The Emerald Mile - Kevin Fedarko

The Emerald Mile

By Kevin Fedarko

  • Release Date: 2013-05-07
  • Genre: United States
Score: 4.5
From 140 Ratings


From one of Outside magazine’s “Literary All-Stars” comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.

In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named “The Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd, but downright suicidal.

The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile.


  • The Emerald Mile

    By kidzbopkidd!
    Loved it. Makes me want to do something significant outside. Great book. Thought of during a long trail run yesterday and it motivated me and I ran an extra five miles.
  • Awesome book!

    By The then's
    We rafted down the Colorado a few years ago and had an amazing experience. We also toured and rafted Glen Canyon with the AICF. With this background, this book is truly an amazing read as we "know " where the events are taking plane and can only imagine the power with a water level of this magnitude. We love this book and have so much respect for the "river people" and their passion for the canyon!
  • A must read for river lovers

    By Smitt-y-z
    Simply one of the best books I've ever read. Gives great history of Gand Canyon, but not too much. The way author describes moving water is amazing.
  • Bk

    By Krulewi
    Amazing book blending beautiful writing with masterful story telling. A must read
  • Great book!!!

    By Stettty
    The author did a great job informing you and creating the scene perfectly. The story keeps you wanting more and making it harder to put the book down. Very good story and having grown up in Salt Lake City and visited lake Powell many times, this book hits home, I really enjoyed learning the history of the Colorado river, and the Grand Canyon. If your looking for a good book don't let this one pass you by. Well done.
  • The emerald mile

    By Broknt
    History,science,and crisis woven seamlessly.
  • Once I started reading, I could not put it down

    By lo4minpins
    I heard about "The Emerald Mile" through OAR's Facebook page. I downloaded the sample on IBooks and quickly realized that I would devour this book. In some ways, I feel like I piloted through the book like Grua, Petschek and Wren piloted that legendary Dory down the swollen Colorado in 1984. Now more than ever, I am committed to one day, take that trip from Lee's Ferry. This is the best book I have read in quite some time.
  • Hidden Gem

    By Paulxixx
    What to say, I read the sample of this book expecting it to be a decent outdoor. Adventure book about river running, but instead was hooked by end of sample finding book to be so much more than just that. It covers the history of the canyon going back to its first sighting by Spanish explorers, it covers the first exploratory trip down the river in the 1800's, it covers in amazing details the building of dams I. This country, not Just the 2 big ones along the Grand Canyon, but all throughout the country, it covers the personality and mindset of river guides in general, it goes into politics and environmentalism, it goes into engineering of the worlds largest "machines", dams.... You get the idea, this book is amazingly well researched and written and keeps moving through so much! I highly recommend it!!
  • Great Adventure(s)

    By WannabeAShotCalla
    Written in the vein of many educational adventure stories such as "The Mapmakers Wife" and Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods". The story tells not the just main adventure of the storyline regarding a group of renegades tackling the Colorado at the highest flow possible, but also the stories of the many adventures of history it took to get to that point. Educational and interesting. I wish all adventure stories were like this!