The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon (Paperback)
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"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.--Mark L. is one of our stellar Highlands Ranch bookmen.
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."