The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon (Paperback)
— Mark L. is one of our stellar Highlands Ranch bookmen.
"The Emerald Mile
by Kevin Fedarko is a remarkable book that evokes an adventure so well
that the reader can become immersed in its places and events. Set in the
Grand Canyon and centered around an attempt to run the Colorado river
in a wooden boat for the fastest time ever, Fedarko tells far more than
just this event and shows us an unsuspected world, from the history of
the canyon, its first discovery by conquistadors, John Wesley Powell's
exploration, the projects to dam the river, the environmental movement
backlash, and the development of the subculture of river runners and the
tourism that supports them. All these tributaries of narrative make the
central tale far richer and nuanced than a simple adventure story, and
more enjoyable.Spring thaw in 1983 brought more water, faster
than at any time since the dams were constructed and we see the
struggles of both the National Park Service and the Bureau of
Reclamation as they try to manage the potentially deadly and destructive
effects of the unprecedented runoff. The park service is caught between
preventing fatalities and not depriving people of trips that were years
in the planning, and the bureau has to manage releasing the water so as
to minimize the damage to and avoid failure of critical components of
the Glenn Canyon dam. The drama in the competing aims, contrasting
points of view, and the clashes of legitimate authority with traditional
freedoms is as turbulent as the river.This book is a perfect choice for anyone who loved Into Thin Air and should find a place for itself as a classic in outdoor adventure literature." ~Mark L.
From one of "Outside" magazine's "Literary All-Stars" comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.
In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named "The Emerald Mile" at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd, but downright suicidal.
The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled--by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself--down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in "The Emerald Mile."
About the Author
Kevin Fedarko lives in northern New Mexico and works as a part-time river guide in Grand Canyon National Park. In addition to his travel narratives in "Outside", where he worked as a senior editor, Fedarko's work has appeared in "Esquire, National Geographic Adventure", and other publications, and has been anthologized in "The Best American Travel Writing "in 2004 and 2006. Fedarko was a staff writer at "Time "magazine" "from 1991 to 1997, where his work helped garner an Overseas Press Club Award for a story on the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Fedarko earned a Masters of Philosophy in Russian history at Oxford in 1990.