The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons

The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons

by John Wesley Powell

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With "The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons," readers can explore the one-thousand miles of the Colorado River in its natural state nearly one-hundred and fifty years ago. Legendary explorer John Wesley Powell, accompanied by a crew of close friends and associates, details his travels through the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon at a time when much of the area was unknown to contemporary readers. Starting in Wyoming, the crew travelled the last unmapped area of the continental United States. The novel begins as an explanation of the land and geography; Powell focused on the native flora and fauna, calling upon the nature writing tradition that was emerging during the 1800's. Next, Powell drew from his personal diary in order to narrate the group's travels through the breathtaking land. Finally, Powell recounts his journey and discusses the ethnography and cultures of both Native Americans and the early settlers of the new frontier. The adventures are real and threatening; Powell and his team face danger, hunger, and other obstacles for the sake of exploration. Powell was no stranger to endangerment in real life, though; he led multiple adventures out west and wrote texts about his journeys. He was also an early anthropologist, and his cultural work with different American ethnic groups helped lay the foundation for early American anthropological studies. Anyone interested in nature writing, adventures, nonfiction, or cultural studies will want to have "The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons" in their library.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781420946727
Publisher: Publishing
Publication date: 10/20/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 431,648
File size: 252 MB
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The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must for those rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Share the adventure without the luxury of a guide's experience and modern comforts. Understand the magnitude of this 'Wonder of the World.'
billsearth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This write-up by Powell of his trip down the rivers of the southwest is very good. The book is written in first person like a log of the juorney, complete with dates at the start of new paragraphs for each day.Powel writes very clearly and the excitement of exploration of a new unknown area comes through. Also coming through in his writing style are the apprehension of the dangers in following an uncharted river into areas they would not be able to escape from the water became impassible. Powell was awed by the majesty of the landscape and he does well in passing this on to the reader . There are many black and white photos and drawings throughout the book, almost every other page. The drawings seem very accurate to me, having been in the region. Tip-offs to the accuracy is the portrayal of iron stainings coming down some smoth sandstone surfaces in a way I have often seen them.This book gives the reader a feel for both the majesty of the landscape through which the Colorado and green Rivers pass and also the excitement of exploring an unknown area with its associated unknown dangers.Powell describes many active Indian villiages and abandoned zIndian dwellings, camps and towns, replete with abuntant arrowheads and petroglyphs. The photos actually go further at illustrating the Indian architecture and culture than the text does. What I like about the inclusion of the Indian culture is that at the time Powell witnessed the Indians living and working in their native environment, not having to describe just abandoned ruinsand infer from that.This book gives a good feel for what exploration of the west was like back when there was no form of communication with the known world until the expedition reached its end. It gives a good framework of what the untamed river and its canyons were like before dams and widespread agriculture affected streamflow and turbidity. it gives an accurate picture of the Indian's daily lifestyle and cautious attitude towards non-Indians.In summary, Powells book is a very good window into how the expedition went, how early expeditions went in general back then, the majesty of the southwest, particularly around the canyons, and the daily lives of the Indian before they became familiar with white-man culture.
AnnieBM More than 1 year ago
Powell engages the reader with details of the geology and area, the river voyage and exploration, ruins and encounters with native Americans. The account is nicely written and breathtaking in detail. He begins and ends this book with a kind of overview of the area. The first bit is thick in geologic and land detail -- you will want a map -- and the last chapter focuses on the details of the Grand Canyon relating its complexity through the inadequacy of words and the styles of various painters. Powell takes great care in describing interactions with and culture of the native Americans and these accounts can be well appreciated. There are many illustrations made from photographs. Despite the difficulties encountered, reading this book will inspire exploration. Highly recommended for the adventurous, those interested in geology, native Americans,and the early days of exploring the USA (once the nation was formed).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago