When he started taking paying passengers by boat through the rapids of the Colorado River's canyons, Norman Nevills invented whitewater tourism and the commercial river business. For twelve years, from 1938 until his death in a plane crash in 1949, he safely took, without a single life lost, friends, explorers, and customers down the Colorado, Green, San Juan, Salmon, and Snake Rivers in boats he designed. National media found him and his adventures irresistible and turned him into the personification of river running. Logging seven trips through the Grand Canyon when no one else had completed more than two, he was called the Fast Water Man. Boatmen he trained went on to found their own competing operations. Always controversial, Nevills had important critics and enemies as well as friends and supporters, but no one can dispute his tremendous impact on the history of western rivers and recreation.
Nevills's complete extant journals of those river expeditions are published for the first time in High, Wide, and Handsome. They contain vivid stories and images of still untamed-by-dams rivers and canyons in the Colorado River system and elsewhere, of wild rides in wooden boats, and of the few intrepid pioneers of adventure tourism who paid Nevills so they could experience it all. They have been transcribed and edited by river historian Roy Webb, author of If We Had a Boat: Green River Explorers, Adventurers, and Runners and Call of the
After more than 50 years of plans to dam the Green River, it finally happened in 1963 as part of the Colorado River Storage Project. Today many people enjoy boating and fishing on the resultant Flaming Gorge Reservoir, but few know about what lies under the water. Compared to Glen Canyon, Flaming Gorge has received little attention. In Lost Canyons of the Green River, Roy Webb takes the reader back in time to discover what lay along this section of the Green River before the Flaming Gorge Dam was built, and provides a historical account of this section of the Colorado River system.
A historian and a lifetime lover of rivers, Webb has spent decades exploring the region, digging into archives, and running the length of the Green River. The book chronicles the history that is most closely linked to the river and its bottomlands, sharing the stories of those who traveled the Green through Flaming Gorge and the other canyons now flooded by the reservoir, as well as those who lived, trapped, farmed, or ranched along its banks. In depicting the river of the past, Webb considers his book “a guidebook for a river you can no longer run.”
Finalist for the Utah Book Award in Nonfiction.
Browse our collection.
See BiblioVault's publisher services.
Files for college accessibility offices.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press