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Neither Hyde Nor Hair
There are many mysteries associated with the Grand Canyon, including how it was formed. One of the modern mysteries is the disappearance of Glen and Bessie Hyde, an adventurous couple who vanished while running the river on their honeymoon in 1928.

By Sally Benford

Grand Canyon On November 16, 1928, Emery Kolb opened the door of his photography studio, which sat — and still sits — on the literal edge of the Grand Canyon's South Rim, and met a young couple who had just hiked up the Bright Angel Trail from the Colorado River. Glen and Bessie Hyde were on their honeymoon, and they'd sought out the most famous river runner in the country to discuss their current adventure.

The Hydes talked about how they'd spent the past 26 days running the Colorado River in their homemade scow from Green River, Utah, to the area near Phantom Ranch. Impressed, Kolb spent the day with the couple, having lunch, showing them around the South Rim and photographing them. Glen and Bessie discussed the few problems they'd had on the first part of their trip, and how they intended to follow the river all the way to Needles, California, making Bessie the first woman to raft the entire length of the Canyon. They expected to seek their fortune by writing a book based on Bessie's journal notes and photographs, and by discussing their Grand Canyon experience on the lecture circuit.

On November 17, after their time with Emery Kolb, the couple left the South Rim and spent the next two days visiting Phantom Ranch and negotiating Horn Creek Rapid. On November 18, they stopped at Hermit Camp for lunch, after which they hiked a mile back to the river and cast off toward Hermit Rapid at Mile 95. It was the last time they'd ever be seen.

By December 12, when the couple hadn't reached their takeout point at Needles, Glen's father, R.C. Hyde, gathered a search party that included Emery and Ellsworth Kolb. On Christmas Day, the Hydes' scow, which was filled with their supplies and Bessie's journal, camera and rolls of film, was found floating in an eddy on the river just above Mile 237. The final entry in Bessie's journal read: "November 30, Ran 16 rapids today."

Although it's presumed that the Hydes died along the river, their disappearance remains a mystery.

>> Back to History Archive


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