It has been a major privilege over my lifetime to travel/camp/RV extensively throughout our many National Parks and now I live within six hours of that amazing hole in the ground, Grand Canyon. I prefer the north rim with its forests and fewer visitors but it is easier to reach the south rim. Whenever I travel that direction, the route includes a swing through and an overnight to once again be thrilled with all it has to offer.
As I said last week, I have been perusing the books from my travels, bought because of a local author or a local interesting site. Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Ghiglieri and Myers (2001), is both fascinating and almost ghoulish (about people being foolish!). It has 400+ pages and once started, it is hard to put down. The Dedication says, “For the millions who come to Grand Canyon in the future, that they each may walk away enrichedand in one piece.”
The Foreword, written by Ken Phillips, Search Rescue Coordinator of GCNP, states in part, “They often make the assumption that help will always be immediately forthcoming when they place themselves in harm’s way. Such visitors suffer from the misguided belief that a national park is a close cousin to an amusement park.” The realities are that Walt Disney did not have a hand in constructing Grand Canyon, and the inherent risks associated with this park are unbelievably real. And all too often, tragically so.
The authors go into geology, past and present history, floods, maps, lethal errors, venomous creatures, and mysterious disappearances. It is absolutely mind-boggling how often visitors climb over safety barriers to get that perfect picture, or encourage someone else to do it! With the Colorado River running through it, there are countless swimming and boating accidents. The stories also include the many fatal air crashes (airliners and small planes), suicides, and even murder. What really breaks your heart is the young age of most of the suicide victims. A number of bodies have never been identified.
This book is spellbinding. Well, let’s just put it this way, if you ever visit the GCNP, you will think twice before getting too close to the edge! God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is now available at most Internet book sites and the fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”