Synopses & Reviews
For river lovers, paddling enthusiasts, history buffs, and everyone who likes stories of courage, strength, and adventure.
Amos Burg ran all the major rivers of the West when they still flowed freely and potential danger was just around the next bend.
Part early 20th-century history, part adventure, part biography of the West's first commercial outdoor guide.
"What is this thing in me that enables me to leave comforts and a wide variety of entertainments and feel a strange satisfaction wandering down a cheerless and indifferent river, enduring hardships and eating very little and exposed to all sorts of weather . . . tonight even as I sit shivering and listening to the patter of the rain, I see myself in many places all over the world, wandering like a gull on the winds, working with the ideals of Truth and Beauty as part of my vision to bring these things back with me for other people to see." Amos Burg, Yukon River, July 1928
Amos Burg (1901-1986), a native of Portland, Oregon, was the first to complete transits of the free-flowing, undammed Snake and Columbia Rivers by canoe, and in 1938 he became the first to navigate the length of the Colorado River in a rubber raft. In his daring explorations of waterways from the Southwest up through Canada and into Alaska, Burg is considered to be the only person known to have run all major Western rivers from source to mouth.
In The Last Voyageur: Amos Burg and the Rivers of the West author Vince Welch, himself a river guide, weaves a passionate and well-researched narrative using extensive material from Burg's own rich archives. History buffs, paddlers, and adventure readers alike will delight in this remarkable regional history of the larger-than-life Burg, a quintessential man of the American West and one of the last "voyageurs" of North America's great waterways.
"It will keep you on the edge of your easy chair. You'll want to read this Amos Burg book by Vince Welch more than once, that's for sure." Boatman's Quarterly Review
About the Author
Vince Welch's own life somewhat parallels his subject. He has been a skier, climber, surfer, and foremost a river runner. He was a boatman on Northwest rivers for several years before heading to the Colorado where he guided for Grand Canyon Dories — and first encountered the legend of Amos Burg. While retaining work as a seasonal guide, Welch lived in a variety of western locations, teaching ESL and writing. He has written for River magazine, The Utne Reader, Boatman's Quarterly Review (published by the Grand Canyon River Guides Association), and Mountain Gazette where he is currently a senior correspondent. Now in his sixties, he still is a part-time river guide on the Snake.