Tusayan, AZ -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/14/2014 -- Sirena Dufault is nearing the end of a rigorous, inspiring personal quest. On May 23rd she’ll arrive here for a special evening reception at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon as she nears completion of a long hike and fund raising journey from the U.S. Mexico border to Arizona’s border with Utah. Ms. Dufault, 40, began her AZT Trek on March 14 and will finish on May 31 having hiked the entire Arizona Trail, more than 800 miles, mostly alone, from south to north.
“The AZT Trek will encourage people from throughout Arizona to experience the passages of the Arizona Trail and the charming gateway communities along the way,” said Dufault of her ambitious hike and quest to raise $20,000 to maintain, protect and promote the Arizona Trail.
The National Geographic Visitor Center/IMAX Theater, Pink Jeep Tours and the Big E Steakhouse & Saloon will welcome Ms. Dufault for a reception at the Big E Steakhouse on Friday May 23 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
“We are proud to support Sirena and the Arizona Trail Association in raising funds for this spectacular National Scenic Trail that people from around the world can enjoy,” said Janet Rosener, General Manager of the National Geographic Visitor Center Grand Canyon. “We have such a variety of beautiful landscapes in Arizona including Grand Canyon, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.”
The Arizona Trail took 30 years to complete and Ms. Dufault was one of many trail building volunteers who helped push the original dream and made it a reality across one of the West’s most diverse, varied landscapes. In 2011 this cross-state trail was completed linking deserts, mountains, canyons – including the Grand Canyon – forests, communities and people.
In support of the Arizona Trail Association and as a celebration of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, Ms. Dufault organized the AZT Trek. Sirena Dufault’s interactive hike encourages the public to join her for select portions of the AZT Trek. She also invites people to join other trail enthusiasts at evening events across the state including the evening at the Big E Steakhouse & Saloon from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at 365 State Highway 64 on at the northeastern edge of Tusayan near the South Rim entrance to Grand Canyon National Park.
Your Complete Guide to the Arizona National Scenic Trail, a recently published official guidebook, will be for sale at the event in Tusayan as well as at the National Geographic Visitor Center/IMAX Theater across the street.
On her blog, Sirena’s Wanderings, Dufault describes just one of many highlights of her journey. “The trail went through the Sunflower Fire of 2012 – tortured, toasted, black-and-white limbs of trees a constant sight,” wrote Dufault. “It’s an area that will need crews to come in and repair the damage – a great reason to support the campaign to raise $20,000 for the Arizona Trail Association! The trail was covered with light pink Palmer’s penstemon and quite a few other wildflowers. The geology in this area is really interesting with flaky shale layers and what looked like mudstone.”
There are special incentives for anyone donating money to help support the Arizona Trail Association through this AZT Trek campaign. To learn more, visit www.aztrail.org/azttrek. The Arizona Trail Association is the nonprofit organization responsible for building, maintaining, promoting, protecting and sustaining the Arizona Trail.
About Nature Valley and the National Geographic Visitor Center
Nature Valley and the National Geographic Visitor Center, located one mile south of the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, are proud sponsors of the Arizona Trail Association and coming this June will have a public display in the courtyard area. Visitors will be able to get information on the Arizona National Scenic Trail, which is only a few steps away from the National Geographic Visitor Center. It is also provides visitors with Grand Canyon information, maps, park passes and has an IMAX® Theater, which shows hourly the popular Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets film. Visit explorethecanyon.com for more information on the Center and all that it has to offer.