Photo from Arizona Republic of area where the walk took place
(USA TODAY) - Daredevil Nik Wallenda, the seventh-generation high-wire artist, on Sunday successfully walked a two-inch thick cable across the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon.
He completed the walk in just under 23 minutes.
His tightrope was stretched 1,500 feet above the gorge floor, and he made the 1,400-foot long televised walk without a net or safety harness.
Wallenda began his walk a bit before 9:40 p.m. ET, as the sun was setting at the site in Arizona. His ground crew reported he had passed the half-way point about 11 minutes or so into the walk.
"Thank you, Jesus,'' he could be heard saying repeatedly as he walked.
At one point, 13 minutes into the walk, he stopped and knelt in an effort to slow the cable's movement.
When he reached the other side of the gorge, he said he had made that move to stop a rhythmic movement of the wire.
"I had to just sit down to get that rhythm out,'' he said.
Wallenda told reporters after the walk that he hoped his next stunt would be a tightrope walk between the Empire State building and the Chrysler building in New York.
Wallenda, 34, of Sarasota, Fla., is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas,'' a circus family whose acts have brought it tragedy in the past. A year ago he made a similar walk on a cable across Niagara Falls.
He told reporters two days before making the gorge attempt that he would say a prayer, then "I give my wife and kids a hug and a kiss and tell them I'll see them in a bit.''
The location of his crossing attempt was at a site in the Navajo Nation, 10 miles southeast of the Grand Canyon in northwest Arizona.
Wallenda's great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, died at 73 when he fell during a performance in Puerto Rico. Several other family members have died performing on the high wire.
His gorge walk was being telecast by the Discovery Channel, with a 10-second delay.
He was wired with cameras and a microphone, and his voice could be heard saying prayers as he walked the rope.
"Winds are way worse than I expected,'' he could be heard to say, about 6 minutes into his walk.
Wallenda was walking with shoes that have an elk-skin sole to help him grip the steel cable.