An Alternate Grand Canyon History
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Thread: An Alternate Grand Canyon History

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    An Alternate Grand Canyon History

    I've recently finished an interesting book about James White's purported first floating descent of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1867. Unfortunately he didn't have as good a publicist as John Wesley Powell had a few years later.
    This is a good read for those who visited Moab a hundred miles upstream, or those who simply like the history of western exploration. 517TOdg9MRL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_-2.jpg
    "Although John Wesley Powell and party are usually given credit for the first river descent through the Grand Canyon, the ghost of James White has haunted those claims. White was a Colorado prospector, who, almost two years before Powell's journey, washed up on a makeshift raftat Callville, Nevada. His claim to have entered the Colorado above theSan Juan River with another man (soon drowned) as they fled from Indians was widely disseminated and believed for a time, but Powell and his successors on the river publically discounted it. Colorado River runners and historians have since debated whether White's passage through GrandCanyon even could have happened. Hell or High Water is the first full account of White's storyand how it became distorted and he disparaged over time. It is also afascinating detective story, recounting how White's granddaughter, Eilean Adams, over decades and with the assistance of a couple ofnotable Colorado River historians who believed he could have done whathe claimed, gradually uncovered the record of James White's adventureand put together a plausible narrative of how and why he ended upfloating helplessly down a turbulent river, entrenched in massivecliffs, with nothing but a driftwood raft to carry him through."

    -of note is that Powell's trip reportings are generally acknowledged today as less than totally factual blending the 1869 and 1871 trips as if it were a single successful descent. He was a bit of a grandstander who built a subsequent successful carreer in the USGS.

    Last edited by Fred; 07-14-2016 at 02:09 PM.
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    Senior Member 87bags's Avatar
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    The Grand Canyon is unreal. You can see all the pictures, shows on it, and so on but until you actually stand there and look at it in person it is difficult to grasp what it is. Everyone should take a peak.
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