Hiking Heroes (updated 12-10-11)
In a young city only recently carved out of the desert in the Great American West, some early pioneers will stand out in the lore of this community for all time…
Talk about people who love freedom and mobility! Steve Eskenazi lives out of an RV and has been hiking in the western national parks for the past 30 years. Originally from Brooklyn, he first discovered Lake Havasu City in November of 2000 when he came to visit a friend. He has been coming back to Crazy Horse Campgrounds on the Island to enjoy the mild winters from November to March ever since.
Quick to admit his lifestyle is “not for everybody,” the retired Florida high school physics teacher with a degree in chemical engineering started off leading hikes for groups of his friends at the campground. One day while visiting the Lake Havasu City Visitor Center, he met Visitor Services Director Jan Kassies. Jan immediately recruited him to update an old hiking brochure written by John Kany. The rest is history.
“Extensive trail information is available in most places, but Lake Havasu City has never had much to reference until now,” said Steve. “I just wanted to provide more accurate information so that more people could access the amazing terrain around here. I never dreamed what I did for a few people in the campground could become such a big deal.”
Tim O’Connor is a jack of all trades, with simultaneous careers in fields ranging from plumber and pipe fitter, to commercial driver and mechanic. He moved to Lake Havasu City from Los Angeles when he was 16-years-old, fell in love with the area and has called it home ever since. His parents bought their first lot in town during a free McCulloch Airlines flight for prospective buyers in 1978.
Tim started creating trails around the area because he knew that more and more people would be visiting and moving to Lake Havasu City. “If we didn’t put in trails, the natural desert environment could have been destroyed and severe erosion problems would have occurred,” Tim said. “Most of the trails I put in have switchbacks, for instance, so the water can run off without leaving a gutter.”
Tim is also a rock climber and into technical rock climbing. He has taught several hundred people to rock climb over the years. As leader of the Leaping Lizards Tribe, the desert adventurer has several new ideas in mind to replace the Lighting of Cupcake Mountain ceremony. Be sure to check back here in the future for more information.