Last River: John Wesley Powell & the Colorado River Exploring Expedition
No European had ever taken boats down the Colorado river and come out alive. In May 1869, ten men boarded four rowboats in Green River City, Wyoming. Three months and 1,000 miles later, two battered boats carrying six exhausted and starving men emerged from the depths of the Grand Canyon. The Last River tells their remarkable story.
The man who challenged the Colorado, Major John Wesley Powell, was a small, bookish geology professor from a Midwestern farm. Despite his size and the constant pain from the Civil War wound that had cost him his arm, Powell's twin passions--adventure and scientific exploration--drew him to the Colorado River.
For three months, he and nine crewmembers thrilled to riding the rapids and endured the backbreaking labor of transporting boats and cargo past rapids too dangerous to run. They discovered canyons of unsurpassed beauty and gave them names like Music Temple and Canyon of Lodore. They saved each other from drowning, and suffered together as their food supply dwindled to nearly nothing.
Excerpts from journals of crewmembers personalize the gripping text. Original paintings and a foldout map allow the reader to follow the expedition's route and its adventures. The Last River is an inspiring and riveting true adventure written with drama and compassion that brings history to life.