Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon
Elias Butler, Tom Myers
As described in the book below, Grand Canyon Treks, Harvey Butchart hiked more than 12,000 miles below the rim of Grand Canyon. Harvey is held high on a pedestal with many Canyon hikers and deservedly holds the respect of all for what he accomplished through shear grit and determination. Knowing that he had a wife and family in Flagstaff, I was always curious how he was able to balance family, his work as a NAU mathematics professor and his passion—no, his obsession—with the Grand Canyon. Elias Butler and Tom Myers did an EXCELLENT job researching and writing about Harvey’s life from early childhood in China to missionary parents until his death in 2002.
Be warned; you will learn that Harvey was human. A person cannot be a super human explorer of the Grand Canyon and still maintain healthy relationships at home. His family life did indeed suffer; how could that be avoided? Several of my friends were disappointed to learn of this, but it only makes sense. You cannot be obsessed with something and not have other aspects of your life get neglected. I feel the authors dealt very fairly with this. They did not paint Harvey as malevolent or saintly; they just stated the facts and very tactfully. The book is well written and the story of Harvey’s life is extremely interesting. I highly recommend this book!
Grand Canyon Treks
“Harvey Butchart hiked more than 12,000 miles in a combined total of 1,000 days – a distance comparable to walking halfway around the earth. He is credited with finding more than 116 approaches to the Colorado River, and with summiting 83 of the 138 named peaks in the Canyon, 35 of those being first ascents.”
This edition combines all of his Grand Canyon Trek books into one. If you are looking for a step-by-step description of Grand Canyon trails, this is not the book for you. However, if you like exploring and are an excellent route finder, or just want to explore from your armchair, you’ll be fascinated by the trail journals from this Grand Canyon legend.
A Grand Canyon classic! Colin Fletcher is famous in the ranks of Grand Canyon backpackers and hikers who have praised and curse their way over the trails in this rugged country. He was the first man to walk the entire distance of the Grand Canyon. It takes hiking the Canyon to truly appreciate the difficulty of the two-month trek that Colin Fletcher took in 1967. At the time, Grand Canyon did not encompass the entire distance it does today, but that does not take away the incredible accomplishment this trip represents. An enjoyable book for those who have hiked the Canyon and perhaps even dreamed of doing something similar.
In 1928, Glen and Bessie Hyde had aspirations to be the first couple to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Recently married, Glen wanted to capitalize on their “honeymoon” status to be able to sell their river trip to the public in the form of lectures across the country.
Woman Of The River: Georgie White Clark, Whitewater Pioneer
To say that Georgie White is a legend it like saying the Grand Canyon is a ditch! Georgie White was a wild woman who never did anything that an “average” woman of her day did. She bicycled across country, she ran the Colorado River with only a life jacket, and she is known for bringing river rafting to the masses. Controversy also followed in her wake; nobody was ambivalent about how they felt about her! Many loved her but some hated her for her seeming irreverent attitude towards safety and the Grand Canyon itself. This is a wonderful book that chronicles the life of an amazing, eccentric woman. Highly recommended for anyone interested in Grand Canyon’s most fascinating movers and shakers.