Born in southern California, Tom Vail was managing the corporate computer center for a Fortune 500 company in downtown Los Angeles when he went on vacation in 1980—a vacation that truly turned into the adventure of a lifetime. It was a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon with Georgie’s Royal River Rats, run by Georgie Clark, one of the original pioneers of rafting the Canyon. One of the regular boatmen didn’t show up and with no prior experience, Tom was ‘drafted’ to help row a boat through the Canyon. By the end of the trip he was hooked, and two years later he left the corporate life to become a career rafting guide. He worked with Georgie for 12 years, joining Arizona River Runners after her death.
Tom also worked part-time for the Grand Canyon National Park Service, running VIP and research trips, and is past elected member of the board of directors for Grand Canyon River Guides. Tom and his wife, Paula, live in Phoenix, Arizona, and run Canyon Ministries, which offers Christ-centered rafting trips through the Grand Canyon.
Through his ministry work in the Canyon, Tom has had the opportunity to spend time with many of the contributors to the book Grand Canyon: A different view. His love for the Lord Jesus Christ and his heart for sharing the creation message has put him in a unique position in the Grand Canyon guiding community. If you are interested in information about Canyon Ministries, visit their website at: www.CanyonMinistries.com.
This biography was adapted from: Grand Canyon: A different view.
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