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.