National Geographic : 1955 May
Mule-wide Kaibab Suspension Bridge Is the Only Crossing in 217 Miles These riders follow south Kaibab Trail out of the Inner Gorge. Here the rise is so steep they must rest their mules about every quarter-mile. When the 440 foot span was built in 1928, laborers carried its cables like writhing serpents from rim to river. To cross the Colorado, Grand Canyon motorists must go to Hoover Dam or Navajo Bridge (map, page 596). Ray Manley, Western Ways farewells in good faith, each party felt sure the other had chosen certain death. Powell and his remaining men triumphantly emerged from the canyon the very next day. The three who quit the whirlpools had barely made their way out of the canyon when Indians killed them. Major Powell's bright imagination was re sponsible for many of the canyon's pictur esque place names. Discovering a muddy, odoriferous side stream above the canyon, he named it Dirty Devil river. Later, on finding a clear and beautiful creek flowing into the canyon, he wrote: "We have named one stream, away above, in honor of the great chief of the 'Bad Angels' and, as this is in beautiful contrast to that, we concluded to name it 'Bright Angel.'" By extension, we now have Bright Angel Point, Bright Angel Canyon, Bright Angel Fault, Bright Angel Shale, Bright Angel Trail, and Bright Angel Lodge. Paying Passengers Ride the Rapids As highways of commerce and communica tion, other rivers are servants to man; but not the Colorado though its Hoover Dam pro vides power and irrigation. Rivermen have catalogued 365 dangerous rapids, one for every day of the year. Emery Kolb was one of those who could not look upon the Colorado without longing to challenge it. Having faced its perils on three major runs, he is today the dean of Grand Canyon residents. From a window in his studio home, Kolb and his assistants photograph Bright Angel Trail parties. Today the river is so well charted and boats are so sturdy that experienced pilots take paying passengers down the canyon (pages 608-611). But when Kolb was run ning the rapids, a man took his life into his hands by venturing on the river. In 1911-12 Emery and his brother Ells worth made the first movies of the Colorado, from Green River, Wyoming, to Needles, California.* Those old films still draw crowds to the Kolb Brothers studio, and Emery has delivered more than 30,000 lectures. "Fifty years ago," he recalls, "Grand Canyon community was little more than the end of the line, where the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad let out its passengers. One excursion train brought 250 people, only * See "Experiences in the Grand Canyon," by Ells worth and Emery Kolb, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE, August, 1914.