New Jen's Horde

Monday, July 31, 2006

Over the Edge

I just finished a great book! It's called Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Myers and Ghiglieri. I would recommend it to anyone, even if you're like me and you've never been there. Now that I've read this, I'm not too sure I plan to go, yikes!

The authors have researched every known fatality to occur in the Grand Canyon area, and brought their own experience as guides and search and rescue personnel, etc. from the Canyon to each story.

I figured that, like every popular outdoor destination, there would be some deaths there. It's hot, and deep and lots of places are hard to get to. However, I had no idea that is was quite as deadly as it is! There were a couple of surprises, too. For instance, the most potentially lethal way to see the Canyon is by airplane, both commercial and private fights go down in frightening numbers.

Also, there is one activity that is quite dangerous, and has contributed more than its fair share to the number of folks falling to their deaths in the Canyon. Can you guess what it is? I'll put the answer in comments...

Believe it or not, a substantial number of people have fallen to their deaths in the Canyon because they were peeing over the rim. Nice, huh?

If it makes you feel better, apparently they've never recorded a fatality among the tourists who travel the Canyon on muleback.
Having four boys, this is very useful info!

I'll have to check out that book.
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oops, i really botched that last post with misspellings LOL Here's what I meant to say:

Well, I'd assume peeing over the rim was PROBABLY because they were drunk. So really, how many fatalities were for drunkenness ;)
I've seen video of those mule-trains heading down. It looks so damn scary! But they train these things years before they let people ride on them. Old-fashioned methods of travel are the best!
Another good on is "Death in Yellowstone Park" My BIL let me borrow a copy he picked up at the gift shop up there.

It's a good thing he got it, because I don't think I'll be back! LOL

Death by geyers, grizzly bear, buffalo, falling, hot pots. You name it they got it!

You should check that one out and let me know what you think.
No way! I thought for sure it would be the mules.

Needless to say, it's the menfolk who are going over the edge with their prodigious peeing skills? Sheesh.
Having been there, that was my guess, Jen. It's not as well protected as you might like. But then there are always the idiots (and I think this is where a lot of the fatalities come from) who decide they can't see as well as they want to, and they climb over or around the railings to get a better look. Duh. Aaauugh! My clearest memory of the Canyon is watching a guy who was sitting way out on a rock jutting over the canyon. I'm sure the view was tremendous. I wonder if he survived.

Also, a friend of mine took the mule train down to the bottom and was supposed to hike out but instead busted her ankle. Her group just left her there for a day or two until they could rescue her. Talk about adventure!
Maybe I should go BEFORE I read the book. Sad though, I've always been on the wrong side of the plane when we're flying over and I miss the canyon. So I thought the helecopter would be, not so much.

I'll make sure to check for porta potties before heading to look into the canyon.
I once toured the GC in a private 4-seater plane. Glad I lived to tell about it!
(it's beautiful)
What a reason for falling over the edge!
Hubby and I went to the Grand Canyon 2 years ago and a few weeks after our vacation, someone died...they were walking down the rim and fell off the side.

While we were there, the park rangers and a lot of the brochures and such tell you to be extra careful and not to take foolish chances because it's a bitch to get a helicopter down the canyon to rescue folks and YOU get charged for your stupidity. They charge you for the helicopter use/gas if they have to rescue you. As it should be.
What a way to be found! Lying in an awkward position with your thing out. I guess one could always say "He died doing what he loved...practicing his marksmanship"

I think if I do ever get there I might do the "Griswold"
Ok, I give. I'm checking it out now.

How did you come across this book anyway?
You could stay with us, Jen! We live two hours from just about everywhere in AZ. If we go in the winter, we could even write our names in the snoooooooowwwwww.
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