THE GRAND TOUR



Jessica (age 10) and crew at Hance Rapids.
(March 1990)

Meet the Grand Canyon Junkies

It all started in August 1972 when, fresh out of high school, Joe hiked to the bottom of the canyon with a couple of friends. Three and a half years later, Joe returned with a different buddy, Jim. The next year, Jim returned with his friend Stan. The year after that, Jim, Stan and Joe all went; it was 1978, and this whole thing was already snowballing.

Backpacking the canyon is now a nearly annual spring rite for several of us. Stan has done it more than 20 times, even though he has never lived within a thousand miles of the place. Joe is not far behind, with 16 rim-to-river hikes. There are others who are just as hopelessly hooked. Some of the more recent regulars:

Stan. Periodontist, hockey player and rancher in Oregon. Knot-tying and cigarette-rolling skills are legendary. Hip replacement hasn't kept him out of the canyon.
Barb. Dental hygienist and speed-skater in Oregon. Wedded Stan on South Rim in 1993. Probably will soon overtake Joe in number of canyon trips.
Marlene. Hygienist and trail-runner in Oregon. Ex-GI; has Vibram-soled Army boots. Wants to do Zion one of these years instead of the canyon — say what?
Loretta. Dental assistant and motorcycle mama in Oregon. Most-improved hiker in 1995; we ate her dust on the Tonto Trail.
Rhodana. Dental hygienist (such a diverse group) and positive thinker in Oregon. The ’96 trip was her first canyon hike.
Lloyd. Insurance agent and triathlete in Colorado. Dedicated father of four girls, one of whom hiked the Escalante Route with us when she was 10.
Joe. Editor and fair-weather bicyclist in Colorado. Only person ever to flunk Tent-Pitching 101. Creator of these pages.