Category Archives: Dr. Collard’s Adventures

Totality Tripping Texas 2024

My wife and I have been planning this trip since the 2017 eclipse. It did not disappoint.

We were able to Visit San Antonio Missions including the Alamo. Met up with my longtime friend and fellow chiropractor. We went to a BYU vs UTexas baseball game. Ate our way through Texas with Mexican food and BBQ. Met up with good friends from Utah, does anyone look familiar from the office? Walked through underground caves, and checked off many of Kelly’s (from the office) required must-dos like Sherlie’s Do-nuts and Bucee’s gas station.

We experienced the eclipse with new Texas friends on their private ranch. They fed us the best-smoked brisket, creamed corn, and Texas sheet cake in Texas. The eclipse videos don’t quite do it justice and I am convinced that no two eclipses are the same.

Ending our trip in downtown San Antonio at the Menger Hotel. My wife almost canceled our reservations when she read that it is a “Haunted Hotel” I am glad she didn’t. We wandered the halls of the ever-added onto building that created new stairs and blocked-off windows. Plus the ambiance of the lightning storm was just what a haunted hotel needed. My wife was happy because it was really clean and she didn’t see a ghost. It was a great week and fun exploring Texas.

I love my job and I am excited to get back at it. Thank you for your understanding while I was out of the office. But I’m back and I may be saying Ya’ ‘ll a little more. Ya”ll call to get scheduled at 801-569-1141

Little Colorado River

At the end of February, I was able to hike down to the LCR (Little Colorado River) and catch a glimpse of the famous blue waters with my hiking friend and fellow doc from Cedar City. After taking one car to Grandview trailhead where we will be exiting, we drove the 93 miles to the Salt Creek Trailhead. We started about 12:30, way behind schedule due to the snow on the roads from the storm that passed through the day before. It was 3 miles to the river and a loss of 3,000 feet. We came across the first of the two “War Twins” that mark the way to the salt mines.

Here is the video of when we reached the LCR and saw the blue turquoise water.

We needed to cross the river and get to the other side but we crossed at the wrong spot and had to bushwhack an hour before we found the right trail. We were behind so we only were able to go 7.5 miles on the first day which meant we had to add 2.5 miles to our day two which was already 12.2 miles.

Day 2: We started off just a few miles from the confluence and hit the confluence of the LCR to the Colorado River (mile 62) around 9:30 in the morning. Since we were behind we weren’t able to stay longer and we didn’t get a good picture of the turquoise water mixing with the green water of the Colorado River.

Photo Credit: @dremmettdc

Photo Credit: @dremmettdc

The Beamer trail starts at the confluence and we followed that along the Colorado River. It is a narrow trail at times that one misstep could plunge you hundreds of feet down to the river. Even though we are hiking along the river there is no access to water due to the cliffs that prevents us from getting to it. After about 9 miles from the confluence, we rested at Tanner Beach. This is also where the Beamer Trail ends and the Escalante route starts. We then go another 3 miles and end for the day at Cardenas Creek where we camp for the night. This brought our total miles for the day to 14 and 22 miles total.

Photo Credit: @dremmettdc

Day 3: We got up early and started our long day. We climbed up to go around Unkar Creek Rapids (mile 73) and find ourselves up at “Butchart’s Notch” that looks down into the drainage of Escalante Creek. You can see Unkar rapids on the East end and pan around looking down river and see Neville Rapids and Hance Rapids just beyond.

The trail drops back down to the river following the Escalante drainage and then back up to Seventy-Five Mile canyon and drainage. Seventy Five mile canyon slot canyon was a highlight of our day.

Photo Credit: @dremmettdc

A little further down past Seventy Five mile drainage we come upon Papago Creek. This is where we find out why it is called a route and not a trail. We had to scale a 30-40 foot cliff with our 40 lbs. packs on our backs to go up and over the cliffs that jut out into the river making it impossible to go around. It was a little nerve racking but we were cautious and made it safely where we scrabbled down the other side back to the river. I felt very vulnerable and was extremely glad to finish that section. We ended up at Hance Rapids (mile 77) and sat and ate lunch. This was the same camp spot where we spent the last night the previous year on our 90 mile trip down the Colorado in our pack rafts. We had already traveled 9.5 miles but still had a little over 5 more to go with 1200 fee of elevation gain. At Hance Rapids the Escalante Route ends and we pick up the Tonto East Trail. We finished our day at Hance Creek just as it was getting dark and set up for our last night in the canyon.

