by Irene Jacobs
Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim
A Practical Guide for First-Timers
By Irene Jacobs
with Kim Martin
I was apprehensive about my ability to tackle a 27-mile rim-to-rim trek across the Grand Canyon, even with months of training. I am in okay shape, but I am not a jock. I trained, but I still huffed and puffed going up the trails.
To alleviate my fears and ensure I was well prepared, I searched for practical advice. I never found a guide that had the answers to my questions all in one place. As it turned out, the hike was very difficult, but do-able. I knew I could do it once we began hiking on the north rim. The descent is steep, but the trails are gradual and well maintained. The ground is soft and not very rocky, making it easy on your feet.
After completing the hike, I decided to share what I learned from one women�s perspective. These practical hints are meant to allow you to enjoy the hike as well as live through it.
There were five of us who ultimately went on the rim-to-rim hike May 25 to 28, 2005. Two others were unable to come. One developed knee problems during training that made it impossible for her to go down the north rim and another moved back to her home state. Kim was the organizer of the hike, and the pre-planning she did made our trek successful.
Permits: To hike the canyon and stay over night in a campsite you need a permit. This can be obtained up to three months in advance by calling the Back Country Office at 928-638-2820. We reserved the first of January for the May hike.
The only time you can do a rim-to-rim hike is when the north rim is open, from mid-May until October or the first snow. Because of its elevation, there is snow on the north rim even in late May when we began our hike. As the bottom of the canyon reaches the same temperatures as Phoenix Arizona, it is best to go in mid May or early October. The day before we hiked, the temperature at Phantom Ranch reached 107 degrees and the low on the north rim was 37 degrees.
Overnight accommodations: The first evening we stayed at the lodge at the north rim in delightful little cabins with a magnificent view of the rim. We thought it was nice to have a bed to sleep in before we descended the 8,000 feet into the canyon where we planned to camp several days.
You should call up to two years in advance to make reservations in the Bright Angel cabins or dormitories at Phantom Ranch at 888-297-2757. Sometimes rooms open up a week or two prior to your trip, but it is based on who calls first when someone cancels, as they do not keep a waiting list. We were only able to get one bunk bed in the women�s dormitory.
We camped two evenings. There are three campgrounds below the rim of the canyon: Cottonwood, which is at an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet; Bright Angel, which is located next to Phantom Ranch on the floor of the canyon; and Indian Gardens that is located 4.5 miles from the top of the south rim. There are also campgrounds on the north and south rims. To obtain a campground permit call 928-638-7888.
Meals: The first evening we ate at the North Rim Lodge. It was a great last meal before we switched to dehydrated food on the trail. We ordered meals, including a lunch-to-go from the North Rim Lodge, and breakfast and a lunch-to-go the morning of our departure from Phantom Ranch by calling 888-297-2757.
Shuttles: There is shuttle transportation between the north and south rim. We left our cars at the south rim and took the shuttle to the north rim. Other hikers left their car at the north rim and took the shuttle back when they arrived on the south rim. It takes approximately 5 hours and costs about $65 per person. The price seemed steep to me until we got out of the canyon on the south rim and realized no one had to make the drive back to the north rim to get his or her car. To reserve a shuttle call 928-638-2820.
A shuttle that costs $7 per person can take you from the North Rim Lodge to the North Kaibab Trail, omitting an extra two miles of hiking. We took the shuttle at 5:30 am. This allowed us to begin hiking at approximately 6:30 am, after taking the appropriate pictures to document the beginning of our trek.
Mules: We reserved five mules to haul our large backpacks from Phantom Ranch/Bright Angel Campground up to the Livery at the south rim. Each mule cost $55 and will transport up to 30 pounds of your belongings and must be reserved in advance. You can only use the mule services if you are hiking from Phantom to the top of the north or south rim (or vice-versa) in one day.
Our hike organizer put together an 8-month training calendar that was progressively more challenging each week. This helped us to build up our muscles at a steady, even pace. We agreed to hike together once each weekend, and also to train during the week to build muscle and aerobic capacity. Dawn swam laps, Kim spent hours on the Stair-Master, Maryann worked out at a gym and Art walked. I took a Spinning class two times a week and credit my ability to hike the last 3 miles up the south rim trail entirely to the persistence of my teacher and my I-Pod!
