Sunk Without a Sound: The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde

Sunk Without a Sound: The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde

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by Brad Dimock
     
 

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Co-winner of the 2001 National Outdoor Book Award, History/Biography Category

Glen and Bessie Hyde began their honeymoon trip down the Green and Colorado Rivers on October 20, 1928. A month later they hiked to the rim of Grand Canyon, resupplied, and returned to their boat. When they did not arrive at trip's end, Glen's father launched an exhaustive search of

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Overview

Co-winner of the 2001 National Outdoor Book Award, History/Biography Category

Glen and Bessie Hyde began their honeymoon trip down the Green and Colorado Rivers on October 20, 1928. A month later they hiked to the rim of Grand Canyon, resupplied, and returned to their boat. When they did not arrive at trip's end, Glen's father launched an exhaustive search of lower Grand Canyon. The Hydes' crude sweep scow was found in calm water, fully loaded. But Glen and Bessie had vanished without a trace. So began the greatest mystery in the annals of whitewater navigation.

Four decades later, in 1971, an older woman on a Grand Canyon river trip announced she was Bessie Hyde. She said she had stabbed Glen, hiked out, and started life anew. In 1976 a skeleton thought to be Glen Hyde's was found at the canyon rim with a bullet in the skull. Since then, another suspected Glen and another Bessie have appeared, further convoluting the myth of the Hydes. Author and boatman Brad Dimock scoured the country for the true story of the Hydes. He followed each story and obscure lead to its end, even going to the extreme of recreating the Hydes' archaic craft for a harrowing trip through Grand Canyon with his own bride.

Sunk Without a Sound is the riveting tale of the search for Glen and Bessie Hyde.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Dimock...has all the credentials to investigate the disastrous honeymoon journey of Glen and Bessie Hyde through Grand Canyon... a compelling mystery...a thorough history...highly recommended.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Combine the wild Colorado River, an adventuresome young couple, and their unexplained disappearance; add an anguished father; pile on rumor and speculation lasting 73 years; and then cap the story with meticulous research, and you have all the ingredients of a compelling mystery. Dimock, a white-water guide and one of the authors of the National Outdoor Book Award-winning The Doing of the Thing, has all the right credentials to investigate the disastrous honeymoon journey of Glen and Bessie Hyde through the Grand Canyon on an unwieldy Idaho sweep scow. Soon after the couple's disappearance in November 1928, Glen's father instigated an extensive search that lasted several months. Only the scow was recovered, fully loaded in calm water. Through the years, a woman claiming to be Bessie surfaced, a skeleton reputed to be Glen's was discovered in a shed at the canyon's southern rim, and the TV program Unsolved Mysteries featured the story in 1985. Dimock here provides a thorough history of Glen's and Bessie's backgrounds and even re-creates part of the Hydes' river route with his own wife in a homemade scow. Profusely illustrated with photographs and maps, this informative account is highly recommended for most public libraries and academic libraries in the region. Janet Ross, Sparks Branch Lib., NV Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781892327987
Publisher:
Fretwater Press
Publication date:
03/28/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
615,844
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.77(d)

What People are saying about this

Colin Fletcher
An enthralling story-especially for those who know the river.
—(Colin Fletcher author, River, The Man Who Walked Through Time, The Man from the Cave)
Charles Bowden
This mystery takes us down a wild river into a hole in the ground and then flings us at the heart of a lost country. Glen and Bessie Hyde make us tremble as they face those jagged rocks and that last wave. And they fill us with envy for the freedom, guts, and joy of the funky and hardscrabble America they knew in their bones and we only know of as rumor. Brad Dimock deserves a medal for bringing them back alive to confront us all. And it's a helluva read, too.
—(Charles Bowden author, Blue Desert; Blood Orchid; Desierto; Frog Mountain Blues)
James Aton
Elegantly written, wonderfully researched, and intricately plotted, Sunk Without a Sound has all the allure of a great mystery novel.
—(James Aton author, John Wesley Powell; co-author, River Flowing from the Sunrise)
Bruce Berger
With a gift for storytelling and the obsession of a sleuth, Brad Dimock captivates us with the kind of mystery only reality and a great river can invent.
—(Bruce Berger author, There Was a River; The Telling Distance)
David Lavender
It's a mesmerizing tale, skillfully told, and almost certain to be recognized as a classic in the field of outdoor adventure writing.
—(David Lavender author, One Man's West; A Fist in the Wilderness; Let Me Be Free)
Ann Haymond Zwinger
Sunk Without a Sound, despite its tragic subject, is engaging, beautifully and impeccably researched, and delightfully written. Dimock's tour de force is not only an essential addition to Grand Canyon literature but a fine reading history on any terms.
—(Ann Haymond Zwinger author, Downcanyon; Wind in the Rocks; Run, River, Run)

