We Need Diverse Ya Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | Today, 11:10am

    Lidia Yuknavitch: IMG Suffer the Children

    A fellow writer wants to know more about something I've written, something centering on a child's body at the center of the storm of war. She asks,... Continue »
    1. $17.49 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      The Small Backs of Children

      Lidia Yuknavitch 9780062383242

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
2 Remote Warehouse Travel- US Western States

Rough-Water Man: Elwyn Blake's Colorado River Expeditions


Rough-Water Man: Elwyn Blake's Colorado River Expeditions Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The passage of the 1902 Reclamation Act created a mandate for the federal government to build dams on the Colorado River and its powerful tributaries. By 1920 the US Geological Survey had surveyed the river’s main courses, but still needed accurate charts of the last stretches of deep canyons and white-water rapids, accessible only by boat.

Rough-Water Man is the first detailed account of these mapping expeditions by the USGS--the San Juan Canyon in 1921, the upper Green River in 1922, and the Grand Canyon in 1923. Illustrated throughout with period photographs, it is also the personal story of twenty-four-year-old Henry Elwyn Blake Jr., the only boatman to crew on each of the three trips, evolving from novice waterman to expert rapids runner.

Drawing on Blake’s diaries, as well as the writings of other USGS surveyors, Rough-Water Man conveys the danger and hardships of navigating these waters with heavy wooden boats and oars. Even today, in rubber pontoons, traversing these canyons is an awesome and exhilarating experience. When Blake and his companions surveyed it, the Colorado ran free and wild from Wyoming to the Sea of Cortez. Westwood gives us mile-by-mile and day-by-day accounts of running these rapids before their canyons were flooded and waters tamed, before the rivers had ever been charted.  


Exploring the Colorado, Green, and San Juan River canyons in the 1920s 

About the Author

Richard Westwood is the nephew of Henry Elwyn Blake. He is the coauthor of Neil Westwood: A Biography and author of Chompin' at the Bit, a story about growing up in Moab, Utah. An avid river runner and environmentalist, he lives in Scottsdatle, AZ.

Product Details

Westwood, Richard E.
University of Nevada Press
United States / West / Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, UT, WY)
History of Science-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
5 maps 25 photographs
9 x 6 x 0.5 in 0.5 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » Rivers Lakes Waterways and Mountains
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Travel » North America » United States » Western States

Rough-Water Man: Elwyn Blake's Colorado River Expeditions New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.95 In Stock
Product details 282 pages University of Nevada Press - English 9780874179149 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Exploring the Colorado, Green, and San Juan River canyons in the 1920s 
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.