In Memoriam: Marc Buckhout

Arizona Trail - In Memoriam

Marc Buckhout, 12/8/77 to 8/2/14, our first son and my hiking partner for our adventure on the Arizona Trail. Marc had just graduated in 3 years from Northern Arizona University and I had discovered On the Arizona Trail by Tighe and Moran and off handedly made the comment, “we should do that someday”. My wife Karen, the organized one of our family encouraged us to make a commitment to this rather daunting task. Marc agreed to join me and was always a willing hiking partner even though he frequently had little idea what I was getting him into.We began our hike January 22, 2000 and continued in a series of day hikes and weekend adventures, using GPS to insure that we did not skip any trail sections. Marc was the leader for all of the 51 days of hiking and was very comfortable bushwhacking through the deserts and forests. At the time we were hiking there were many proposed sections with start and end points but no defined trail, for instance the 33 miles of desert south of I-10. As we would start each section Marc would ask for my estimate of the time it would take. After several trips I learned that he had begun to add 3 hours to my estimate to mentally prepare for the day. This adventure is transforming and pushes the hiker to the edge of both physical and mental endurance…the day we hiked from Molino Basin to Summerhaven as an example. A Rim to Rim hike of the Grand Canyon, Marc’s second crossing, another. We completed our trek June 5, 2004. Marc was the 29th hiker to have completed the entire Trail and I am proud to say that we remain the only Father and Son team to have done so. Marc considered completion of the Arizona Trail to be one of the crowning achievements of too short life. I will always treasure the time we spent together sharing the beauty and solitude of Arizona.