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The rapid we started with this morning gave us to understand the character of the day’s run. It was a wild one. The boats labored hard but came out all right. The waves were frightful and, had any of the boats shipped a sea, it would have been her last for there was no still water below. We ran a wild race for about two miles, first pulling right, then left, now to avoid the waves and now to escape the bowlders, sometimes half full of water and as soon as a little could be thrown out it was replaced by double the quantity. Our heavy boat ran past the lead boat and we dashed on alone, whirling and rushing like the wind.
— George Bradley, Powell Expedition, August 19, 1869
One hundred fifty years ago, Major John Wesley Powell and five other battered, half-starved mountain men floated out the foot of the Grand Canyon. Powell brought the first detailed descriptions of the canyons of the Colorado River to the public, having descended the entirety of the river in wooden boats. He was lucky to have survived.
History, Nature & Culture
When the wind stirs the cottonwoods in Havasu Canyon, it sounds as though it’s come off the ocean. Impossible, considering that it’s 543 miles to the Pacific. The wind...