Erin Spineto at Grand Canyon

Author of Islands and Insulin Erin Spineto shares Grand Canyon Experience

From Landscapes and wildlife to history and adventure, what’s the one thing about the Grand Canyon that has intrigued you?

The sheer volume of water that travels through the canyon each minute and has for thousands of years. It is incredible how much water moves around the earth over and over again.

If this your first visit to the Canyon, what is motivating you to visit? If this a revisit, what’s your reason for wanting more?

This is my third visit to the Canyon. After five years of struggling with Hyperthyroidism, I wanted to prove that I was again healthy and ready to take on the world. Hiking the Grand Canyon in one day was a great way, some might say, a grand way to prove that to myself and to the world. I also took on the challenge with my friend Michelle. Michelle and I are Type 1 Diabetics always on the lookout for new ways to challenge ourselves athletically. The Grand Canyon was on her list so we trained and hiked it together to support Insulindependence, a non-profit organization that seeks to inspire diabetics to take better control of their diabetes through activity.

Erin Spineto Grand Canyon hike

What are five things your Backpack to the Canyon must contain?

1. Extra Insulin and diabetes supplies- the canyon is not a place to run out of the things that keep me alive. 2. A rapid-acting sugar source like Gu Energy gels- in case my blood sugar drops from all the activity I have to have a sugar source that is not only fast, but tasty and easy to get to. 3. A fresh pair of socks to change into at the bottom of the canyon- there is nothing like putting on a clean, dry pair of socks after soaking your feet in the cold river. 4. Not really in my backpack, but on my feet, My Hoka One One running shoes. These saved my feet. By the end of my first rim-to-river-to-rim hike in hiking boots eight years ago, my feet felt like bricks, very, very painful bricks. In my Hoka One One’s my feet were tired, but pain free. 5. Food and water- we ran low on water during one leg and paid the price for it. I think I poured too much over my head to keep cool. I should have been pouring it into my belly instead.

Erin Spineto at Grand Canyon

What according to you is the best way to get to the Grand Canyon – By Air, By Road or By Rail?

After a long day of work, with a great friend in the car, some terrific new music thanks to said friend, and lots of Diet Dr. Pepper and Rold Gold pretzel sticks to much on.

What is travel to you in one word?


What are three tips for an awesome budget trip to the Grand Canyon?

Pack all your food in a coolor (don’t eat out), camp out in your car, and wait until you cross the state line into Arizona to fill up on gas (it’s much cheaper without all the California taxes.)

On your travels, what would you choose a book or a camera, and why?

A camera to take in the world around me while I am there, and then write that book on my return to fill in all the details the photos leave out, like how loudly your friends laugh when you play messed-up Sesame Street Parodies.

Feet up at Grand Canyon

As a travel destination, how would you rank the Grand Canyon from 1 to 10?


Tell us a little about yourself!  This will be included on the web site.  What brought you to Grand Canyon? Where are you from? What do you do? What are your influences?

Author of Islands and Insulin, Erin Spineto, a UC San Diego graduate and science teacher, works with non-profit Insulindependence in her quest to inspire fellow Type I diabetics to overcome limitations. Determined to challenge herself as a Type I diabetic, she chronicles her solo sailing adventures and the ups and downs of life as a diabetic. She and her husband, Tony, live in San Diego, California with their two children.

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