PIECES OF WHITE SHELL, A JOURNEY TO NAVAJOLAND

FEATURED BOOK OF THE WEEK:

PIECES OF WHITE SHELL, A JOURNEY TO NAVAJOLAND
by Terry Tempest Willliams

This map can be purchased at the CRATE BOOKSTORE for $14.95

A warm, sensitive, informative, and delightful journey to the land of the Navajo through the art of storytelling. The author recounts the myths, legends, and beliefs of the Navajo people and leads us to know the importance of such tradition in sustaining the people though times of change. The stories tie the people to their land. Terry shows us how we can find our own history, our own traditions, our sense of how to live well. Recipient of many literary awards, including best non-fiction, American Southwest Literature, 1986.


GRAND CANYON MAP & GUIDE

FEATURED BOOK OF THE WEEK:

GRAND CANYON MAP & GUIDE
by Bronze Black

This map can be purchased at the CRATE BOOKSTORE for $10.00

The Grand Canyon Map and Guide is a comprehensive resource for Grand Canyon National Park, covering the entire Grand Canyon from Lake Powell to Lake Mead.  It contains a thorough review of geology, plants, animals, and human history.  Beautiful color photographs illustrate many features and key locations.  It is great for sightseeing and perfect for a day hike, backpack trip, or raft adventure!  This map has been used in educational exhibits in Grand Canyon National Park as well as the National Geographic Visitor Center near Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon Map and Guide labels all of the major side canyons, Colorado River rapids, points along the rim and all the major buttes, and temples within the

Grand Canyon. Author, Bronze Black has combined his background in geology, graphic design, and river running to produce this unique, compact, and educational map.  2nd edition 2008, 22 x 30 inch poster, folds to 4.5 x 11 inches, water-proof, tearproof.


THE EXPLORATION OF THE COLORADO RIVER AND ITS CANYONS

FEATURED BOOK OF THE WEEK:

THE EXPLORATION OF THE COLORADO RIVER AND ITS CANYONS
by J.W. Powell

This book can be purchased at the CRATE BOOKSTORE for $12.95

Complete reprint of “Canyons of the Colorado” 1895 edition, with supplementary map. This was the first published account in book format of Powell’s 1869 discovery journey down the Green and Colorado Rivers. 150 illustrations and photographs. Dover Publications.


THE COLORADO RIVER: FLOWING THROUGH CONFLICT

FEATURED BOOK OF THE WEEK:

THE COLORADO RIVER: FLOWING THROUGH CONFLICT

Text By: Jonathan Waterman
Photography By: Peter McBride

This book can be purchased at the CRATE BOOKSTORE for
$27.95 – Signed Copies Available

Supplying vital water to more than 30 million Americans living in the arid West, the Colorado River is one of the most diverted, dammed, and heavily litigated rivers in the world. In full-color photo essay format, The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict, follows the river’s epic 1,450- mile journey from its headwaters high in the Colorado Rockies to its dried-up delta touching the Sea of Cortez. With striking photography and authoritative prose, Peter McBride and Jonathan Waterman illuminate the historical, geographical, and environmental significance of this life-giving river.

 


Anatomy of the Grand Canyon

Anatomy of the Grand Canyon by W. Kenneth Hamblin

This book can be purchased at the CRATE BOOKSTORE for

$49.95

If you have been looking for an informative geology book with a lot of big colorful photos, then this is the book you want.  The book takes panorama size photos of different locations within the Grand Canyon, and in small text labels the rock layers and names of different features.  With each photo a couple of paragraphs help in explaining what is happening in the photo.  The book includes both photos from the Colorado River and from the rims looking down.  This is a great book for someone who is going to the Grand Canyon for the first time, as well as a river guide who has been down the river over 100 times.  This is a must have book for anyone interested in Geology, rafting the Grand Canyon, hiking the Grand Canyon or exploring the points on the rims.


LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM NATURE-DEFICIT DISORDER

FEATURED BOOK OF THE WEEK:

LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM NATURE-DEFICIT DISORDER

by Richard Louv

$14.95

In his landmark work Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv brought together cutting-edge studies that pointed to direct exposure to nature as essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. Now this new edition updates the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in children’s lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv’s message has galvanized an international back-to-nature campaign. His book will change the way you think about our future and the future of our children.

This book can be purchased by following the Western Americana link found in the Colorado River & Trail Expedition’s online store.

In honor of Nature Deficit Disorder, we are giving a greatly discounted rate on our 2012 Desolation Canyon Rafting Trips.  This trip is a great multi-generational river trip because it offers activities and excitement for all ages.  Visit www.crateinc.com for trip dates.


MAPS OF THE ALSEK & TATSHENSHINI RIVERS

FEATURED BOOK OF THE WEEK:

MAPS OF THE ALSEK & TATSHENSHINI RIVERS
$10.00

Drawn to scale directly from topographic maps, the entire Alsek River was reduced to fit on one sheet. The Tatshenshini River was oriented to also fit in its entirety on the reverse side, providing convenient reference to both rivers.

Alsek River: 1:400,000 scale
Tatshenshini River: 1:250,000 scale

This book can be purchased by following the Alaska Maps and Guides link found in  Colorado River & Trail Expedition’s online store.


