The Incredible Journeys End


Hear the narration:

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After 99 days, 1,000 miles and 500 rapids, our journey has finally ended on this day, August 30, 1869. We arrive at the mouth of the Virgin River in Arizona, and are met by three men and a young boy who calls to us by name. These men, members of a nearby Mormon community, explain that they were expecting us to arrive, though they feared we might be dead. Various newspaper articles circulated that everyone in my Colorado River Expedition had perished weeks before. These men tell us that their Mormon leader, Brigham Young, had told them to watch daily for us to arrive, or more than likely our bodies and the wreckage of our boats. Tonight, we stay in a small Mormon settlement right below the Grand Canyon in Nevada and enjoy a meal fit for kings. We have not had a decent meal since we left Green River, Wyoming, more than three months ago. We enjoy fish, squash, cheese, melons and biscuits.

Our expedition began with four boats and 10 men and has just ended with two boats and six men. I am overcome with joy and feel fortunate to have come out of the canyon with my life. My brother and I, Bradley, Sumner, Hall and Hawkins have tackled treacherous waters and have succeeded when others said it should not be done and simply could not be done. This exploration has been my greatest adventure of all time. Canyons and creeks that were previously unknown will now be known, and known by the names I have given them.