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Old 11-05-2009   #1
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 432
Youngest Person to Solo the Grand Canyon

Two questions?
First, does the park service keeps record of solo trips and makes them available to the public?
I would not be surprised if an eighteen year old person has made the trip solo in the winter. That obliviously being the youngest age a permit holder can be.
Second, what is the significance of such a trip when compared to 17 year old Zac Sunderlands solo sailing trip around the world this year?

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Old 11-05-2009   #2
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Really goood questions. Anybody have any info on this? That comparison is interesting too.

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Old 11-05-2009   #3
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Front Range, "Beautiful Colorado"
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Posts: 64
This is great set of questions..

Even better is the comparison, I agreed. I actually used his feat as part of the best man speech I had to give. Here's a copy of what I wrote but if I could have incorporated the grand and river running it surely would have been better. Lets help this guy figure it out.

(ps I know I originally wrote this 1. without being aware that Jessica Watson was hit by a cargo ship in the 1st wqeek of the voyage RIP..
2. I thought the wedding was on the 19th not the 18th and learned this just 3 days prior to the time. So winston Church hill part is actually on the 19trh and not the 18th but nobody knew that but me.)
Best Man Speech

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time and making the effort to join us for this memorable occasion.
I did some research on events and people that relate to this day and brought change due to their existance.

The year 2009 itself is fresh in our memory’s so I’ll make it quick.

Obviously there's the new administration who used change as their marketing platform, or the passing of Pop Icon Micheal Jackson who used change as a song title. Or we could discuss the return of Phish and we all know that would turn out a long conversation.

Instead, I'd like to talk about a feat of youth, desire, and shear will.
On July 17th, 2009 , Zac Sunderland, a 17 year old boy from Southern California completed a 17 month journey to be the youngest ever to circumnavigate the globe solo. This was a feat that within the past 15 yrs was sought and fathomed only by 40 year old veterans of sailing; like Don MacIntyer - the 1st man to ever to accomplich this task.

More impressively is that on June 26th, less than a month earlier, a 16 year old girl named Jessica Watson, from Australia set out to accomplish the same feat. Not only is she young; or a girl; but rather her plan, has her completing this journey in 230 days; or 9 months. An impressive nautical feat and yet a prime example of change being the only true constant.

In September itself, -- A month who's nomiclature is derived from the latin “Septem”, meaning 7, for the 7th month of the Roman calendar. This however is the 9th month because of the global communitys exceptance of change to the Gregorian Calendar.
Also, September represents the beginning of the Meteorological Autumn for the Northern Hemisphere. And it's a beautiful, not to mention, appropriate representation of change.

September has brought us
The birth of Bruce Springsteen who changed the worlds level of respect for the Garden State.
The Birth of Queen Elizabeth I in 1533 who changed England.
George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796
The Formal Surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945.

And on September 18th, 1945, history witnessed another change following WWII, at the University of Zurich, during a speech by Winston Churchill, he called for change through the creation of a “COUNCIL OF EUROPE”.
  • The Main objective of this Council was to
  • Achieve a greater unity between it’s members for the purpose of safeguarding and realizing the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic progress”

Today is September 18th, 2009 and we have collectively witnessed the union of 2 great family's and yet another historical moment of change.

If everyone will raise their glass’s; I’d like to toast the bride and groom....

Craig and Amy
May today represent the union of your familys new council
from now on refered to as “The Gorm-Gensons”

I think I speak for us all when I say, we wish you the best of everything throughout lifes changing endeavors…… CHEERS….

One last thing Gorms Pay up ----- Bar Jameson..... ASAP...
" ...this is the hardest sport I've ever tried!!",E. Brown, 2003
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Old 11-05-2009   #4
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Jboats, while Jessica Watson was in a collision with a cargo ship, she wasn't even injured and is currently about 2000 miles into her voyage:
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Old 11-05-2009   #5
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Christopher Creek, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
The person to ask is Tom Martin. He is around here on and off. You might cross-post to the River Runners for Wilderness GC Yahoo site.
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Old 11-06-2009   #6
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
According to the NPS web site. You must be 18 or older to participate in the lottery. I wouldn't doubt if that age limit has been in place even before the new rules and lottery went into effect.
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Old 11-06-2009   #7
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
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Posts: 700
At What age

is it about the parent, and not the kid? I think 16 or 17 makes sense for a hard cut off. That said, I've known people who were on their own at 14 and were doing well.
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Old 11-06-2009   #8
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government secrets

the park service will not divulge any information regarding trip participants, solo or otherwise, I've asked them. I'm plamming a December 2012 solo grand trip and feel that sailing around the world would require far greater desire, skills, preperation and perserverance.
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Old 11-06-2009   #9
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I agree w/ mrkyak.

I've prepped for a grand trip with a day in the garage sorting gear and a night at the grocery store buying food. And in the grand, you're never really alone - there's always another trip within a couple of days of you, even in the dead of winter. Say you flip, swim, and lose your boat. Get yourself to shore and there will be another trip along soon. If you call for help, a heli can be there in an hour.

Compare that to being in a storm in the roaring 40s, or becalmed in the horse latitudes for days or weeks.
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Old 11-07-2009   #10
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Posts: 567
I agree alanbol. Maybe it is my lack of familiarity with the ocean but the whole needing the weather to cooperate to survive is so far beyond and vicious upstream wind. Logistically even if you did Flaming gorge to the Gulf of California solo. That would be an amazing adventure. You could stop at anytime. Might require a 100 mile walk.

As far a teenager doing it, the issue is much more the drive and sense of adventure than the skill. I have had many freshman who could have comfortably paddled the grand. I Have had probably 15 kids that are organizing there own multiday river trips by the time they graduate. Most have parents that have been taking them since they were young. Lief, since I think he was two months old, his mom said. They understand the risks that the kid is undertaking. Though I do not know of any that have done any long solo trips mainly because "social desires" are so strong in kids. A kid with that level of intensity for miles and miles of flat water at 17 would be unusual.


friend of the fork, knife, and spoon
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