Bucket List

Last month I ticked off an item on my bucket list: take a ride in a helicopter.

I have wanted a ride in a helicopter since I first saw the 1950s TV show, The Whirlybirds. I didn’t care about the plots and stories of the series. It was of no importance to me that the main characters were usually brought in by the police. They could even have been the bad guys for all I cared. All I knew was that I wanted to fly into the sky with a huge bubble window to look out at the land below, just like the stars of The Whirlybirds.

Finally, on a trip to Sedona, Arizona, where my husband and I met up with my sister and her husband for a week’s holiday, I got my wish to ride in a helicopter with Sedona Air Tours. For 35 minutes we rode over the red rocks of Sedona, seeing sights that are not accessible by road and would require serious hiking and climbing skills to reach. We snapped photos and recorded videos of  the cliff dwellings of the former Sinagua natives as the helicopter hovered high above the trees and valleys below. At least my brother-in-law and I did. My husband sat behind me clutching the back of my seat until his knuckles turned white.

Sights of Sedona

He told me he didn’t want to go, but the way he said it always gave me an excuse to rationalize it away. Or at least that’s how I heard it. First, my sister wasn’t feeling well when the time came, so she decided to stay back. Let’s not go, he said. Maybe they wouldn’t fly with just three of us. Well, let’s go find out, I said. Then when a group that arrived after us was called forward to go out to the field before us, he again said he didn’t want to go. We had to wait too long, he said, implying that the company was stalling us. It was my fault, I said, because I thought the time on the note we had was our appointment time, not the time we were advised to arrive at the airport. The cost was too high, he said. But it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to see the beauty of Sedona, I said.

Sinagua cliff dwellings
Sinagua cliff dwellings

I had the front seat view, right next to the pilot. The second set of pedals that control the aircraft were right at my feet. (I promised not to touch them.) There was no floor there–just the pedals above air. I was thrilled. My husband wasn’t.

But he survived. And for the days and weeks since then, when he tells people about our trip, he says they should definitely take the helicopter tour. The scenery is stupendous, he says.

I’ll remember that if we ever end up back in Sedona. Sedona Air Tours gives a 10% discount to repeat travelers.



2 responses to “Bucket List”

  1. Okay, Sandra, you convinced me: Sedona has been on my bucket list for a while. I’m proud of your persistence in hanging in there and taking a ride. The only thing that is that helicopters are not as great as tandem hang-gliding. You don’t have air in your face and you don’t have quiet. (Available at Torrey Pines Hang-glider Port) But bravo to you. Good job.

    Happy Holidays,

  2. You’ve mentioned another of my bucket list items, Susan. Someday.

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