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Book details
  • Genre:SPORTS & RECREATION
  • SubGenre:Hiking
  • Language:English
  • Pages:240
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667868448

Rim to Rim Down is Optional, Up is Mandatory Grand Canyon National Park

Stories of Success – Normal People doing Extraordinary Things.

by ARLEN R. ISHAM

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Overview
Rim to Rim Down is Optional, Up is Mandatory Grand Canyon National Park Actual stories from 24 people that completed rim to rim hikes of the Grand Canyon. Enjoy the struggles and triumphs of the writers. Includes information to help you prepare, plan, and accomplish your rim to rim.
Description
My fascination with the Grand Canyon began back in June 1969. I was on a vacation trip with my newly married wife Jo Beth, which included a stop at the south rim. We were 25 years old and decided to hike the 12-mile round trip down to Plateau Point and back with two coke cans. This was a typical tourist mistake. Eight hours later, we were back at the South Rim, but my wife had blisters that bothered her all the way through the rest of our trip, including Las Vegas. To say the least, she was not happy with me. 1984, fifteen years later, I joined a friend's trip on a rim-to-rim hike that began a 35-year love affair with the Canyon. Two years later, my whole family took a western United States trip that included visits to both the south rim and north rim of the Grand Canyon. My two sons; 14 & 12, wanted to hike down to Roaring Springs from the North Rim on that trip. It was so exciting for them to run on ahead of me on the way down despite my telling them to take their time. You had to be there to see them, several hours later totally exhausted at the North Kaibab trailhead after their hike back up. Over the next 35 years, I organized 13 hiking trips to the Grand Canyon. As early as 1993 on the 4th trip, I would tell friends this was my last trip. It took until 1998, until friends asked me to run another trip. Time would pass and friends and family would say, let's do it again. That resulted in trips, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, & finally 2017. The trips would vary, sometimes including Havasu, Zion National Park, and variations of the rim-to-rim hikes, that people wanted to try. The standard trip was a south Kaibab to north Kaibab rim to rim, a day rest on the north rim, and then a north Kaibab to Bright Angel rim to rim. The other standard trip was two nights at Zion for day hiking, one night at the North Rim and one night at the south rim with a North Kaibab to Bright Angel rim to rim. After each trip, I would write a summary of the adventure and received stories from the participants. Their stories and pictures would go out to all the participants. Over time, participants told me that I should write a book and include stories from the trips. The idea to write the book has been bouncing around in my head for about ten years, and now it is done. I contacted the participants for the stories in this book and received their permission to include their stories. Many of the participants have returned to the Canyon and some of them began organizing their own trips to share this beautiful national treasure in a very special way. Enjoy the struggles and triumphs of the writers.
About the author
About the Author - Arlen R. Isham Arlen was born on May 17, 1944 in Lansing, Michigan. His family moved to a farm near Carson City in 1949, where he grew up as a farmer's kid. He remembers going to the movies in Carson City for $0.15 His early life consisted of milking cows, feeding the animals, and farming nearly 400 acres. Part of the farming included picking up stones (one of the world's worst jobs), hoeing beans; four rows at a time, maple syrup production in the spring each year, and driving tractor to help his Dad farm. Arlen decided he did not want to farm, so went to Michigan State University and graduated in 1966 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. One summer to make money for school, he worked at a pickle factory for $1.10 per hour. He left Michigan in 1966 with everything he owned in a new 345 HP 1966 Ford 7-liter model and drove to Houston to work for Diamond Alkali. Over 42 years, Arlen's work included engineering, plant management, chemical trading, and road building in Mexico, to finally Manager of Operations for KMG-Bernuth, Inc. Arlen retired at the end of December, 2007. Arlen met Jo Beth in late 1966, and eventually married on April 27, 1968. They had three children, Andrea K. Mankin, Matthew S. Isham, and Jeffrey R. Isham. Jo Beth & Arlen moved into an active adult community, Heritage Grand in Dec. 2006. They had been in their previous home for 38 years. His major hobbies have been skiing, running, biking, triathlons, & hiking including about 104 marathons, ultra-marathons, and organizing many adventure trips, such as crossing the Grand Canyon from rim to rim. In 2020, he passed 52,000 miles in 42 years of running. Arlen says he is the only person in the world that can say they have run 40 Houston Marathons, climbed Kilimanjaro, ran 100 miles in one day, completed an Ironman triathlon, and done a double crossing of the Grand Canyon in one day. He did this with the support and participation of many friends, who he thanks for helping make it possible. He was a past organizer and coordinator for the Houston Marathon Legacy Pace Team and was the volunteer manager of the Houston marathon's warehouse. He also organized many other adventure and travel trips for his family and friends. Jo Beth & Arlen each have a "Life List" of things they want to do, and since his retirement, they continued to cross things off their list and add new ones. Arlen can occasionally be seen driving around in his vintage 1969 red XKE Jaguar. He also has a complete set of Louie L'Amour books. Arlen's motto is "What you can conceive, you can achieve."
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