We Swam the Grand Canyon

Bill Beer, Author Mountaineers Books $15.95 (171p) ISBN 978-0-89886-151-8
April 10, 1955: the water temperature was 51F, and a fierce wind buffeted two men as they entered the Colorado River at Lees Ferry. The author and John Daggett had set out to swim the river through the Grand Canyon. At a time when fewer than 200 people had run the river in boats, this was daredeviltryand illegal. Their equipment was primitive: Army-surplus rubber boxes to carry gear, thin rubber shirts, woollen long johns and swim fins; they also took a movie camera to record the adventure. Twenty-six days and 280 miles later, bruised and battered, they left the river at Pierce Ferry. Beer relives the miseries and exhilaration of that singular journey, a gripping story of endurance. In an afterword, he discusses other, legal trips through the Grand Canyon (he has swum the occasional rapid from a boat) and assesses the present state of the environment; he has high praise for the Park Service. This will appeal to readers who enjoy adventure. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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