LITTLE COLORADO RIVER GORGE, Ariz. (AP) — Daredevil Nik Wallenda has said a prayer and kissed his wife and kids as he gets ready for one of his most ambitious feats yet — crossing a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon.
The 34-year-old Sarasota, Fla., resident is ready to start crossing a quarter-mile cable which is stretched over the gorge. This same stunt was considered by another high-wire performer decades ago. It comes a year after Wallenda traversed Niagara Falls earning a seventh Guinness world record. He'll be using the same 2-inch-thick cable he used to cross the falls, only this time he won't be wearing a safety harness.
Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family — a clan that is no stranger to death-defying feats and great tragedy.
His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73. Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have perished while performing wire walking stunts.
Nik Wallenda, who was born a year after his great-grandfather died, began wire walking at the age of 2, on a 2-foot high stretched rope. He grew up performing with his family and has dreamed of crossing the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager.