s great natural wonders is getting an injection of Disney. In late March, the Hualapai Nation plans to open the “Skywalk” over the Grand Canyon. The $30-million, translucent bridge will stretch 70 feet over the canyon’s edge, 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.
Located at Grand Canyon West, the Skwalk is the Hualapai Tribe’s effort to become a tourist destination. A walk out on the bridge will cost tourists, most of whom day-trip from Las Vegas, a $25 add-on to their package. The tribe also hopes the Skywalk will attract thrill-seekers for a $25 stroll.
The risk of falling will be extremely small. The bridge appears to hang in space above the canyon, but the highly engineered support system is actually located beneath an adjacent gift shop and restaurant.
A 2005 load test showed that the Skywalk is able to hold the weight of 71 fully loaded Boeing 747 airplanes, more than 71 million pounds, as well as winds in excess of 100 miles and an 8.0 magnitude earthquake. More than a million pounds of steel have gone into the construction.
Shoe soles, however, may be too much for the engineering marvel. All visitors will also be required to wear felt booties to protect the Skywalk’s 4½-inch glass floor. A thin top layer of glass is also replaceable to ensure scuff-free views for generations to come.
Return of the Tagalong
There’s still time for some last-minute winter weight-gain: Tagalongs and Samoas are marching back into Durango next week. Girl Scout cookies go on sale Feb. 23-March 18.
The Girl Scout Cookie program is integral to the group’s Business and Economic Literacy initiative. In addition to filling local stomachs, Girl Scout Cookies support the local troop financially and provide La Plata County girls with some hands-on business experience.
From Feb. 23-March 18, booth sales will be held in front of businesses throughout Durango. Locals looking for a Thin Mint fix can find it at Albertson’s, the Durango Mall, both City Markets and in front of Wal-Mart.