TODAY   |  June 24, 2013

Willie and Natalie conquer Grand Canyon

On the scene for daredevil Nik Wallenda’s historic Grand Canyon tightrope walk, TODAY’s Willie Geist and Natalie Morales took advantage of their opportunity to spend a day at one of America’s most majestic sights.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we want to check in with two folks that have been living life on the edge the past few days. are you ever coming back.

>> shortly.

>> carson has it under control there. we'll head out.

>> we like the scenery there.

>> that's nice of you to say willie.

>> we are actually --

>> okay, you guys keep going. carson kind of broke you but it's okay. you keep moving .

>> okay.

>> well, we are literally on the edge. it turns out there's a few different ways to get around the grand canyon . you can do it how nik wallenda did it on a high entire or go about 20 miles from here and rent yourself a good mule.

>> that's right. i went to the bottom of the grand canyon with a jackass and some mules.

>> what? wow.

>> are we looking?

>> time to look.

>> oh, gosh.

>> oh my goodness. spectacular.

>> you read about this place and you see pictures of it. it could never do it justice.

>> you really wonder how this formed. i mean, was it all water in here? it's like the ocean floor .

>> we'll have to ask an expert.

>> you folks look a little dazed and confused . first timers to the grand canyon .

>> how did you guess.

>> is it that obvious?

>> how old is the grand canyon ?

>> it's 5.3 million years old.

>> how was it formed?

>> essentially the rock has to be formed first. it was all pushed up. the elevation here at about 7,000 feet and as it sat there for about 30 million years, the colorado river came in and cut down through the layers of rock like a knife.

>> there's only one or two ways to get to the bottom of the canyon. either you ride a mule or walk down.

>> i'm looking at the little trail where the mule is going to take us.

>> that will be a fun ride for you natalie.

>> it will be narrow.

>> every mule has a name.

>> how's your math skills.

>> not good.

>> i'm going to put you on algebra.

>> did you pass it?

>> i did.

>> you did, okay. you drew the short straw. you get twinkie .

>> twinkie .

>> off we go to the grand canyon . i'm here on algebra, my mule. what about you?

>> i'm feeling good about twinkie . a big boy who is a lot tougher than he sounds.

>> i would see if you're afraid of heights how this would -- it would bother you.

>> that is just breathtaking. oh my gosh. gorgeous.

>> pick up the pace morales.

>> come on twinkie . speed it up.

>> don't yell at my mule.

>> oh yeah.

>> you worry about algebra.

>> i feel very confident even though i'm right on the edge. this is the best view. look at that. look at that butterfly. did you see that? beautiful. come on twinkie . catch up.

>> twinkie is his own man. he goes at his own pace. we're a long way from midtown manhattan . a toast to the grand canyon , to algebra and twinkie .

>> spectacular. good job guys. thanks for not throwing us over yet.

>> just the way john wayne used to do it. getting breezy out here.

>> i know just kind of gusted.

>> our thanks to them for setting us up with the good-looking animals and most pornly thanks to the animals for putting up with these two, beeps.

>> hey willie, your dad called and he wants his hat back.

>> listen, al, al it was better than the alternative. let me just say that. i'll bring the other one back.

>> that is required head gear .

>> in full disclosure i have one as well. i just haven't worn it on camera.

>> you need a mule.

>> it's a good hat. you