Wyoming

Go Time at Green River City

Photo

Hear the narration:

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Glancing up from my journal, I hear cheers from the crowd and see them waving with excitement. My brother Walter yells, "Wes, get in the Emma Dean." I made my way to the Emma Dean, climbed aboard and strapped myself into a special chair I had mounted on the vessel. Raising our flag and shoving off, the swift current immediately carries us away. Overcome with excitement, I was leading the expedition with boatmen J.C. Sumner, who was my wilderness guide on the 1867 Rocky Mountain trip and William H. Dunn, a hunter, in the Emma Dean. Following us was Kitty Clyde’s Sister, manned by W.H. Powell, my younger brother and G.Y. Bradley, who were both officers during the Civil War; next, the No Name manned by O.G. Howland, a printer and editor from Denver, his younger brother Seneca Howland, and Frank Goodman, a British adventurer who begged me to let him join the expedition. Lastly came the Maid of the Canyon manned by W.R. Hawkins who was going to do the cooking for us and Andrew Hall, who at only 19 years of age had already spent several years of his life roaming the west. Most of my crew had fought in the Civil War on the side of the Union and were used to taking orders, but at the same time were all extremely independent. I feel confident with my crew and have spent many hours planning, and I hope to be prepared for any situation that may arise.

The waters of the Green River lap against the Emma Dean as the current moves us swiftly in advance of the rest of my men. As I sit in my chair aboard the boat, I remember an ancient Native American legend. An old, wise chief deeply mourned the loss of his wife. A Native American god came to him and offered to take the chief to see his wife in the happier place where she had gone. The god then made a trail through the majestic mountains to the desert land of eternal joy where the chief enjoyed a reunion with his loved one. When the chief returned, the god made him promise to tell no one of his experience. Then the god filled the bottom of the gorge with an angry, raging river that would engulf any others who attempted to pass through the mountains. Any person who dared to take that river, legend said, would surely bring upon himself or herself the wrath of God. Well, I am ready to take this challenge and travel the river which is the Colorado, and explore the great gorge, which is the Grand Canyon. I want to be able to tell my fellow Americans what this blank space on the map is really like.