Lose this day loitering—’twill be the same story
To-morrow–and the next more dilatory;
Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting o’er lost days.
Are you in earnest? seize this very minute–
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it,
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it,
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated—
Begin it, and the work will be completed!
—– John Anster*
However you go, it’s a wild and dangerous ride through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. The first to do it was geologist/explorer, John Wesley Powell, and his team during a three month expedition in 1869. A hundred and fourteen years later, the river had changed because of the river’s damming in 1963, but remained a formidable challenge when three river guides in a small wooden boat rowed the 277 miles from Lee’s Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs in 36 hours and 38 minutes. No one much cared about their accomplishment until the story was told by Kevin Fedarko in his book, The Emerald Mile (2013)**, inspiring more paddlers to make an attempt to break the record. The current record (34 hours, 2 minutes) was set in 2016 by Ben Orkin in a sea kayak.
After eight months of preparation and training, the USA Men’s Rafting Team launched an attempt to beat Orkin’s record on January 13, 2017. The Time Travelers short documentary video chronicles the journey with “a dose of inspiration” for all of us.
Not going for speed, but for study — A group of scientists took a 16 day journey down the Colorado River thru the heart of the Grand Canyon to observe and study the river and its environment. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful view, but much has been lost during the 50+ years since the completion of Glen Canyon Dam. So, the goal is to find a way to restore and maintain a ‘naturalized’ ecosystem that’s currently in peril.
Grand Canyon Private River Trip Planning and River Trips and Permits, US National Park Service
10 Peaceful Places To Paddle by By Bill O’Brian, US Fish and Wildlife Service (for paddlers looking for an easy, scenic ride in a canoe, a kayak, a rowboat, or on a paddleboard through natural beauty of America’s wildlife refuges)
Colorado River: Grand Canyon Rafting Trip Reveals River in Peril by Brandon Loomis, Arizona Republic (October 22, 2018)
*Boldness has genius quote is taken from 1835 publication by Irish poet, John Anster, whose words were inspired by translation of “Faust”, Part One, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Feature photo is a screen shot taken from video, “The Time Travelers”, Gnarly Bay Productions, Inc.
**Editor’s Note: Zeester Media LLC may receive a small commission for a book purchase you make via the Amazon link within this page. This in no way affects the price you pay for the purchase.
More stories of great adventure are available on-demand at Watch: Tours de Force, an On2In2™ collection of favorite videos
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