Carl Colson knew little about daredevil Nik Wallenda's impending high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon until last week when he got a call from the Porta-Potty guy.
"He said he's bringing a trailer with six Porta-Potties and needed 500 gallons of water a day," recalls Colson, general manager of the Cameron Trading Post, which lies down the road from where Wallenda's much-hyped walk will be televised Sunday. "He said, 'We're not supposed to talk about it,' and I said, "Well, it's kinda outta the bag."
Indeed, Wallenda, 34, a seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallendas whose soaring acrobatic feats have dazzled audiences for centuries, is set to perform what could be his most thrilling act ever. On Sunday, he'll traverse a steel cable running 1,500 feet (that's higher than the Empire State Building) above the Little Colorado River in northern Arizona without a net.
Discovery Channel cameras will be trained on his every excruciating step during the live event, but opportunities to watch the spectacle in person are limited.
Wallenda's walk will take place well outside Grand Canyon National Park boundaries. The walk site is high above the Little Colorado River Gorge, which is stunning and, no doubt dangerous to negotiate via steel cable, but, as Colson rightly points out, isn't the Grand Canyon.
"Someone who doesn't know any better, might think it's the Grand Canyon," he continued. "It's deep and it looks pretty good until you actually see the Grand Canyon."
Wallenda's cable will be strung across a gorge on Navajo-owned land off of Highway 64, 18 miles west of Cameron, and 40 or so miles east of the Grand Canyon's major South Rim tourist facilities.
Navajo Tribal officials are welcoming the spotlight the stunt will shine on its Little Colorado River Navajo Tribal Park, a mostly unimproved site where Navajo artisans sell jewelry and other wares from makeshift booths.