Kayaking the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Kayaking

Grand Canyon Kayaking

The first person to kayak the Grand Canyon was Alexander Zee Grant in 1941. There are photos of Grant’s boat at http://www.gcrivermuseum.org/river-heritage/the-boats/escalante/ Currently the Grand Canyon Heritage Coalition is gathering money to help fund a river history museum at Grand Canyon National Park. The museum will put on display all of the historic boats. The webpage has a lot of great information. The following Paragraph is taken directly from the Grand Canyon Heritage Coalition Website:

“Grant, in preparation, worked with Jack Kissner to produce a custom “sixteen-and-a-half foot, folding, rubber-covered battleship,” with “bulbous ends carved from balsa wood, and huge sausage-like sponsons along the sides, made from inner tubes of Fifth Avenue bus tires.” For added buoyancy he crammed in eight additional inner tubes and five beach balls. He named it the Escalante. Grant kayaked every rapid except Hermit and Lava Falls. In 1960 Walter Kirschbaum became the first person to paddle a rigid kayak through Grand Canyon, as well as the first to kayak every rapid without portage.”

Now to answer some common questions about kayaking in the Grand Canyon:

Why kayaking the grand canyon is such a special experience?

The Grand Canyon is the greatest place on Earth, and there is no better way to see it than via the Colorado River. The Colorado River winds 278 miles through the Grand Canyon. Along its way the river encounters over 150 named rapids, over 100 great off-river hiking opportunities, and at its deepest point you are about a mile deep in the gorge, surrounded by Vishu Schist rock that is almost 2 billion years old. Kayaking along the way is the icing on the cake. The river averages a drop of only 8 feet per mile, but 90% of that drop is in the rapids. This makes for big whitewater with nice recovery zones. Waves routinely reach 10-15 feet high and in Hermit, Granite, Crystal, Sockdolager, and Lava Falls they get even bigger. Everything about being right next to the water in a kayak is special. One of my fondest memories of kayaking in the Grand Canyon was running the last 10 miles of rapids solo. I just remember the sun glaring off the water before each rapid and having Johnny Cash songs spinning through my head, especially “Down, Down, Down into a burning ring of fire.” The whitewater is just part of the experience though, the camping, off-river hiking, and companionship of those on the river really add to the trip. I work for Colorado River & Trail Expeditions(www.crateinc.com), and we make a point of making the most of each day by getting up early and taking as many off-river hikes as possible. The other things that are great about the Grand Canyon is that it doesn’t have bugs and mosquitoes, it has an ideal climate for kayaking because the weather is typically hot and dry, and if you get hot, you can always take a dip in the cold 50 degree water. Camping along the river is luxurious, we bring cots for our guests, getting them off of the sand and away from the bugs. The night sky is another great thing about any Grand Canyon trip. The area is relatively free of light pollution and looking at the stars, moon, planets, and meteors from this amazing place is definitely a special experience. Through 10×50 binoculars you can see the Andromeda Galaxy which is a spiral galaxy about 2.5 million light-years from earth. During full moons you can see your shadow and I sometimes lead full moon hikes, taking in the night view and seeing animals you may not see during the day.

The best part of Kayaking the Grand Canyon?

It has to be facing Lava Falls rapid which is the biggest rapid on the Colorado River. Right before the rapid you can look up and see a small window on river right in the Basalt called the “eye of oden.” It is good luck to look at the eye. Then you are in the rapid. In a 37′ Motorized raft the rapid is exhilarating, in a kayak it is beyond words. The route one takes depends on water level. The right side generally gives the bigger ride, but many people who decide to run left lose their bearing and go straight into the “Ledge Hole.” On my last Grand Canyon trip this year we were eating lunch below the behemoth rapid when suddenly two 18′ Oar boats floated by us with their aluminum frames ripped off by flipping in the Ledge Hole. If you are running right you have to make it past the “Ledge Hole”, through the “v-wave”, stay off the “Black Rock” and survive the “Tail Waves.” If you run left you have to not lose your bearing on where the “Ledge Hole” is and make it past the “Chub Hole.”

And what sort of skill level you’d need to have – is there anyway a beginner could do it?

The Colorado River is a big volume river with gigantic waves and huge holes, but it has great recovery zones, and it is not really technical. Most of the rapids in Grand Canyon would be rated class III and Class IV with Lava Falls and Crystal possibly becoming class V at certain water levels. The first time I kayaked the entire Colorado through the Grand Canyon I did not have a lot of river experience, but I spent time in the pool perfecting my Eskimo roll until I could do a “Beer Roll.” A beer roll is where you roll over in your kayak without a paddle. You take an unopened beer or soda over with you. While you are upside down you open the can with one of your hands then slide it across the upside down kayak to the other hand. Then you roll the kayak without spilling your drink and enjoy your prize when you come upright. The Eskimo roll turned out to be very important on that first kayak run through Grand Canyon. I never swam, but I rolled the kayak multiple times in many of the rapids.

This article was written by Walker Mackay, a guide at Colorado River & Trail Expeditions


A Field Guide to the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Field Guide

A Must Have For Grand Canyon Rafters

FEATURED BOOK OF THE WEEK

A FIELD GUIDE TO THE GRAND CANYON
by Stephen Whitney, 2nd edition (soft cover)

$19.95

An extremely comprehensive field guide for Grand Canyon rafters that includes birds, wildflowers, cacti, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies, trees and shrubs, ferns, rocks, and fish. Also includes information on fossils, human artifacts, canyon history, climate, trails and visitor facilities. Illustrated with color photographs. This book can be purchased by following the Grand Canyon Maps and Guides link in Colorado River & Trail Expedition’s online store.