We began our training with 1 to 2 hour hikes on fairly level ground. We built up the time and difficulty of the hikes over time. Three months before the rim-to-rim we added a second day of hiking. Later we added our fully loaded backpacks. Two weeks before we left, we were completing 4 to 6 hour hikes, over a challenging mountain trail with the backpacks.
We are not fast hikers. This was a once in a lifetime experience and we wanted to savor the beauty and splendor of the canyon. We began hiking most mornings by 6:00 or 6:30 a.m. More industrious hikers started earlier at 5:00 a.m. when the sun rose. Some started at 2:30 a.m. and began their hike with headlamps or by the light of the moon. Because of the intense heat at the lower elevations of the canyon, it is best to get an early start.
North-to-South: Our initial plan was to hike from the south rim to Phantom Ranch on day one and hike out the north rim on day two. We subsequently learned that the north rim is much steeper and sits at an elevation of 8,000 feet compared to the south rim that has an elevation of 6,800 feet. So we changed the direction of our trek to begin on the north rim and end on the south rim.
Because the hike from the crest of the north rim to Phantom Ranch is a 16-mile journey down a very steep grade and two of the members of our group are older, we decided to break the trip up into segments. Day one we hiked down from the north rim to the Cottonwood campground; day two we hiked from Cottonwood to Phantom Ranch/Bright Angel campground and day three from Phantom Ranch out the south rim.
A reasonable course of action is also to hike to Phantom Ranch from the north rim in one day, stay a few days to allow your calf muscles to relax and hike out the south rim in a few days. If you make the trek to Phantom Ranch in one day, you can use carry a light daypack or hire mules to cart your belongings� allowing you to hike minimal weight.
Ok so how far is it � really: The distance and estimated travel time from section to section of the rim-to-rim trek should be a straightforward question. However, I never found a definitive answer. We enjoyed the sights and the silence and took our time each day. Jim and Art snapped many photographs. Maryann sprained her knee the first day and subsequently had to helicopter out of the canyon. During the day that she hiked with us she had to move slowly increasing the time it took to travel, but allowing us more occasions to take in the marvelous beauty and peaceful quiet.
Day 1: The distance from the north rim to Cottonwood Campground, the first place you can spend the night, is 8 miles and we hiked from 6:45 am to 2:30 p.m. This is a steep descent from 8,000 feet to approximately 4,500 feet. On the way there is one stop with a composting toilet and two water stations. We did not stop at Roaring Falls as it was an additional two miles and we had an injured hiker. However, there is water there, as well. This was also where the helicopter landed to pick up Maryann.
Campsites are available with a permit on a first-come basis at Cottonwood campground. It is desert camping, most sites do not have shade, and the ones that do are taken early in the day. There is a composting toilet and water. You may not use soap, even biodegradable. There is a Ranger station and an emergency telephone.
Day 2: Our second day we hiked 8 miles from Cottonwood Campground to Phantom Ranch/Bright Angel Campground. We began at 6:00 a.m. and finished at 3:00 p.m. We added an extra mile to view Ribbon Falls and it was worth it. We stopped several times to dip our feet, shirts, hats and neck coolers into the stream. The descent is only 2,000 feet, so most of the hike is flat. However, at the bottom of the canyon temperatures will be in the high 90�s or 100�s in the shade. You travel through a narrow passage between two sets of canyon walls, which the Ranger later told us is 20 degrees warmer. The environment is breathtaking and very warm. It is where you observe the Vischnu Schist The oldest known exposed rock of the earth. 168-180 millions years old. There is no water between these two sections, so take plenty. I took 3 liters of water and 48 ounces of a protein/electrolyte drink. It was gone before we arrived at Phantom Ranch, so we suggest you bring 4 liters of liquid or more.
Two members of our group camped at Bright Angel Campground and I stayed in the Phantom Ranch dormitory. The dormitory is air-conditioned and has a shower, so it is worth the $30. However, other hikers stayed up late and chattered, curtailing my ability to sleep. The campsite is beautiful and is situated directly on the river. Kim and Jim found the Ranger�s talk that evening enjoyable. You can reserve breakfast, lunch and dinner at Phantom Ranch. You can purchase Phantom Ranch T-shirts, cool drinks, snacks, and other souvenirs.
