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The Emerald Mile


In the winter of 1983, the largest El Nino event on record- a chain of "superstorms" that swept in from the Pacific Ocean - battered the entire West. That spring a massive snowmelt sent runoff racing down the Colorado River toward the Glen Canyon Dam, which sat at the head of the most iconic landscape feature of America, the Grand Canyon. As federal officials scrambled to avoid one of the dramatic dam failures in history, they began releasing enormous torrents of water that created a maelstrom so powerful that the river was soon choked with the wreckage of commercial rafting trips. 

In the midst of the crisis, a trio of river guides secretly launched a hand-built wooden dory named Emerald Mile into the Colorado River. A river run under such conditions bordered on the suicidal. But, Kenton Grua, the captain of that dory, was determined to use the flood as a hydraulic slingshot that would hurl him and his two companions through 277 miles of some of the most ferocious white water in North America and, if everything went as planned, catapult the Emerald Mile into legend as the fastest boat ever propelled - by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God - through the heart of the Grand Canyon.The saga of the Emerald Mile is a thrilling adventure, as well as magisterial portrait of the hidden kingdom of white water at the bottom of the greatest river canyon on earth. 

By: Kevin Fedarko 

softcover, 417 pages

ISBN: 978-4391-5986-6

Culture and History, River