For the last several years I kept thinking I would take the helicopter ride that comes with the Three Rivers Festival, but I never got around to it. Boy, what was I thinking! Today, I finally made the time to do it, and I have to say, I will be back again next year.
I parked on Fourth Street in a spot along the earthen levee, so it didn’t cost me anything but a short walk across the Clinton Street Bridge to Headwaters Park where the helicopter was waiting. Not a huge bird, but still imposing.
I paid my $20 and waited a few minutes until the helicopter returned with its current riders. The cockpit held three people – the pilot and two passengers. I was by myself, so the young attendant asked for a volunteer to go with me since they liked to take two people at a time. A kind gentleman stepped up and said he would go even though he was with a family group waiting for rides.
I sat on the outside, and, as I climbed into the cab, I noticed there were no doors. The attendant strapped us in, and we took off. I am not sure how I thought I would feel, but what an amazing sight to rise off the ground and swoop into the air. I was a tad bit apprehensive about the fact that there was no door. To make matters a little more complicated, I had to take out my camera and take pictures while sitting at the edge of the door. It was a little tricky, and I worried a little about my pictures turning out clear enough since it was not exactly the most steady location.
As we swung around in a large circle, I peered down at the buildings, the sun was shining, and fluffy clouds hung in the sky. What a wonderful day and what a magnificent way to spend a short portion of it!
The ride doesn’t last very – perhaps 5 minutes or so, but it was well worth the $20. If money were no object for me, I would have lined up a couple of more times.
What a great experience! Now on to that 30-minute flying lesson at Smith Field! I guess I am a little late starting my “bucket list”, but now I can’t wait to get to my next challenge!