Mike’s Grand Adventure

My next adventure is brewing. In a few months’ time I will be flying out to Las Vegas: as hideous a city as ever there was, but, with one great redeeming feature: it’s the gateway to some of Earth’s finest scenery.

I will be hiking through the Grand Canyon…

and

raising money for my church.

The Inner Gorge, where I'll be hiking
The Inner Gorge, where I’ll be hiking

 

The Precedent
The last time I did a fundraising adventure like this was a trek to Everest Base-Camp in 2011, when my brother and I raised nearly 7,000 for CBM UK, the overseas disability charity.

The scene of my last fundraising adventure: Everest Base-Camp (5,364m)
The scene of my last fundraising adventure: Everest Base-Camp (5,364m)

Ever since I’ve been dying to get back out and do something similar. I’ve had to wait until I’d raised enough money, because these trips don’t come cheap, and, like last time, I was determined to pay all my own expenses so that every penny raised will go to my cause of choice. In 2011 we were raising money for a fledgling eye-hospital in Nepal, so the trip attracted the obvious name of Everest Eye-Opener. No such easy nomenclature this time, so I’m calling it Mike’s Grand Adventure. I’m going out with my parents and my brother, and although Chris is doing the hike with me, only I will be raising money through sponsorship.

My last visit to the Grand Canyon in 2005

The Adventure
I’ll be driving round in a snazzy campervan, taking in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park and Monument Valley, as well as the Grand Canyon itself, and a whole host of smaller gems.

I went to many of these places with my Nana, Joyce Harvey, back in 2005, in the middle of winter (watch this space for a blog-post specifically about that trip), and ever since I’ve wanted to come back and see it in-season, and not just from the viewpoints. This time I want to get up-close and personal, crunch the gravel beneath my boots.

The Hike
3 days. 23.6 miles. 10,141 feet (3,091m) of elevation change. From the North Kaibab Trailhead on the North Rim to the Bright Angel Trailhead on the South Rim, we’ll be traversing the Grand Canyon at roughly its widest and most glorious point. What we’re doing is basically hiking an inverted mountain. It may be shorter, and not such drastic altitude as Everest Base-Camp, but the fact that it’s desert terrain, and the scorchingly hot temperatures (well in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit), make this every bit as challenging as what we’ve done before.

The Colorado River – which we have to cross

Although we’ve been granted the permit to do it by the National Park Service, the rangers have called our itinerary ‘aggressive’. Strictly speaking this punishing hike should be done in a minimum of four days. We’re doing it in three. We’re also descending into the equally steep and scenic Havasu Canyon the very next day, so this is going to be tough. But if you’re going to get sponsored, it needs to be a challenge. I want this to seize the imagination of others as it has mine.

The Cause
Cambridge Community Church is a vibrant family of roughly 500 Christians. It’s been my spiritual home for 18 months now, and a happy home at that. But, for as long as I’ve been there, they’ve been meeting in St Bede’s School, with no church building of their own. All that is about to change. As a family, we’ve taken on the ambitious project of building a brand new building that will cost more than £4m.

This is what it will eventually look like
This is what it will eventually look like

Some of that money has been raised already, more will come from a mortgage, but there’s still a big short-fall to make up. That’s where all this comes in. I am seeking sponsorship to help raise money for this building fund, to help make sure it happens. The vision we have is not just for a church, where people can meet with God, but also for a community centre that will serve the area around it. It will be a beacon of hope, showing people the love of Jesus through practical action. From Foodbank and Christians Against Poverty to self-esteem and marriage courses, it will be a source of great enrichment and encouragement. I believe passionately in what we’re doing, and I hope you do too.

How You Can Help
If any of this has touched your heart, I’d love your help. How you can help is really easy. Pray, and Sponsor. Pray for our safety and success whilst on the hike, pray for the successful completion of the building, and pray for C3’s new home to be everything we hope. Sponsor me to do the hike, and help me raise money. All you need to do is visit my Just Giving page:

http://www.justgiving.com/Mike-Harvey5

I aim to raise £2,500. Please help me get there. With your support, I can help C3 to transform lives for the better. So please, join me on my Grand Adventure.

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