The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyonby Kevin Fedarko
In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at/i>
From one of Outside magazine’s “Literary All-Stars” comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.
In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named “The Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd, but downright suicidal.
The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile.
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Meet the Author
Kevin Fedarko lives in northern New Mexico and works as a part-time river guide in Grand Canyon National Park. In addition to his travel narratives in Outside, where he worked as a senior editor, Fedarko’s work has appeared in Esquire, National Geographic Adventure, and other publications, and has been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing in 2004 and 2006. Fedarko was a staff writer at Time magazine from 1991 to 1997, where his work helped garner an Overseas Press Club Award for a story on the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Fedarko earned a Masters of Philosophy in Russian history at Oxford in 1990.
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We need to be reminded that the Grand Canyon is one of 7 Wonders of the Natural World. And, Kevin Fedarko does a masterful job awakening your mind and heart to the majesty and splendor to be found in this world treasure. A fascinating history of the canyon is compellingly woven around the seminal event - a speed run through the canyon. While that ride is surely thrilling, more thrilling is the portrait of beauty, grandeur and awe the writing inspires for the Grand Canyon. This book has compelled me to add a trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to my bucket list and moved it to the top of that list!
I read this book a few months ago. It is not my kind of book--I like fiction-- but this book picked me up with the first sentences and swept me along to the end. I learned so much, and I am buying this paperback so that I can share it with my family. Kevin Fedarko knows his stuff: he knows the Canyon; he knows the people who have dealt with it; and he knows how to write about it.
Not just one of the best outdoor books I've ever read but one of the best books I've ever read. The history of the canyon and river, the descriptions of the float in the canyon, the event itself, and everything else that was going on at the time. I didn't want to put it down.
I finished this book about a month ago, and it still slips into my mind every few days. What a well written story of the near catastrophe of the Glen Canyon Dam, the breaking of the record of the Emerald Mile, and the men and women who wrestled with the Colorado River. During my reading, we did go to the Grand Canyon, and it was magnificent to see what the writer was describing. Highly recommend this book. Makes me want to go back and experience the river and meet the guides.
I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it to anyone who loves the wilderness!!
What a great first book for Kevin Fedarko! What a wonderful ride into history and onto the Colorado River! The Grand Canyon just got put on my bucket list. But yet I feel like I have already been there in Kevin's words