Day 3 � Mules to the Rescue: We hiked out of Phantom Ranch/Bright Angel Campground after the 5:30 a.m. breakfast. We left our large backpacks with the mules we reserved. Hiking up the south rim without the backpack was a most welcome event. The $55 cost may sound like a lot of money, but one hiker who hoisted his 30+ pound backpack up the south rim said had he know about the mules he would have paid $500.
The first possible stop is Indian Gardens Campground, a beautiful location, and 6 miles from Phantom Ranch. The hike to Indian Gardens took us less than 4 hours. We stopped and napped there during the heat of the day from 11:00 am to 3:00 p.m. We previously tried to secure a campsite, but none were available. The Rangers reserve sites for people who are totally unable to hike out until the next day.
We began the last leg of the hike in the rain, which provided a welcome cool breeze. The final ascent to the south rim is 4.5 miles covering 2,800 feet of elevation. This took us approximately 5 hours. The last mile seemed like the longest ever. There are two stops with water and composting toilets.
We received lots of advice on what to take and what not to take with us. Had we listened to all the �essentials� our packs could have exceeded 80 pounds each. Here is the list of what we determined as �essential.� However, modify this based on what it important to you and the time of year.
Backpack: Because we planned to camp for three days, we determined that we would need backpacks that had a capacity for 20 to 50 pounds of gear. If you carry a backpack, make it as light as you possibly can. My filled backpack was approximately 20 pounds. This is considered light for backpacking. My fellow hikers had packs of 30 pounds and more. Jim was formally in the military where he carried 80 pounds, so this gave him the strength and stamina to carry a 50-pound pack.
As the backpack itself can be 6 pounds, you can begin to lighten your load by carrying a lightweight pack. I chose an Osprey, Ariel 60 for $199. This pack weighs 3 pounds, 4 ounces, compared to my fellow hikers packs, which weighed as much as 6 pounds. I found it comfortable and able to carry the weight.
I have been a hiker for many years, and I am quite strong. However, backpacking is a wholly different sport than hiking. Hiking involves leg strength and lung capacity. Backpacking requires this and more. Backpacking requires a great deal of upper body strength. In addition, it puts more weight on your knees and feet. Dawn was ultimately unable to make the rim-to-rim due to swelling in her knees. She credits the damage to the weight the backpack put on her knees during training.
On hindsight, I would not carry a large backpack. Several hikers, even those who camped, sported smaller packs and only packed the bare minimum to keep their load light. Later in this article I list the essentials we found we needed. Whatever you pack in - you pack out. The pack gets a bit lighter as you consume food, but it basically stays the same weight. Keep in mind whatever you pack in you have to lug up the 6,800 feet of the south rim.
Trekking Poles: With an additional 20 to 30 pounds on my back, I found it awkward to balance myself making the need for two trekking poles imperative. The trekking poles kept me balanced and I used them to drag me and the additional weight of the backpack up the hill. I spend $99.95 on REI Ascent anti-shock lightweight trekking poles. However Kim purchased Eddie Bauer trekking poles at a discount store for $20 and they seemed to work as well as mine. Jim and Art each used only one trekking pole that served a dual function as a camera monopod.
Sleeping pad: We each had a self-inflating sleeping pad. This type of pad combines the comfort of an air mattress with the durability of a foam pad. Mine weighed almost two pounds, however you can purchase them weighing as little as a pound and they seem to have the same amount of comfort even after the reduced weight. I am in my mid forties, so a sleeping pad is essential to me. If you are young and hardy you may not need this as much.
Sleeping Bag: We took sleeping bags, which can add weight of 3 to 5 pounds. It is warm near the floor of the canyon even in the evenings, so we recommend a lightweight sheet instead. Jim said he liked the sleeping bag because it made such a good pillow.
The best use we got out of a sleeping bag was as padding for a fall. There is a pink rattlesnake that only exists in the Grand Canyon. A seasoned hiker who made the rim-to-rim trek 35 times told us that she had never seen one. However we saw four! On our second day, we walked near a grassy area on the bank of the Bright Angel Creek. Kim was in the lead of our group of hikers and heard the distinctive rattle of the infamous pink snake. She popped a few feet in the in the air and fell backward, landing on her back where she was cushioned in her fall by the sleeping bag in her pack. Later we learned that you are to move back slowly, which is easy to advise but hard to do when faced with the reality of the snake�s imminent bite!
