Hey all you boat builders, there is a "new" book covering early Grand Canyon boating. Here's the gig:

Most Grand Canyon enthusiasts know of legendary historian and early river runner Dock Marston. What most river runners don't know is that Marston began to write a history of Grand Canyon river running in 1947. Marston assumed it would take six months. He quickly found that much of what had previously been recorded was incorrect and incomplete. Marston had still not quite finished his work before he died in 1979.

Marston resolved to compile as thorough a recounting of the first 100 river runners through the Grand Canyon as he possibly could, when many of the pioneering river runners from the late 1800s and early 1900s were still alive. Over thirty years of writing and research, Dock amassed a huge collection of first-person accounts of these river runners, from James White on a log raft in 1867 to the first powerboat runs of 1949 through 1951.

Marston ran rivers throughout the American west from the 1940s to the 1970s. His first cruise through Grand Canyon was in 1942. Dock ran on the lowest and highest flows on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. He also ran many types of watercraft from a one-man Sportyak, through sadiron cataract boats, a decked dory, and a variety of power boats.

Author Tom Martin edited the Marston manuscript and worked with the Marston family and the Huntington Library to obtain permission to publish the work.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 10, 1909: Business with Pleasure, where Marston describes Seymour Sylvester Dubendorff's calamitous run of the rapid that now bears his name:

"Having successfully run the primeval fury without a boat, Dubendorff crawled out near the foot and came down to help bail. He "...looked like Hell." Blood was streaming down over his face from a 1½-inch gash where the boat had hit him on the forehead and he had sprained a knee. Gritty as a flapjack rolled in sand, he exclaimed, "I'd like to try that again. I know I can run it." Nature had surely wrapped Dubendorff's skin around a real man."

This soft cover book is 532 pages long. The price is $30.00, plus shipping. You can order this softcover book from the publisher at www.vishnutemplepress.com

Happy reading and boating! Yours, tom

Tom Martin
PO Box 30821
Flagstaff, AZ, 86001

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The book is in hand, the rain is falling outside, the red chair is comfortable and the priority for the day is set!

Thanks, Tom!


Hey Ants, i'll be interested to know what you think as you get into it. yours, tom

Well, congratulations to Tom for a job well done.

At 532 pages, I have not finished the book, but I am slowly assimilating the material. I like history and the best examples come from well written sources (such as this book). Despite the impression a student may get in intermediate or high school, history is never a clearly defined subject. As the research covers recorded events from 150 (plus) years ago, this book shows the difficulty in understanding written material. For those not familiar with contradicting information, the 1867 events of James White should be an eye opener.

In using the term assimilate instead of reading, the information in this book is melded (confused) in my mind with recent readings about AZ history, CA history, the Santa Fe Trail, and writings about the prehistoric natives of the area. With time, the events described in different books begins to show some connection. It is great as that happens.

In addition to this book, my Grand Canyon related bookshelf accumulated about a dozen books in the last view months.

Let the learning begin.

Thanks again to Tom and all the people who supported his effort to get this book in print as well as numerous related ones he published.


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