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Fasten your life jackets for a ride you'll never forget. Now the excitement of a raft trip through the Grand Canyon has been re-created by a seasoned whitewater guide with a passion to share one of the world's most fantastic journeys. Michael Ghiglieri, a professional river guide for more than 17 years, has written the first book to describe that trip from the modern boatman's point of view. From Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek, Ghiglieri leads you down 226 miles of wild river and through some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth. Along the way, he navigates the Colorado River's dozens of notorious rapids—many of which drop fifteen feet or more—and shares the excitement of waves and boulders, thunder and foam. Recounting a real journey through this geological wonder, Canyon interweaves heart-pounding adventure with factual insights into the world of Grand Canyon. Between the rapids, Ghiglieri relates tales of river runners past and present, lessons in geology and wildlife, observations on the impact of Glen Canyon Dam, and stories of Native inhabitants, from Anasazi ancestors to Havasupai Rastafarians. This trip also offers more than its share of human drama for the passengers aboard, leaving them with tales of their own to tell. "Running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon is to me the most impressive journey on our planet," writes Ghiglieri, "an adventure that leaves no traveler unchanged." For anyone who has ever shared or contemplated that adventure, Canyon recreates an unforgettable ride.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A seasoned whitewater guide shares one of the world's most fantastic journeys, a raft trip through the Grand Canyon." —National Parks "If 'the book' [on the Canyon] is defined as one which plunges the reader headfirst into the thrills, beauty and even occasional boredom of a run through the Canyon; as one which elucidates all the important natural and human history along the way; and as one which conveys some of the majesty and mystery of this extraordinary place, then Ghiglieri has come as close as anyone I know. . . . It makes one want to turn off the computer and head for Lee's Ferry." —Environmental History Review "A grand tale . . . His storytelling abilities and affection for the region are evident throughout this well-written book. . . . This is the single best introduction to a myriad of aspects of this most impressive place this reviewer has seen." —Library Journal "A mile-by-mile tour of the wonders of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River—a grab-bag of the sort of historical, geological, political, and anecdotal tidbits he apparently offers his white-watering guests, and a definitive source book for those who decide to take the challenge." —Kirkus Reviews "Excitement with a message." —Books of the Southwest
Library Journal
The canyon is the Grand Canyon and this is a grand tale. Ghiglieri, an ecologist, served as a guide for Grand Canyon trips for 16 years. Using a raft trip down 226 miles of the Colorado River as a frame, he describes the history, geology, conservation, inhabitants, flora, and fauna of the ``world's clearest display of planetary history.'' His storytelling abilities and affection for the region are evident throughout the book. There are over 70 books in print about the Grand Canyon (including David Lavender's River Runners of the Grand Canyon , LJ 9/1/85), but this is the single best introduction to myriad aspects of this ``most impressive place.'' Recommended for all types and levels of libraries.-- Roland Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
A professional river guide for 17 years, Ghiglieri has much to say about the excitement of rafting through the Grand Canyon. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816512867
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 311
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Map of Grand Canyon
The Geology of Grand Canyon
1 A Monster Is Born 3
2 An Agreeably Confused Appearance 24
3 Into the Canyon 37
4 Shinumo 54
5 Entropy and the Sacred Cows 70
6 Major Challenges 86
7 Desert Primeval 105
8 Enemy Ancestors 119
9 Cliff and the Great Unknown 138
10 The Aisle of the Conquistadores 150
11 Thunder 163
12 Raiders of the Lost Park 180
13 The Honeymooners 198
14 Radioactive Oasis 210
15 Lava 233
16 Golf Ball Beach 247
17 Diamond Is a Girl's Best Friend? 263
Epilogue 281
Selected References 283
Index 293
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