Friday, March 13, 2020

Meet the Aiken's, Who Lived in the Bottom of the Grand Canyon for 33 Years

Bruce Aiken's "Splitrock" painting. Splitrock is located between Cottonwood Camp and the Powerhouse on the North Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon.
I was a National Park backcountry ranger between 1975 and 1978. In the Bicentennial summer of 1976, I was the ranger at Cottonwood Camp, located halfway between the North Rim and the Colorado River. One and a half miles north of the ranger station was the Powerhouse, a Park Service residence where the North Rim pump station operators lived. In 1976, the Aiken family lived here, Bruce and Mary and their two girls Mercy (age 4) and Shirley (age 2). We became good friend as the only "residents" living along the 14 mile long North Kaibab Trail.

Read about the Aiken's and their amazing life journey on this ultra-marathon web site (ironic since I have been an outspoken opponent of competitive running on the trails in Grand Canyon). You can read Anne' wonderful story here. And within it, you'll read about a young, 22-year-old backcountry ranger who came to the aid of young Shirley one hot summer night!

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