The Grand Canyon: A 12 Year Old’s Record Setting Kayak Adventure

Listen to how Abby Holcombe set the world record for the youngest person to ever kayak the Grand Canyon.

More About Abby Holcombe

For the past decade, the Holcombes were a fairly typical, active, Colorado family, with a successful wedding and portrait photography business and a passion for outdoor adventure – specifically whitewater kayaking and rock climbing. While they were reasonably successful at maintaining a work/play balance, they found themselves racing out of their suburban neighborhood at every opportunity in search of the next great adventure. Over time, their beautiful suburban house became more of a layover stop where they would return to mow the grass and do the laundry before blasting off to the big thing. Their beautiful sanctuary had become an anchor, holding them hostage in the mundane bay of normalcy.

The constant struggle to avoid being completely consumed by their growing business began to take a toll on Peter and Kathy, and they began to dream of a nomadic life, one without the constraints of home ownership. But two big questions kept them tethered to their familiar suburban lifestyle. 1) Could they maintain their photography business remotely, and 2) how would a nomadic lifestyle impact their (then) nine year old daughter, Abby?

For almost a year they deliberated the soundness of permanently hitting the road, but ultimately it came down to a leap of faith. Against of the advise of friends and family alike, on June 16, 2014, the Holcombes sold their home and moved their family and business into a small Winnebago and set sail on the journey of a lifetime, completely unaware of the incredible adventures awaiting them.

Now, 44 months, 160,000 miles and 49 states later, they couldn’t imagine doing things differently. Their daughter has experienced more in the past four years than most people do in a lifetime; from kayaking with world champions on the Ottawa River, to swimming with wild manatees in the freshwater springs of Florida, to a record setting descent down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, they have watched her grow into an extraordinary young woman. As for Peter and Kathy, their business has grown exponentially in directions they never dreamed possible, and that certainly wouldn’t have been before they set sail on this grand adventure. They now spend their days exploring incredible places, meeting extraordinary people and documenting it all to share with the world in the hopes that they will inspire others to get outside and go on their own adventures.

Follow Abby on Instagram @adventurous.miss

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