For its fifth consecutive year, Find The Spine kicked off on Monday, March 21, 2022, at the Kanab Events Center with a community BBQ catered in part by McDonald’s of Kanab. Everyone from Kanab and the surrounding areas was invited. It was a huge turnout.
With over a thousand dollars in cash and hundreds more in swag, the balloon drop was a big hit among the kids and teens alike. Those in attendance also purchased their official Spine T-Shirts in anticipation of the first clues being released Wednesday morning, March 23. The vast list of items raffled off that night left everyone in attendance with a happy heart as Griff Hafen (age three) won the coveted wood pellet Traeger Grill.
For those unfamiliar with the event, Find The Spine is a treasure hunt organized and presented by Grow Chiropractic and is brought to you with the help of several local co-sponsors who love to support our community. About six months of planning and prep goes into each year to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible throughout the event, and our fifth anniversary was no exception. One clue a day is given, until participants are able to solve the clues and Find The Spine.
In 2020, Find The Femur was added to the event as a daily incentive for participants who were out in the hills putting in the miles. One femur a day is hidden by the sponsors who give hourly clues until someone Finds The Femur and takes home a cash prize of $500.
This year’s sponsors and winners were: Grow Chiropractic Kanab, Crosby Home and Farm (Brandon Johnson), ERA Utah Properties (Whitni McGuire), Glazier’s Family Market (Myla Kenworthy), Iron Rock Engineering, Surveying & Design (Jessi Cotton), Jakey Leigh’s Coffee Shop (Colt Jay Johnson, with additional winner Kayli Jackson), WinGate Wilderness Therapy (Alicia Gonzales), McDonald’s of Kanab (Hailey Rogers), Zions Pharmacy (Brooke Troutman, third time femur winner), Moqui Cave (Trace Staples), Kaibab Processing (Brittany Hooper), Advantage Home Medical Equipment (Katie Wallace) and Wahweap Insurance (Will Dearing).
A special thank you goes out as well to the local restaurants, massage therapists and other local businesses who donated gift cards as accolade to those who were nearby as the femurs were found throughout the event. Not to mention the countless hours from volunteers that are spent disbursing freebies on the trails. So much positive feedback comes from families and even tourists who come across them. The Spine, Femurs and freebies are always hidden on public land with strong encouragement from event coordinators to practice ‘’leave no trace’’ hiking. This year, Find The Spine even teamed up with the local tourism office to reward those who collected trash while out hunting for the spine.
This year’s Find The Spine grand prize of $5000 went to Izaak Grymes of Kanab, after a record breaking 17 days, crushing the previous year’s record by six whole days. Grymes found the spine hidden at the top of Greenhalgh Trail, a half-mile back and approximately 15 yards off the designated trail behind a rock ledge. His family was elated to be taking home the big win after putting in over 80+ miles throughout the event. Grymes plans to take the cash and buy his first truck.
The event, having given roughly $20,000 to this year’s participants officially came to an end Saturday night when the Grows finally broke down this year’s clues for the participants who had been agonizing over them for weeks, and announced Sarah Lofing as the winner of the seven day Mexico vacation.
There is no better event than Find The Spine to encourage locals to spend time with their friends and family in the beautiful backyard we all get to call home. Look online under Find The Spine for heartwarming stories of participants who put in hundreds of miles with kids, parents and friends. Their love for our community and land is always uplifting and rewarding.