Photo Credit: @dremmettdc

Day 4 This morning at Hance Creek was colder due to the elevation but since my friend Ryan brought a tent, we stayed warm that night. We only had about 5 miles to hike out but we had to gain about 3,600 feet in elevation. We passed an old mine and those early miners had to be as tough as nails. You can still see some old mining equipment and I’m in awe at the weight that had to be carried down by man or some unlucky mule.

At Horseshoe Mesa we picked up the Grandview Trail which will take us out of the canyon. For the last 1.5 miles, we were hiking in snow due to the recent storm that passed through the night before we started. We started at the trailhead at Hopi Salt Trail to the Beamer and then along the Escalante to the Tonto and then up Grandview for a total of 42 miles. The Grand Canyon is an unforgiving and hostile place and that is what draws me to it. Thank you Ryan for the planning and itinerary. I can’t wait for our next adventure.

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Rim to Rim

In October, me and a group of friends hiked Rim to Rim. I love seeing what my body can accomplish. I also love being outdoors and the Grand Canyon has become top of my list.

My wive and I with friends drove to Jacob Lake Inn and stayed the first night. Then drove to the North Rim early the next morning. That morning I was shocked at how many hikers were starting out and how you could see all the people on the trail with their headlights creating a lit up snake down into the Grand Canyon. I bet there were 300 hikers starting out hiking down the North Kiabab Trail.

The weather was overcast and rainy and in the high 40’s when we started out. It was perfect. Down at the bottom of the canyon, 5781 feet from the top of the North Rim, the weather was in the low 80’s. As we finished up we would lose about 10 degrees every 1200 feet of elevation gain. At the top of the South Rim that evening it was back to 50 degrees. It is surprising the various types of vegetation you will find on the trail. Desert and dry to green and lush. The river that day was a muddy brown because of all the rain and run off. Some days the river is turquoise and clear.

The loving wives were our support team. They drove the cars around from the North Rim to the South Rim enjoying some stops along the way. They mentioned the high altitude forest on the North Rim being dark and moody perfect for an October drive. On their way to Marble Canyon along highway 89 there is a defined line where high altitude forest ends and you drop into low desert with tall red cliff walls. Making several stops along the way to the south end, we almost beat them there.

Before I left a patient was saying my son will be on the river guiding a group at the same time as you, if you see him say hi. What are the odds of that? I would have to be crossing the bridge at the exact same time her son would be going down the river. Well the timing was almost perfect and I did get to say hi to her son. His group was stopped and were on a small hike when I ran into him on the trail just past the bridge. I wish we had a photo. I was so shocked to see him and telling him that his mom said that he would be down here on the river that the photo didn’t cross my mind until I had walked away catching up to my group.

The second crazy run in is my old missionary companion. I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint where we served together in the Seoul South Korea Mission 30 years ago. This guy comes walking up and says are you Chad Collard? I knew exactly who he was. It’s a good thing we both aged well and were recognizable. Looking good my friend!

Throughout the day we made several stops and enjoyed an hour long lunch. We starting hiking at 5 am and finished the trail at 4:30 pm. Sitting at the top of the trail waiting for the rest of the group it was fun to see how happy people were to finish and to cheer them on. The sense of accomplishment to each person was fun to see. My wife turned into the trail head photographer as each group would ask her to take their group photo.

That night we stayed on the South Rim and the next day we took the long way home. We made several stops along the Grand Canyon overlooks. Looking at a birds eye view of the hike is impressive and allows you to reflect on where you started out and where you finished.

We drove back up to Marble Canyon and walked across the bridge. The river is a 400+ feet down. You can see how the Paria River has already muddied the Colorado river just a few miles down from Glen Canyon Dam. Then we drove back home along one of my most favorite highways, Highway 89. Thank you to my friend for inviting me. It was a great trip. All the many miles I have put into the Grand Canyon this was my first Rim to Rim.

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90 Miles down the Colorado River on a Packraft

What is packrafting and why do you packraft? Those are some questions that I have been asked before going packrafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Packrafting is when you raft and backpack in the same trip. The rafts are sturdy enough to handle the river but light enough and compact enough to put in your backpack and carry out.