Pillow: My head needs a pillow to sleep. I stored my extra clothes in a soft lightweight pillowcase that converted into a functional fairly comfortable pillow at night. Kim stuffed her extra set of clothes, towel and thermal top into a pant leg of the zip off pants. Anytime you can figure out how an item can be used for multiple purposes it helps lessen the weight.
Shelter: Many articles I read said to use a tarp instead of a tent to lessen weight. I have camped since I was a little girl, so I am not squeamish about dirt and bugs. However, because there are snakes and scorpions and because I needed a sound sleep where I did not have to worry about what might crawl over me during the night, a tent was very important to me. That said, Jim is 6�7� and carried a 4-man tent for his own comfort. He and his lady planned to sleep in it alone. However, after my whining about carrying a 30-pound backpack, they agreed to permit me to sleep in their tent, allowing me to shed 5 pounds from my pack.
Art and Maryann purchased an ultra lightweight two-man backpacking tent that weighed less than 4 pounds. This worked well for them in terms of weight, comfort and keeping the critters out. If I did not have my fellow hiker to carry my shelter, I would take a lightweight tent. If you don�t mind critters, then you can use a tarp � many hikers said they enjoy sleeping under the stars.
Clothes: Get used to smelling really bad after hiking all day and camping in the evening. We did find that a wet bandana in the creek scrapes a lot of the stench off and is quite refreshing. The campgrounds will not allow you to use soap, even the biodegradable kind. However, we did score one bed in the dormitory at Phantom Ranch, so we all took a shower on day two. It was a welcome relief to put on clean clothes rather than the really stinky ones we had been hiking in. If you are unable to take a shower, a change of clothes are probably not necessary.
I wore shorts with lots of pockets, a wicking T-shirt, a sports bra, lightweight underwear, socks, liners, a long sleeve shirt, hiking boots and a hat. I brought a second pair of shorts, T-shirt, sports bra and underwear. I brought two extra pairs of socks. I also brought shorts that I could wear with my sports bra for immersing my tired body in the ice-cold Bright Angel Creek after a day of hiking.
Kim had a sports bra built into a full back sleeveless wicking shirt. The shirt you wear should cover your back as the sleeveless variety that sculpts towards your spine causes your skin to rub uncomfortably against the backpack.
For rain we had ponchos that cost 40 cents. They were very lightweight and did the trick. We took fleece shirts and found that we did not need them.
Socks & Liners: Extra socks are a must. I was told that liners helped prevent blisters and I did not get any blisters, so I don�t know if it was luck, moleskin or the liners. Kim says 4 pairs of socks would be her preference. She had three and rinsed them, but they did not dry well.
Long-sleeve shirt: I bought a REI Sierra long-sleeve shirt. It was kind of pricey at $49.50, but I found it well worth it. It had build-in 30 SPF sun block. The sleeves and high collar kept me from sunburn. In addition, I dunked the shirt in the ice-cold water and it acted as an all-day evaporative cooler. Finally, the shirt had vents to allow consistent airflow and a zippered pocket to store items such as my clip on sunglasses.
Hat: I bought a Sunday Afternoon Adventure hat for $36. I looked goofy, but I love that hat. It is made of 30 SPF materials. The brim cut the sun on my face and nose dramatically. The drape at the rear prevented the back of my neck from sunburn. The brimless back kept the hat from hitting my pack and allowed me to lie down without removing my hat. It also has a neck strap that can be tightened when breezes come up preventing it from blowing away.
Neckband: Kim and I had Kafka kool ties that you tie around your neck. Dawn bought them at REI for $9.50 each. It is filled with polymer crystals that slowly release water on your neck, keeping the base of you skull constantly cool. Chilling the base of your skull makes your whole body feel cool. You can dip the �neck snake� in water from the creek or at a water station. It is very refreshing and as it warms up you can rotate it so that even in 100-degree temperatures your neck is cool. This inexpensive neckband is well worth the price and Kim voted this her most cherished piece of equipment.
Bandana: We tied bandanas to our packs and found it well worth it. It was used to dry our feet after wading in the 38-degree river to cool our feet. When my glasses got dirty due to sunscreen and sweat, again the bandana came in handy. I brought Kleenex but the bandana can also substitute for that. It serves as a washrag to wipe off the grime at the end of the day, especially when we were unable to use soap or shower.
Toiletries: I brought very few toiletries. Essentials in my book are a toothbrush. Kim bought two at a discount store for $1. We brought mini tubes of toothpaste. Some hikers bring baking soda, which could be even lighter weight. I brought a travel size stick of deodorant, a comb with built-in mirror, a string of dental floss and a lightweight camp towel. I brought Q-tips but never used them. Bring biodegradable toilet paper and a small bag where you can put used toilet paper, as you must hike out all your waste including used toilet paper. Toilet facilities are scarce making it likely that you will need to relieve yourself somewhere near the trail. It is challenging finding partially secluded spots.
Sandals: Waterproof sandals provide you with footwear for the evenings so you can take off your hiking boots. They also allow you to wade in the water with a foot covering that protects you from rocks on the bottom of the creek. I bought World Walker synthetic sandals that weighed only 6 ounces for $3 at a discount store. However, many hikers had sandals that strapped onto their feet. They were more secure than mine, but they weighed more, too.
Hiking boots: This is the most important piece of equipment. Hiking boots should be one of your first investments so that you can break the boots in for several months prior to the hike. Kim and Jim had Timberline hiking boots. Dawn has narrow feet and high arches, and after trying six different pairs of boots she chose this brand as well. Kim�s boots were full leather high tops and Jim went for low mesh boots. I invested $160 on Asolo Stynger GTX boots made of Gortex for two reasons. Buy them one-half size larger than usual to save your toenails.
First, it is important that your foot cannot slide forward, as the descent of the north rim is a 21 percent grade. We heard disheartening stories from a friend of mine who was a ranger at the Grand Canyon about hikers whose feet smashed into the front of their boot so frequently as they descended the north rim that their toenails turned black. Relief is accomplished by sticking a pin directly into the nail to relieve the pressure. Dread of black toenails motivated me to make every effort to ensure appropriate footwear and training.
Second, a common problem, especially for women, is a sprained ankle. To avoid this, the boots I choose were high-tops that laced up my ankle. We took extra shoelaces, and although we did not need them, it is worth the small weight in case they break.
As an extra precaution, I bought gel toes at a dance store that ballerinas wear to alleviate the stress on their feet. I did not experience problems with my toes jamming into the front of the boot as we descended the north rim to the bottom of the canyon, so I don�t know how much the gel toes helped. They cost $27 and none of the others in my party had them and none of them had toe problems either so it is probably not worth the investment. Cut your toenails short so that your nails are not longer than your toes.
First aid: We found first aid items extremely important. We divvied them up so that no one person bore all the weight. Since Maryann sprained her knee, the ace bandage was a must. To both prevent and relieve blisters, we made judicious use of moleskin. To prevent blisters, check your feet for red spots, and cut a hole in the middle of a piece of moleskin to allow the sore spot to rest. You will need good scissors to do this, little cuticle scissors are good. Just in case, have some Band-Aids.
There was universal agreement on bringing Ibuprofen to reduce potential aches and pains brought on by our strenuous hiking. Kim and Maryann are both nurses and assured us that the large quantity of Ibuprofen we were consuming would do no long-term damage to our kidneys. We took four hundred milligrams (two tablets) every four hours. It was worth it.
A headlamp is useful. You can wear it in the evening and still have your hands free. Hikers that left before sunrise used them to see the trail until the sun shone. I bought a Gerber Tracer key chain combo for $18.93 from the REI Outlet store.
Sun Protection: The sun is intense. It is important to have plenty of sunscreen and to keep re-applying it. I used 50 SPF and others in my group used 30 SF. Kim had a spray bottle that was easy to apply so she tended to apply it more frequently. You should have lip balm with 30+ SPF. I found both sunscreen and lip balm that attached to my shorts with a clip that made them easily accessible. Sunglasses are a must and a retaining strap prevents you from losing track of them or having them fall off. They should be dark and polarized with UV protection.
Miscellaneous: You need your backcountry permit. If you are staying in a campsite you will be required to show it to the Ranger. It must list the number of people in your campsite and the number of people and tents cannot exceed what is listed on the permit.
Jim and Art each brought a 35 mm camera. Jim took 10 rolls of film and preserved our special vacation forever. A hiker we met on the trail had a small digital camera that fit in his pocket and accomplished a similar picture quality with less weight.
