Saying Goodbye to a Friend
By Julie Harrod
Dove Mountain Civic Group
Gary Borax, a friend to many on Dove Mountain and in the Marana community, passed away on September 23rd in Prescott, AZ where he and his wife Carol have made their home for the past few years. Many of you reading this knew Gary and if you didn't...you really missed out! Soft spoken and a number of inches over 6ft, I always thought of Gary as a “gentle giant.” From the time Jim and I became part of the newly formed Dove Mountain Hiking Club in 2004, of which Gary was the founder, to the last time we saw Gary and Carol at their home in Prescott in the fall of 2021, they have both held a special place in our hearts.
Not only was Gary a Dove Mountain Civic Group Board member from practically the group’s inception, he was the one who organized the first annual Hiking Forum hosted by the Dove Mountain Civic Group that continues today as the Hiking and Biking Forum. As a major “A” hike leader of the Heritage Highlands Hiking Club, the first hiking club on the Mountain, he had a passion for all things hiking and trails. View the original hiking club website and view photos from way back here:
When the club began restricting non-resident hikers due to insurance issues, Gary decided to start the Dove Mountain Hiking Club so more of the D.M. community could take part in local organized hikes. The two clubs, insurance issues resolved, merged in 2017 under the name Highlands Hiking Club. When you visit the D.M. Civic Group website and click on the hiking tab, you can thank Gary for much of the content there. He spent hours hiking and documenting hike data and then more hours working with Steve Wacker, past president of the Civic Group, creating the hiking page on the website. Gary also had a special fondness for Crested Saguaros and a HATRED for invasive Buffelgrass. You will find information on both along with inventories of hikes and trail ratings at this link: http://dovemountaincivicgroup.org/hiking.htm
As you will see in the contributions of fond memories from friends that follow he had many more interests and involvement in and around Dove Mountain and Marana.
I remember Gary's “magic” way of encouraging, persuading, and recruiting. Whether it was to encourage a fellow hiker to try her hand at hike leading, publishing monthly hike schedules or organizing a trip to the Grand Canyon, it was hard to say “no” to the guy!
One of my fond memories goes back to a Grand Canyon hiking trip in 2007. Four of us hiked down to Phantom Ranch from the north rim and a larger group, that Gary was a part of, hiked down from the south rim. Gary’s group arrived before we did. Our group had a spectacular decent but as we reached the bottom the temps began to rise and we were ready to get to our destination. Nearing the tail end of our hike - tired, hot and sweaty, here comes Gary hiking up the trail towards us carrying cups of ice cold lemonade from the Phantom Ranch canteen. That was just the kind of guy he was!
I encourage you to spend some time reading the fond memories of our friend at the green tab below (click on it to download the document).
A big "Thanks" to all who contributed!