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.
Fearlessness, and possibly foolishness, compelled Kenton Grua and a small crew to launch a refurbished dory, a flat-bottomed fishing boat, named Emerald Mile into the Colorado River "on the crest of flood tide" late one night in the summer of 1983. Grua used the swollen river "as a kind of hydraulic slingshot" to pitch them as fast as possible from Lee's Ferry on one end of the canyon, to the Grand Wash Cliffs on the other. In this absorbing volume, writer and part-time river guide Fedarko provides an intimate look at Grua's motivations and accomplishments. Nicknamed "the Factor" because he "injected a uniquely wild-ass variable into the river equation," Grua was implacably stubborn and combative, but also intensely playful. More importantly, he had a genuine appreciation for "the grand whole of the " the river, the rim rock, and the trails in between. Grua's wild ride on the Colorado, how it mirrored his mercurial personality, is just one part of Fedarko's story; however, the river, which runs through seven states, and the canyon, rich in both geological and political history, prove to be the real protagonists. Eight page photo insert.
Customer ReviewsSee All
One of those adventure books that you can't put down
The Emerald Mile
Loved it. Makes me want to do something significant outside. Great
book. Thought of during a long trail run yesterday and it motivated me and I ran an extra five miles.
We rafted down the Colorado a few years ago and had an amazing experience. We also toured and rafted Glen Canyon with the AICF. With this background, this book is truly an amazing read as we "know " where the events are taking plane and can only imagine the power with a water level of this magnitude. We love this book and have so much respect for the "river people" and their passion for the canyon!