|High Desert Thrillers in the Mojave
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Amelia Earhart once said, "Adventure is worthwhile in itself."
This belief paired with her love of flying enabled Earhart to achieve new heights in aviation history. Those who share Earhart's attitude about altitude will find a bounty of opportunities in Nevada to spread their wings.
From the north to the south, Nevada offers numerous ways to "get air." Whether you crave the thrill of bungee jumping, prefer a peaceful ride in a hot air balloon, or something in between, Nevada is home to a variety of air sports set above the state's beautiful, but rugged terrain. No matter where you go, Nevada always offers comfortable lodging, fine-dining and 24-hour entertainment nearby.
The people of Vanuatu in the Pacific had been throwing themselves from huge towers for centuries with nothing more than a few vines tied to their feet when the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club decided to perform a few experiments of their own in the 70s. A.J. Hackett saw a video of their attempts and before long teamed up with fellow speed skier Henry Van Asch, and the pair developed bungee into the modern sport it is today. In 1987, A.J. jumped from the Eiffel Tower and into the international spotlight. The bungee legend was born.
Bungee jumpers have two options in Southern Nevada. A.J. Hackett Bungy in Las Vegas provides a 171-foot platform from which jumpers can leap. A pool of water at the bottom helps quench the adrenaline rush. AJ Hackett Bungy is located next to Circus Circus Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Contact: 702/385-4321. www.ajhackett.com.
And then there is Thrillseekers Unlimited. Operated in Las Vegas by Hollywood stuntmen, this company offers a five-day Ultimate Extreme Vacation that includes bungee jumping, paragliding, firewalking, indoor skydiving, paintball, snowboarding or mountain boarding, motorized skate racing, rock climbing and a tandem skydive. Contact: Thrillseekers Unlimited, 702/699-5550 or 866/4-978-8686. www.thrillseekersunlimited.com
One of the best places to take to the air is Washoe Valley, located between Reno and Carson City, where the thermals lift hang gliders and paragliders high over the ranchlands, pine trees and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. These strong thermals warm wind currents - lift pilots well over 17,000 feet for superb views of scenic Northern Nevada. Contact: In Carson City, Adventure Sports, 775/883-7070. www.home.pyramid.net/advspts.
Southern Nevada also offers hang gliding experiences, instruction and sightseeing at Las Vegas Airsports, 702/260-7950. www.fly101.com.
Parasailing can be a thrilling experience open to all skill levels, and it's not uncommon for parasailors to soar 100 feet in the air before landing. Northern Nevada's parasailing outlets include two at beautiful Lake Tahoe: Action Watersports at South Lake Tahoe, 530/544-5387; and Incline Village, 775/831-4386, www.actionwatersports.com; and Lake Tahoe Parasailing at Tahoe City. 530/583-7245. www.laketahoeguide.com/pages/974037/97403793.html.
In Northern Nevada, Sierra Adventures educates its customers about the rich history and the breathtaking beauty of the Nevada desert and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range, turning a regular vacation into an unforgettable memory. Contact: Sierra Adventures in Reno at 775/323-8928. www.wildsierra.com
Experience the thrill
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By Kriss Hammond - Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent at www.jetsettersmagazine.com
About the Author
Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at www.jetsettersmagazine.com
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