(Photos in this post were taken by Vera Marie or Ken Badertscher on a 1990 raft trip through the Grand Canyon, scanned from prints.)
Destination: Grand Canyon, USA
Book: The Grand Adventure: A True Story of Survival and Determination on an Amazing River Journey into the Grand Canyon and Other Canyons of the West, by Mark A. and Donna E. Hicks.
A Guest Post by Jessica Voigts with suggestions from her 8 year-old daughter, Lillie
It’s full of fascinating facts – want to know why one spot is called Disaster Falls? Did you know that Powell was interested in geology and the artifacts that he found?
It’s a tale of a journey of hardship, of perseverance, of learning about yourself and others, and about the power of hope and discovery. I love this book – the illustrations are both beautiful and realistic. It made me want to go the Grand Canyon (although with easier transportation).
Mark Hicks is one of my favorite authors/illustrators – he’s got a plethora of talent and a way of telling a story, in pictures and in words. Let’s talk with Mark about his new book.
Wandering Educators: Please tell us about your new book, The Grand Adventure.
Mark Hicks: The Grand Adventure is the true story of John Wesley Powell’s first expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers and through the Grand Canyon in 1869. This daring 1,000-mile journey is one of the great exploration adventures of the American West.
WE: What inspired you to write this book?
MH: I wanted to try and share with kids what it was like to go into a wild, unexplored area and be unsure if you would even come out alive. No maps, no GPS, no cell phones to call for help! The Colorado was a mighty river back then and the boats they went down in were so small. Imagine the courage and determination it took to do this — and John Wesley Powell only had one arm!
WE: What do you love most about the Grand Canyon – have you ridden in the river there?
MH: There’s just so much to love about the Canyon. I could go on for hours about its beauty, but I’ll keep it short. The North rim is my favorite side. A lot of the flora and fauna is unique to the area. It’s just so beautiful — especially at sunset and also during summer thunderstorms. And a thunderstorm at sunset on the North Rim of the Canyon, well, it’s nothing less than absolutely glorious.
To read the rest of the interview with author/illustrator Mark Hicks, please see the book review section at Wandering Educators.
Thanks for bringing us this author and this book, Jessie and Lillie. I have always been in awe of Powell’s accomplishment, but also have to laugh at how he and all the early explorers wrote off the Grand Canyon as worthless. Try to tell that to the tourism industry in the Grand Canyon State–Arizona! Ken and I were fortunate to take a river raft trip through the Canyon in 1990. Boats and food have definitely improved since Powell’s trip!
So, have you been to the Grand Canyon? What’s your favorite part?
Any comments on today’s post (up until Wednesday morning, Jan. 26) gives you a chance to win either book about another Arizona icon–Tombstone Postcards, or a copy of Under the Huang Jiao Tree, award winning book about China. And all comments through January 31 will enter you in the drawing for two nights at a Cambria Suites. See contest rules.
Jessica Voigts is a regular contributor to A Traveler’s Library, bringing us cultural inspirations for travel. Check out her bio on the contributor’s page to learn about her newest activities and see her website at Wandering Educators for travel info helpful to everyone.