Wyoming

Preparation

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Hear the narration:

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The return to Chicago found me heading straight to Washington D.C. in an attempt to obtain financial support for a scientific expedition down the Colorado River into the last great unknown lands. Government officials thought that a no- name, one-armed geology professor trying to conquer such vast, unexplored land was the most absurd thing they ever heard. I did not let their response bring me down, as I was still as confident as ever that this could be done, and I was going to be the one to do it. Proceeding on my own, I raised the money that I needed and made an agreement with the Illinois Museum of Natural History for the use of scientific equipment in exchange for all of the materials I would collect along my journey. I was also given permission to obtain food for my expedition at military cost, as I was a decorated Civil War hero. Once I had all of this planning and preparation under way, I was able to begin construction of my boats. I designed them myself and was very proud of my vessels. I had three 21-foot craft made from white oak and one smaller 16-foot craft made from pine. The smallest of the four was named the Emma Dean, after my wife, and the others were Kitty Clyde’s Sister, No Name, and the Maid of the Canyon. I was able to have my vessels shipped safely to the Green River Station in Wyoming, since the transcontinental railroad could now cross the river, which made it possible for my vessels to be unloaded directly from a flatbed car into the water. The crew was already near the Green River Station in Wyoming waiting for my arrival so that we could get the boats loaded with all of our supplies. We divided the supplies evenly between the three large boats, so that they each carried nearly a ton of supplies. I estimated that the expedition would take roughly 10 months, and packed enough flour, sugar, bacon, beans, dried apples and coffee to last us the length of our journey. We also loaded our boats with guns, animal traps for hunting, tools for boat repairs and camping, and scientific instruments that we would need, such as compasses, barometers, thermometers and others as well. We were ready to go!