The Emerald Mile

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The Emerald Mile

The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

Kevin Fedarko, Paul Michael Garcia


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From one of Outsidemagazine’s “Literary All-Stars” comes the thrilling true tale of the fastestboat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through theGrand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.

In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length ofthe Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam withan unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic damfailure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a smallwooden dory named the Emerald Mile at the head of the Grand Canyon, justfifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd butdownright suicidal.

The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, wasrescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, whointended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was tonail 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 Riverfrom Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, thisremarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in TheEmerald Mile.