Spencer’s Dudley raises £2,500 after completing Grand Canyon Trek in memory of late wife

Spencer Group employee Dudley Taylor has raised more than £2,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support after completing the Grand Canyon Trek.

Dudley, a project surveyor at Spencer, completed the adventure in memory of his late wife, Beverley, who passed away from lung cancer in 2013. He was part of a team of eight people taking on the trek in memory of loved ones.

“It was a life event and I made some great friends, all of which keep in contact and we will be getting together again later in the year,” he said.

“The challenge was hard at times but so rewarding and we all raised a lot of money for charities and had a great time doing so.”

The challenge saw Dudley and the rest of the team trek through places such as the Sedona Desert, Supai – an Indian township within the Grand Canyon – and waterfalls, including Beaver Falls and Havasu Falls.

David McLoughlin, Spencer managing director, said: “On behalf of everyone at Spencer Group, I would like to congratulate Dudley on completing the Grand Canyon Trek and raising £2,510 for such a good cause.

“It is a charity very close to his heart and to support it by completing such a memorable adventure is fantastic.”


Dudley’s diary:

• We set off from London Heathrow on March 14 and headed for Arizona, stopping overnight on arrival at our hotel, ready for a practice walk the next day

• It was an early 06:00 start and a two-hour drive to Sedona Desert – this location was a trial walk to get acclimatised to the heat, which was about 80oF all week. The landscape at Sedona is mainly red sandstone with dramatic rock formations, this area is said to be the Grand Canyon’s smaller cousin. We walked for about eight miles, taking in some great scenery and view across the valley

• After a short lunch we hit the road again and spent the afternoon travelling along the old Route 66 to our next overnight stop at The Caverns Motel

• An early start at 5:30 and off to the Grand Canyon Trailhead at Hualapai Hilltop – a further four hours’ drive. We arrived just before lunch for the trek down the Canyon heading for Supai, the Indian Township within the Canyon. Based in the centre of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, which was our camp site – this township is the most remote in mainland USA, you can only get there by foot, mule or helicopter

• The first 1.5 miles of the climb down was the hardest, falling 2,000ft in this period. After this, it was a slow decent along a dry river bed – some 10 miles of dry walking to the township. We stopped for lunch half way then pushed onto the town, crossing a few rivers on the way and arriving about 3pm and stopping in the Indian town at the small shop for some supplies and well needed drinks, taking a few photos and relaxing in the shade, out of the heat of the afternoon

• Then it was on again to the camp site some two miles further, passing many waterfalls as we went, Rock Falls and of course Havasu Fall – the campsite was located just half a mile away

• After a quick dip in the river to get the dust of our main gear having arrived by mule, we started to set up our camp, completing this about 6pm

• Still jet lagged, I woke up at about 4am, went for a short walk in the dark with my head torch until our guides started to get things going for breakfast. The guides (Gary and Jan) were great people and made the trek run smooth and safely. After a 6am start, we headed off down the Canyon at about 7:30 for our next 10-mile out and 10-mile back trek to Moody Falls and Beaver Falls

• Again, we crossed the river many times as the path stopped one side of the Canyon and we needed to cross to the other side where the trail continued, changing our walking boots for trekking sandals with a major climb down the wall face to the base of Moody fall, which is 120ft. The rock face was very wet due to spray from the fall and we used foot holes and chains to climb down while being soaked with water and fine sand. But, we all arrived safely and continued on our way to Beaver Falls

• We managed to arrive at Beaver Falls at 12:30 and again proceeded to jump into the fall from cliff top and get a good, rather cold, refresh. This was supervised by Gary of course; he knew where you were able to jump from. We then continued to walk down the river for a further couple of miles in swimming gear and trekking sandals before having lunch in the shade

• After lunch we returned to our camp site, walking more in the river this time and taking our time to get back to camp, climbing back up the cliff face at Moody Falls and getting back to camp about 18:00 for a well-earned meal, chat and early night

• The next day was a later start but I was still suffering from jet lag and woke again at 4:00, so had a walk back in the dark with my head torch to the Indian township, sat in the village while it broke daylight and then walked back just in time for breakfast and a nice four-mile walk in the cool of the morning before we set off again

• That day we were heading for Carbonate Canyon which runs off the main Canyon and was where a lot of the mining activity took place, mainly for very small amounts of silver. We went into a cave which showed the deposits and how the miners had followed these then returned to the Canyon and walked its full length until we came to the cliff face and end of the trail, returning and going back to Havasu Falls for a swim and freshen up before lunch

• We then walked to Rock Falls, a short five-mile walk, and spent the remainder of the day at there, before a trek back to camp and again an early finish

• The fourth day was the trek out, so everything in reverse of what we had done previously. We packed up camp at 5:00 and set off with everything packed and our day packs loaded

• The trek out was a full morning hike from 7:00, with a brief stop for a drink and snack then off again. The last 1.5 miles was the hardest and most difficult in the heat but we arrived at the rim about 12:00 and ready to get back on the road

• We had a 4.5-hour drive to Las Vegas for our two-day treat and a nice shower in our hotel. We arrived on the Thursday evening and were due to fly out to the UK on Saturday evening, leaving two days of fun to be had by all, starting by a celebration meal for our gang and the guides on the Thursday evening