Grand Canyon History
(From Down The Colorado, John Wesley Powell)
John Wesley Powell, Commanding
Frank Goodman left after Disaster Falls, went to Indian Agency
Billy Hawkins - trapper, may have been fugitive
Walter Powell, JWPs brother, "Old Shady"
John Colton Sumner proprietor of trading post at Hot Springs, in Middle
May 24 August 30, 1869 (71 days duration)
(Page # in parentheses)
- Supplies for 10 months! (Most of got lost or spoiled.) They were prepared
to lay part of the winter when the river froze!? (24)
- Ocean waves: the form passes, and the water stays still. River rapids: the
water passes, the form remains. (44)
- Fire! The cook (?) drops mess kit recovered on 2nd trip.
- 6/18 (17) Powell tells of Bradley rescuing him from the rock ledge
Bradleys diary indicates his rescue of Powell happened on July 8. (55)
- There was no trip up the Yampa in 1869. This was done with the Emma Dean
II June 27-30, 1871, with S.V.Jones, J.K.Hillers, E.O.Beaman, & Andy Hattan.
- 7/11: Blankets, guns and barometer put in open compartment of boat lost
when boat rolls. (70)
- Hunting sheep. Always climbing up hundreds or thousands of feet to see where
they are, and take altitude measurements. (89)
- Named Glen Canyon. (97)
- 8/4: Arrive at Paria River (Lees Ferry). Bradleys diary indicates
that Powell didnt recognize the Paria at the time, and that what Powellss
diary calls the Ute Creek was the Paria. (99)
- Climb 2,300 ft in four hours to observe eclipse of the sun, but unable to
because of clouds and rain. Get lost coming down, and spend night on rocks
in the rain. (101)
- 8/9: Name Marble Canyon
- River widens. Difference between low and high water ~ 20 ft. Farther up
river ~ 50-70 ft.
- 8/10: Reach Little Colorado. Powell finds trail worn in rocks, with steps
cut. Other ruins found. Camp was below L. Colorado, on left. Rock shelves
above camp. (104)
- 8/13: Leave into the Great Unknown. (107) Powell says men "talk as
cheerfully as ever," but Bradleys diary suggests otherwise (110)
Run six miles in half an hour. Come to more open canyon. Cross volcanic "dike"
several hundred ft. high.
- 8/14 Enter granite gorge (metamorphic crystalline schists, with dikes of
basalt and granite).
- 8/15: Bright Angel Creek (name was first used by Powell in a lecture in
December, 1869, possibly to contrast with "Dirty Devil"). (117)
- 8/16 Explore Bright Angel. Powell goes up gulch just above creek, about
200 yds. From camp, and finds ruins.
- - they are constantly re-drying rations
- 8/17: food sufficient for only 10 days. (120)
- 8/25: Cinder cones and lava flows. Stream comes out of the wall 100-200
ft. high. (128)
- 8/26: Crew liberates squash from an Indian garden. (134)
- 8/27: Turn to South. Fear entering more granite. They
do. Black walls, ugly rapids. Capt. Howland tells Powell they should abandon
the river, and he and his brother and Dunn will go no further. (Direction
of rock formations = rapids) Powell uses sextant to determine their latitude,
and finds it nearly agrees with dead reckoning.
- 8/30: Arrive at Virgin River.
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