The Very Hard Way: Bert Loper and the Colorado River

The Very Hard Way: Bert Loper and the Colorado River

by Brad Dimock
     
 

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The river was found, rowed and loved by working people, the kind of folks who get scant notice in the books and bluster of the official expedition chroniclers. At last Brad Dimock has brought their hard world to the page. Meet Bert Loper, the man who knew the river and never left it.

—Charles Bowden

Tough as boot

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Overview

The river was found, rowed and loved by working people, the kind of folks who get scant notice in the books and bluster of the official expedition chroniclers. At last Brad Dimock has brought their hard world to the page. Meet Bert Loper, the man who knew the river and never left it.

—Charles Bowden

Tough as boot leather, stubborn and indomitable, Bert Loper was a drifting, uneducated, hard-rock miner, laborer and boatman who came to know and love the rivers of the Southwest like no-one else before or since. This splendid biography, which also tells the definitive history of river-running in the Southwest, takes us down into the canyons and whitewater and shows how they brought grace and meaning to the very hard life of a very hard man.

—Richard Grant (American Nomads)

Bert Loper was born in 1869 the very day that Major John Wesley Powell discovered the confluence of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers. Loper spent much of his life devoted to those two streams. But it was never easy. Orphaned and abused, Loper worked most of his life at the very bottom, the nameless grunt in hard rock mines, the sore-backed shoveler on a placer bar, the subsistence rancher on a lonely gravel delta in Glen Canyon. Whatever Loper got, he got the very hard way.

But on the muddy whitewater streams of the Southwest, Loper found a joy, a thrill, and a peace. By the time he died at his oars in a Grand Canyon rapid at eighty, he had covered more river, run more boats, and known more rivermen than anyone. Two weeks before he vanished in the Colorado, the very first motorboat had run Grand Canyon--bookending Loper's incredible career.

Bert Loper's is the tale of river running in the West, and his life encapsulates the spirit of the Colorado.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781892327697
Publisher:
Fretwater Press
Publication date:
03/28/2007
Pages:
457
Product dimensions:
6.09(w) x 8.94(h) x 1.19(d)

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