ED PRESTON and ANNA-PRESTON SCHLOSSER
Growing up in North Carolina I developed a love for nature at an early age, but I didn't realize how important it was going to be until I attended the Outward Bound School at the age of 18. From that time on I was hooked. After four years of study at Appalachian State University I made a brief attempt at settling down in a corporate job, but quickly realized I was ill-suited for such a life. After several trips to Utah and Colorado, I finally packed my camping gear and headed west in 1984, intent on finding an outdoor career.
That summer I was lucky to land in Flagstaff, AZ, where I got a job with one of the rafting companies that conducts river trips through the Grand Canyon. Might as well go big, eh? It was my very first exposure to professional guides who were actually living the life I had dreamed about. Better yet, several of them decided to take the green kid from back east under their wing, and they started teaching me everything I needed to know.
In the 38 years since then I've been blessed to work as a guide for a dozen different companies throughout the Southwest, doing everything from river rafting and hiking in the summer, to skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. At one point I went back to school and earned a post graduate degree in Cultural Anthropology, specializing in Native American cultures. This allowed me to guide tours to places like Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon. Eventually I returned full circle to where I started, the Grand Canyon, where I drove coach tours from Sedona to the rim for over a decade.
It's been an exciting career that allowed me to spend over 300 days a year outside, working and playing in some of North America's most beautiful landscapes. I also got to meet people from all over the world and from all walks of life. When I wasn't working I was out exploring. Now semi-retired, I'm pleased to be able to share all I have learned with a new generation of outdoor adventurers.
It's an honor to work on this project with my uncle Ed. I thank God for bringing this project together in His own perfect design. With God, all things are possible.
I have never been one for staying within the boundaries and these trails are the epitome of the perfect adventure. We'll be developing this guide as we go in hopes of meeting other hikers that have a love for reveling in the earth's beauty together.
" Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."