Having easy access to history is pretty cool, which is why I’ve now watched daredevil Nik Wallenda train three times at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla., prior to his June 23, 2013, walk across the Grand Canyon. Each time I’ve gone, the crowd grows a little bigger, the line to meet the “King of the High Wire” grows a little longer and each training has been a little different.
Q&A with Nik Wallenda on the Wire
Friday, Wallenda trained with two airboat fans in preparation for the anticipated 35 mph winds across the Canyon. He told the group today, during a casual Q&A with the daredevil sitting on the wire and members of the audience yelling out questions, he trained with wind speeds up to 90 mph. He also said the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore will be his weatherman, adding “you can’t get better than that.”
What about those shoes he wears? Wallenda told the crowd his mother made them and are leather upper with elk skin bottom. He wears socks in theme and the soles protect his feet from the heat of the wire, in which he anticipates it will be 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the Grand Canyon walk.
That pole he carries for balance, how much does it weigh? Forty-three pounds.
Does he take in the view while walking? Indeed he does and when possible, he said, he likes interacting with the crowd.
And what’s next? He told the audience he has many more walks planned and when asked if there’s a big walk, he replied he takes each walk seriously. Surprisingly, he said being able to walk across Niagara Falls was something he didn’t think he’d be able to achieve.
Nik Wallenda’s Grand Canyon Walk Training is Winding Down
If you haven’t seen him train yet, you have two more days and four more opportunities before he heads west to the Navajo Nation to acclimate prior to Sunday’s walk.
He’s training Tuesday, June 18 and Wednesday, June 19 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and again at 6 p.m. at Nathan Benderson Park on North Cattleman Road, Sarasota.