You can only buy a Phantom Ranch T-shirt while there, so bring a credit card and cash. There is also a pay phone so bring a pre-paid calling card. We found out that calling cards may charge an automatic 30 minutes plus the call for using a pay phone. Kim also brought pre-addressed mailing labels to send postcards. You do not need to bring your cell phone, as it will not work in the canyon. There are emergency phones and a pay phone at Phantom Ranch. GPS (Global Positioning System) do not work in the canyon either. Jim and Art both had them.
Food: I learned that your body needs twice as many calories when doing strenuous exercise such as this and that most people drink enough but do not eat enough. We brought oatmeal packs, powdered milk and either tea or coffee for breakfast. Maryann hates oatmeal so she brought dry cereal. This necessitated a lightweight bowl, a lightweight cup and a knife fork and spoon.
On the trail we ate a high calorie, nutritious energy bar we found at www.backpackinglight.com. Kim and Art pre-assembled bags of homemade trail mix stored in zip lock bags for each day. We did not care for beef jerky, but we liked items with cheese including Goldfish crackers and Mister Salty pretzel & cheese packs. Apples are heavy to carry, but a refreshing treat. I had a fanny pack that I wore on my belly in addition to my backpack. It made the snack items easily accessible.
We had bread and peanut butter and jelly packs for lunch. This necessitated us getting out a knife and making the sandwiches. While this doesn�t sound like much work, the fact that it meant stopping and looking for items resulted in us not eating lunch until later in the day after we had stopped hiking. In the future I would try to bring lunch items that are already made so that we consume them at the proper time.
Dinner was Mountain House dehydrated entrees. We took a camping trip together before we went on the hike and tried eight different dehydrated dinners. We liked Sweet & Sour Pork and the Beef Stroganoff. One member had Mountain House wild rice and added dehydrated black beans and tomatoes and it was very tasty. I was hungry at the end of the days hike and found the Mountain House entr�e the right amount of food. However, two of our group found it more than they could consume. The dehydrated meal is lightweight, but adding water attaches a great deal more weight, which has to be carried out with you. Bring the correct amount for you so you do not have this added weight. . Each hiker should bring a 2-gallon zip lock for garbage.
Our group bought two Jet boil Personal Cooking Systems and these are well worth the $79.95 they cost at REI. They boil two cups of water in two minutes and make putting dinner together very simple.
For $10 Phantom Ranch prepared lunches for us for day three. They gave us vacuum-packed summer sausage, jelly, a bagel and cream cheese, raisins, Oreos, an apple, pretzels and bag of peanuts. This was a prescription of the perfect food we craved while hiking. You will need a small sharp knife to slice the sausage.
Energy drink: People who hiked the canyon previously told us that they had the best results alternating drinking water and a mixture of electrolytes and protein. It tastes like slimy saliva, and it is worse when it is warm. However, the added protein gave us stamina and we had no signs of dehydration. We added more water than the recipe suggested, making the taste more palatable. Maryann measured out the correct amount of powder for each day and put it in daily-labeled plastic bags. In the morning we made our daily ration and consumed it over the course of the day.
Water: I brought a 3-liter bladder for water. The bladder is lightweight and can be stored deep in my backpack where it keeps cool. The tube to drink is easily accessible while hiking so I consume more water. We ran out of water on our trek from Cottonwood as we approached the sign welcoming us to Phantom Ranch. As a precaution, we brought water purifier tablets for the long stretches with no water.
I truly enjoyed our rim-to-rim hike and it was due in large measure to pre-training and pre-planning. We met several hikers with minimal preparation. A family at Phantom Ranch was in desperate need of a room. The parents hiked-in with their slightly overweight 11-year-old daughter and she was not physically prepared to hike back up. Near the south rim we met young men without adequate water or food wearing plastic sandals rather than boots on their feet.
I learned a great deal about me as well. I found that it is important to take care of myself and honestly judge my athletic abilities, or I can put my fellow hikers at risk. In addition, it is important to commit to stay together and support each other as a group. As one of our members said, being in a survival mode builds your spiritual connection to nature and each other. It surely did for me.
I hope this article helps you to have a memorable and fun trip. Happy Hiking.
You may contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Irene Jacobs serves as Deputy Director of the Governor's Office of Children, Youth and Families in Arizona na dhikes most weekends.