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Sunk Without a Sound: The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to pick a book for my social studies class to read and write a book report on and chose this one. It looked interresting from the cover,but when I started, I realized it wasnt a gtreat book for what I need. It was confusing at times and gave me alot of unnecessary information, but only for what I needed it for. It might have been a better book if I didn't have a time line. Over all a so-so book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this to be one interesting read. I ordered it after seeing a reference in ¿Over The Edge: Death In Grand Canyon.¿. The book really succeeds on a lot of different levels. The story of Glen and Bessie generates interest in the story as a romantic adventure. The author provides a great sense of a place, and of a time when it seemed that each year brought a series of grand achievements and `firsts¿ that the general population could relate to. Dimock¿s own investigation into the events of some 70 odd years ago reads like a good detective story, while the account of his recreation of the Hyde¿s trip provides a first person account of what it might have been like to have been with the Hyde¿s. I have only two complaints: the book is a bit of a guilty pleasure, as it struck me that such a minor sliver of history had become so interesting, and, as the end of the book approached, I found myself really hoping for a surprise ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sunk Without A Sound The Tragic Colroado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde ? Brad Dimock Fretwater Press © 2001 Their Salmon River scow was found floating in a backwater below 232-Mile Rapid in December 1928, gear as neatly stowed as anyone ever stows it on a scow, eerily empty, with no trace of the honeymoon couple who had left Greenriver, UT, 5 weeks before. Grand Canyon boatmen, no matter how brilliant, educated, or literate, inhabit an oral tradition: their weakness ¿ a perfect tale entrances them; their strength ¿ they reproduce a perfect story almost without alteration for decades. So the stories of Glen and Bessie Hyde vanishing on their honeymoon entered the epic cycle almost as soon as their scow was found, and have been told ever since. But some variants on the story had a literary perfection that cried out to be told, and thus the missing honeymoon couple has nacred over with myth through the years. He violent, she an early exemplar of the battered wife syndrome? What of those occasional people who surface as Bessie or as Glen? The skeleton below the rim with a .32 slug in the skull: Glen¿s body? These variants on the story have been too perfect not to tell. But the truth has been elusive. Brad Dimock, a long-time Grand Canyon boatman who collaborated with Welch and Conley on The Doing of the Thing (the biography of Buzz Holmstrom that won the National Outdoor Book Award in 1998), went detective on these missing persons, and found the story simpler and far more complex than we ever knew. What he found ¿ heroism, competence, love, devotion ¿ makes a remarkable and richly illustrated tale. Biographies as good as this one are quests. Dimock is a perfect choice to achieve this one. One of the things that distinguishes this book is the metabiblic research. Anyone presumably could ¿ though no one else ever did ¿ track down the written and photographic records. But to write is to judge, and Dimock has gone to extraordinary length to inform his judgements with experience. He brings to bear not just his 30 years in the Grand Canyon, but learns how to run a scow so he could assess the Hydes¿ remarkable achievement as boatmen. He can even answer more intimate questions about the dynamics of the honeymoon trip and what might have happened, as his fellow boatman on the run where he recreated the Hydes¿ trip was his wife Jeri Ledbetter, the boatman, environmentalist, and at moments, humorist. He also keeps in mind that we are not all boatmen, so the book is informed by maps, sketches, and the kind of off-hand knowledge (say, of subsurface currents and vultures) that answers each question as it arises. Some of the nicest touches at conveying personality were to use Bessie¿s poetry as chapter epigraphs, and quotations from Glen¿s stories as commentary. The Hydes were remarkable people who died well; they are memorialized in a remarkable book that displays one rare literary virtue: concinnity. +++++ The book itself is a pure joy to hold and read. Dimock discovered and honed his own skills at layout and design during his stint as the editor of the boatman¿s quarterly review, the journal of the Grand Canyon River Guides. He carried the bqr ¿ and himself ¿ from the realm of a xerox sheet chronicling the odd thoughts of a batch of polymathic misfits, to one of the most attractive and best-written magazines around; many a sophisticated reader will open her bqr before the Atlantic, and way before the New Yorker. His book evokes memories of the sensuousness of handling incunabulae and illuminated manuscripts. Paper clean and subtly scented, perfectly chosen and reproduced sepia photographs, careful links among the design elements. Really a book to own and handle.