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Adventure in Tanzania with Kidz at Heart

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Canyon Adventurers Find Loose Footing Deadly

An idyllic canyon adventure went bad when a hiker fell to his death at Glen Canyon on Saturday. The red rock country attracts explorers from all over the world. Unfortunately not all visitors are accustomed to walking along steep cliffs with areas of loose, talus slopes.

A National Park Service (NPS) investigation found that Robert Hunt, 49, from St. Peters, Missouri was day hiking with a friend. As he attempted to cross a talus slope at the edge of a cliff, Mr. Hunt fell, landing in the shallow water and mud 70 feet ( 21.336 meters) below. He sustained a traumatic head injury. 

The NPS warns that talus slopes, or areas of loose rock on steep terrain, are extremely hazardous for hikers. Mr. Hunt had been visiting the area with four friends and had gone on several day hikes during his trip.

Girls' Adventure Travel  tip: Hey, unknown waters or unfamiliar terrain certainly increases the ol' adrenalin rush when adventuring, but remember to use caution. The unknown environment can "act" quite differently than what you are used to back home or in more familiar surroundings. 

In Canyon Country, arroyos can become flooded with deadly waters without a cloud overhead. A small rain burst miles away has killed unprepared hikers as the water rushes downhill. The stone canyons do not absorb water. Likewise, extreme temperatures can cause dizziness and it is easy to lose your balance. Of course it doesn't help when the terra firma is not so firma. Even after several days in an unfamiliar environment, stay on your toes, drink plenty of water and watch your footing. I recently took a nasty tumble as I video taped a hike. Wounded pride and skinned knees was, fortunately, all that beset me. It could have been deadly.

You won't see signs like the one above at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. (I took this one on the side of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.)


Glen Canyon National Recreation Area was created when the Colorado River was dammed by the Glen Canyon Dam. The waters behind the dam formed Lake Powell, named after Colorado River explorer and one-armed Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell. 

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Northern Arizona Fall Hiking

The air was crisp and clear as we left for a morning hike. The ground underfoot was covered with pine needles blown off the towering Ponderosas yesterday and last night. Its always windy in Flagstaff, but the changing seasons are bringing in more wind. I swear the pine needles just turned yellow the day it turned Fall - September 21.

This morning we shroud out just after dawn. Dan promised that it would be light at 6am -- but give it a few more weeks and we'll be using our headlamps. A head in the woods I heard a distinctive deep "chirping." "Sounds like cow elk to me, " I said to Dan, "And they sound really close."
"Or it could be a hunter," Dan replied. A lot of hunters are in the woods now, scoping out where the herds are before hunting season.

The the bugling started. "That's no hunter," I said. "That is one big bull." The forest was echoing with his deep trills and calls. The herd crossed the path just ahead of us. I counted 15 with the "Big Boy." As we climbed up the hill, I saw movement to the right, and another smaller herd disappeared into the shadows. Within another half mile, we were soon experiencing a "jazz session" perhaps a jam between tow competing males. The larger -- or so he sounded -- was with the first group and was now to the south of us. He bellowed and bugled to the younger male that was now headed off to the north.

I did my best imitation of a female chirp and tried to draw them back towards us. I don't think they heard me, but kept bellowing back and forth - first the loud, low rubble of the "bass" of the elder to the south. Then the return of the shorter "alto" blasts from the younger. I had not heard such elk bugling since I first moved to Arizona 15 years ago. Then, the concert hall was my kitchen, and the music came in through the kitchen door. Here i was first row center. What a magnificent experience.

"Have ypu ever heard elk like that before?" Dan my husband asked. He knows of my former life as "Elk Hunter" when I lived in Colorado.

"Never," I said. "Let's do this hike again tomorrow! ...and maybe we should wear orange."
Arizona elk are some of the largest elk in the U.S. September to October is breeding season. I-17 that runs past my community of Munds Park (south of Flagstaff, AZ) has the highest elk kill rate of any U.S. Interstate highway.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Girls Lament: 7 days not long enough

Navajo Bridges, Colorado River south of Lee's Ferry

According to the buzz from the 17 gals who just got off a Canyoneer's Colorado River trip, "Seven days is not enough!"  The girls, giddy with Canyon Fever, cannot seem to get the starry nights, crashing white water and visions of canyon walls out of their heads. "I am still dreaming about it at night," said one new "Canyoneer" in an email to the group today. Those bitten by the Grand Canyon bug may be back again next year.

