Geology Tour of the Green River through Desolation Canyon
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Geology Tour of the Green River through Desolation Canyon

Deep in Lodore CanyonIn the wake of Powell

"July 7, 1869 - We find quiet water today, the river sweeping in great and beautiful curves, the canyon walls steadily increasing in altitude. The salient point of rock within the curve is usually broken down in a steep slope and we stop occasionally to climb up, at such a place, where, on looking down, we can see the river sweeping the foot of the opposite cliff. Late in the afternoon, we find the river much rougher, and come upon rapids, not dangerous, but still demanding close attention. We camp at night on the right bank, having made today twenty-six miles."
John Wesley Powell

150 years ago, (exactly to the date), John Wesley Powell entered a new canyon, one of "gray and brown cliffs", "ragged, broken walls", and "crags and tower-shaped peaks". He and his men, weary and whipped on day 40 of their epic journey, named it "The Canyon of Desolation."

Our encounter will share similar awe and observation, but hopefully less hardship and debacle, (somewhere in Desolation Canyon, Powell's expedition broke one oar, lost another, flipped a boat and lost two guns, a barometer, and two bedrolls). We'll find quiet water, come upon rapids, climb up, look down, and try to imagine what it was like for Powell and his men. Throughout it all, Dave Cook will be our tour guide. Dave knows a lot about rocks and deserts and history and hiking and John Wesley Powell. And he likes to share all that knowledge in a fun and accessible style. Even if you don’t think you are even remotely curious about geology or history, Dave is sure to find something to get you to think about. And once you start, well, we’re sure you’ll have a lot of questions.