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The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon Paperback – July 1, 2014
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"Kevin Fedarko's new brilliant work... is the story about wilderness and the American mind, albeit an American mind juiced on Class V adrenaline... Perhaps because we sympathize so strongly with the characters of The Emerald Mile--thanks in no small part to Fedarko's flowing prose--you'll feel yourself lurching along with them on wooden boats, in ocher-hued canyons, beneath cobalt skies, into the frenzied thrashings of the Colorado river as the very lanscape of the West attempts to choke it." (Mountain magazine)
"The book is at its heart an engrossing meditation on the eternal struggle between man and nature." (Pittsburg Post-Gazette)
"Kevin Fedarko's remarkable The Emerald Mile re-creates an incredible voyage through the flood-swollen Grand Canyon in such heart-pounding detail that you need to pause every few pages to catch your breath... He writes so vividly that your favorite reading chair becomes a spray-soaked perch on a bucking boat hit hard by a river running high and fast." (Dallas Morning News)
"Crafting a tale as graceful and powerful as the natural wonder of which he writes... the books goes beyond your typical river porn, offering a wide appeal to everyone from history buffs and the Popular Mechanics set to environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, it would not be overblown to say The Emerald Mile deserved a spot on the bookshelf alongside such enduring classics as Cadillac Desert, Desert Solitaire and Encounters with the Archdruid. It's that good...Fedarko will have you posied on the edge of your seat like a high-sider at in Lava Falls." (Durango Telegraph)
"His poetic and descriptive writing should only brighten his accolades and helps his non-fiction book read like a fast-paced fiction adventure...It isn't necessary to be a history buff or whitewater expert to enjoy this story... With meticulous research, notes and epilogue, Fedarko tells a satisfying story that is quite an entertaining ride." (Deseret News)
"The Emerald Mile is the rarest of creations–a magical convergence of words and paper, wood and water, rock and sky, human character and cosmic caprice. Can an adventure story be as beautiful as it is heart-stopping and exciting? This one is, and Fedarko’s book is as inspiring as a dory itself, flying down a wild river. I have no doubt it will become an instant classic, a timeless chronicle of what can still be legitimately called the American spirit." (Bob Shacochis author of Swimming in the Volcano and Easy in the Islands)
"Fedarko's effortlessly engaging narrative... is a labor of passion from an adventurous journalist who still calls the Grand Canyon home." (Boulder Weekly)
"Powerful and poetic passages put readers inside the adventurers' boats, even if they have only ever imagined the Grand Canyon or seen it in pictures... an epic-sized true-life adventure tale that appeals to both the heart and the head." (Kirkus)
"Kevin Fedarko's magnificent book covers a lot of ground -- and water... So it is a great boon of Fedarko's book that he tells the story of the dam, and of the engineers and techinicians who built it... with as much respect and homage as he gives to the dorymen." (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)
"Grua's wild ride on the Colorado, how it mirrored his mercurial personality, is just on part of Fedarko's story; however, the rive, which runs through seven states, and the canyon, rich in both geological and political history, prove to be the real protagonists." (Publisher's Weekly)
About 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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For our 40th Anniversary, we took our 1st river trip down the Colorado River, 6 Days and 7 Nights! The history of Europeans awareness of the Grand Canyon goes way back to the Coronado Expedition, but the real history has been made in the last 100 years, and Kevin Fedarko draws you into the ancient, and modern world around the Grand Canyon and the Mighty Colorado. If you go, or don't go, you will find the story incredible, as I did.
The descriptors work well for the story and the landscape of The River and The Canyon. While reading I find myself standing on the edge, or down in the canyon, under the stars, listening to the water, or admiring the rocks, gasping at the sights, no matter how many times I see them.
The use of contrasts: the riches Coronado was seeking versus the richness of the landscape. The Powell expedition starting as the continent was linked by rail. The attempts to harness the river and those who fight against it.
As much as I have always hated the dam, I am now a beneficiary of the power provided by it. I appreciate the information and viewpoints in the book.
I cannot recommend it highly enough
Come Kevin Fedarko and "The Emerald Mile", perhaps among the most exciting and certainly best-written adventure stories in my library. It rates alongside Gaston Rebuffat's "Starlight and Storm" for the beauty of the writing. Not only does it tell the tale of the midnight launch of the Emerald Mile and the riveting narrative of the descent of the canyon in a small wooden dory, but it sets the stage chapter by chapter of the history of the river, the story of the Glen Canyon dam, the great flood of 1983, the Hoover dam, John Wesley Powell and his exploration of the Colorado River, and Marty Litton's little dory raft company. Each section of the book held me like a 40's serial movie.
This book has my highest recommendation!