I have been spending some time in the Grand Canyon hiking the past couple of years. Lately, I have had the bug to raft it. This specific trip is by lottery permit only and usually takes years to win. The trip was to begin at Lee’s Ferry just below the Glen Canyon Damn, raft for 5 days over 90 miles of river and rapids, then pack up and hike out on the 5th day, getting back to the top on the 6th day. The original date was for end of May 2020 but the pandemic halted all Grand Canyon travel. So we were able to reschedule for this last May 2021.

I rent my gear from a company in Montana and the package was to be delivered the Thursday before my trip on Monday. By Saturday, Fedex couldn’t find it and it was not going to get here in time, if at all. Since I was the permit holder if I didn’t make it the other 7 would not be able to go without the permit holder. Well it showed up on the front door Sunday morning the day before I was to leave. Hallelujah!!!!!

In order to start our trip we must have all of the required equipment and have it all checked by the rangers at Lee’s Ferry. After orientation and finishing up the final paperwork we started our trip down the Colorado River at mile 0. Only 89 miles to go to reach Phantom Ranch by raft and then we begin our hike out of the Grand Canyon. As we got going with each rapid we improved and got more confident. Standing on the side of the rapid as you scout it looking at the rapids and figuring out how you want to run it and listening to the roar was very intimidating. But there is nothing more thrilling then slowly and calmly floating into the rapids with anticipation, fear, and excitement and then dropping into the first hole. That is when it turns into total chaos as you fight to stay in your raft and not flip it.

Each day was spent rafting, and pulling over each night to camp on the side of the river. Day 2 through 4, the winds were so strong that we were not progressing downstream without strong paddle strokes all day long. If at anytime we stopped paddling it would seem like we would be pushed upstream loosing any gains. Often the gusts of wind was so strong that we would be flipped out of our rafts into the cold water which happened quite frequently. On day 3, after paddling 27 miles through rough winds we prayed for refuge out of the wind and a spot to camp. After finding what we thought was a poor camp spot, we were lucky enough to follow a small path which lead us through thick tamaracks which provided enough cover to block the winds. I have never been so happy to find refuge from the wind.

On Day 5 the winds were finally calm and we enjoyed the last 8 miles on the river before we reached Phantom Ranch. We pulled into mile 88 1/2 and the rafting portion of the packrafting was over. Now was the time to load up our packs that weighed between 40-54 lbs. We spent a few hours drying out our rafts and organizing our backpacks. The 50 lbs backpacks with packrafts were heavy but the first 7 miles were mild and not very steep from the river and Phantom Ranch to Cottonwood campground where we camped for the night. Mike in our group wanted to go for a little run after hiking. He ran into a runner who was trying to set a new record going from rim to rim 5 times. Mike decided to help pace him and ran 7 miles back to the river up Bright Angel trail to the south rim (7 miles and 4400 feet of elevation) and then back to Cottonwood campground for a total of 28 miles and 6000 feet gained and lost. He arrived back at 4:00 in the morning. We woke him up and 5:00 and he then hiked out the hardest 7 miles with over 50 lbs on his back. CRAZY! The last day the hike was 7 miles with 5784 elevation gain and one of the hardest miles of my life.

A trip of a lifetime with some great people, hopefully I can make it back for more. Check out my videos I added to youtube.

I have added a video to youtube and I’ll be adding more so check it out.

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Dr Collard Family Vacation

Wait until the end to watch Dr. Collard go flying.

Collard Family Photo

Many have noticed that the family photo in Chad’s office is a little outdated. My poor husband has begged on many occasions for me to print the new family photo. Chad’s mom has asked for new photos of the kids and I’ve never gotten around to it. I realized that I needed to improve when my sister-in-law printed a family photo for my mother-in-law off of Facebook. I really hate scrapbooking and I am afraid that my kids will inherit a hard drive of photos. However today I’m enjoying the small successes. Thanks to my friend and photographer @chariseprestonphotography I have printed photos for both the office and my mother-in-laws house. Next time you are in the office be sure to notice the current family photo.

Our patients feel more like family.





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Wednesday: 9–12, 2:30–6
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