Wearing a sun hat, sunglasses, and heavy backpack, John Jepkema leaned against the Bright Angel Trailhead, looking like another of the 5.9 million people who visit the Grand Canyon each year. But in November 2019, after a five-day overnight trek, Jepkema, age 91, became the oldest person to cross the Arizona national park rim-to-rim on foot. He trained for four months, walking five to eight miles at least five days a week with a backpack, and completed the entire length of the canyon by foot, with only two hiking poles for aid. After completing the record, Jepkema, who started backpacking at age 79, donned a bright orange-colored T-shirt that read: “The Man, The Myth, The Legend.”

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