The first portion of “The Emerald Mile” focuses on the Spanish conquistadores’ discovery and history of the Colorado River, starting in Utah and highlighting the Grand Canyon portion. He outlines the efforts to protect and preserve the Canyon against forces of dam development. Fedarko finishes with telling the legend of the illegal “speed run” by the Emerald Mile river raft that still holds the all-time speed record on the 277-mile stretch of river from Glen Canyon to the Grand Wash Cliffs during the historic 1983 flood. It’s fast and engaging reading, much like the speed run, also giving a vivid picture of history, environmental conflict and the monumental building of the Glen Canyon dam. The Grand Canyon is our “national cathedral” and deserves all the protection from tourist overflights to other threats we can give it.
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