Adventure travel tips:
- Get 2010 reservations now at
for choice river trip dates.
- bring two pairs of water shoes. My open-toed sandals were my favorites. But they had a chance to dry out when I used my digit-protecting Keens on hikes to magnificent waterfalls.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Calling all Girls: Grand Canyon River Trip

Flagstaff, AZ -- Time is running out to sign up for the all-"girls" river trip launching on 9-9-9. If running the white water below the rim of the Grand Canyon is on your "Bucket List," now is the time to go for it!

Special rates abound, simply call Joy or Cheryl at Canyoneers 928-526-0924. Get more info at
SINCE 1956
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

All-Gals River Trip Insider's Tips

Last week while in Phoenix and Scottsdale for a fantastic Girls Getaway, I asked one of our hosts, Seth Heald of ARIZONA OUTBACK ADVENTURES for some insider secrets for a great Grand Canyon river trip. Seth, president of AOA is a veteran river runner.

"Do you want to know the REAL advice? Even if it is a bit gross?" he asked.
"Oh, yes, I want it all. Give it to me," I challenged.
"OK then. You are going to be sitting on a plastic seat for seven days. You're going to be wet most of the time," he said alluding to ailments that might affect the bottom side. I think he said get a C-cream. "You might not need it, but if you do, you'll be happy you brought it along."

"I should have written it down," I thought as I perused the huge pharmacy aisle. In preparation for our upcoming river trip, I went into Flagstaff, AZ today to procure "butt balm" and waterproof band-aids."Should I get PreparationH?" I couldn't find any C-cream. Or was it Sea-Cream?
I was hoping that no one would come and ask if I needed help.I finally found Cortisone cream. It was half the price of the H-cream, so that settled it for me.

Band-Aid now makes a clear, WATER BLOCK PLUS bandage. They're supposed to give 100% waterproof protection. I guess we'll find out as we float down the river next week.

Girls Adventure Guide Tip: For extended river trips, bring along cortisone cream for any rash that might appear on your bottom side. It will also work on cracked heels if the sun and water do a number on your feet.

There is still room available on the 9-9-9 All "Girls" river trip. Call Joy or Cheryl at Canyoneers at 928-526-0924.
Girls Adventure Guide offers adventure travel tips and Girls Getaway ideas for increasing your travel fun quotient.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Grand Adventure: 7 Days in the Grand Canyon

A tale of fire and ice: a river trip through the Grand Canyon. The air temperature at the bottom of the canyon will be trying to hit the triple digits. FIRE! The icy waters of the Colorado River will be 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn't sound too cold, but with white water waves crashing over the sides of the boat, the spray from the waves will have its chilling affects.

"It's an unusual environment this time of year," says one veteran boatman. You can be really hot and then really cold all on the same day." I was asking about tips for what kind of clothing to pack. "Forget the rain pants, it will be too hot for those," he adds.

Our all-girls river trip launches 9-9-9 from Lee's Ferry just below the Glen Canyon Dam near Page, AZ. I think most of us are going for the scenery, but I have a feeling that this trip will provide the perfect venue for personal discovery and growth. There is still space -- and last minute deals. Call Joy or Cherly at Canyoneers in Flagstaff, AZ... and get onboard for some real Girls Adventure.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Calling All Girls: 3 Spots open for Colorado River trip

If a white water raft trip through the Grand Canyon is on your "bucket list," its time to clear your calendar. A 7-day All-women's river trip is launching at Lee's ferry on 9/9/9. We're adventuring down the Colorado River for seven days that will change your life. Or so, I have heard it said. This will be my FIRST Grand Canyon river trip, and I am a little excited...if not a little scared. Hey, isn't that what adventure is all about?

Call Sheri or Joy at Canyoneers 928-526-0924. Flagstaff, AZ