Thursday, May 23, 2013

Many moons ago....a seed was planted......

On May 24, 1869, a group of ten men lead by John Wesley Powell set out from Green River Station in Wyoming down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon. Taking over three months, it became one of the most famous explorations in American history.

Following the twisting, tortuous rivers, negotiating the rough and dangerous waters, the whirlpools and rapids, Powell's expedition made its way down through the high plateaus of eastern Utah. They were carried through the heart of colossal, soaring rocks; they exploded through canyons and over falls, roaring down the cataracts, or when possible portaging around them.

Sometimes they glided around bends that revealed vistas stupendous and sublime; other times they drifted in the deep noontime shadow cast by towering canyon walls. They clambered up the cliffs, measuring and surveying.

They nearly ran out of rations, and a deep foreboding set in among them. As they entered the Grand Canyon part of Powell's team deserted him, but he pressed on while the walls ascended a mile high around him.

Three months and 900 miles later, Powell and his remaining men emerged from the mouth of the Grand Canyon. The trip would make him a national hero, and in 1875 he published Explorations of the Colorado River of the West and its Tributaries, ensuring that for posterity it would be the most dramatic chapter of his life.

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