By Kristy McCaffrey
|Elzada Clover (standing) and Lois Jotter (facing|
Georgie White was the first woman river guide in the Grand Canyon. In 1955 she began taking customers down the Colorado River in a large rubber raft of her own design. These rigs were 37 feet long, 27 feet wide and consisted of strapping three large inflatable boats together, then mounting a 10-horsepower outboard motor on the rear of the middle boat. This mode was controversial, as those who ran the rapids in wooden dories held disdain for her methods. However, she was able to take paying customers en mass, introducing the rapids and the Grand Canyon to an entirely new group of people. Her effect on the river was tremendous. In 1955 only 70 people floated down the Colorado. By 1972, the number had risen to an astounding 16,400.
|Georgie White, first woman river guide|
in the Grand Canyon.
A famous and unsolved mystery in the Grand Canyon involves a young couple named Glen and Bessie Hyde. They married in 1928 and shortly thereafter embarked on a grand adventure—a boat trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on a homemade scow. Bessie would be the first woman to attempt to ride the river. In November of 1928, about a month after they had set out, their scow was found floating and empty. No trace of them has ever been found.
|Glenn and Bessie Hyde, who disappeared on the|
Colorado River in 1928. Their bodies were never
And now, a fun snake story. In There's this River... Grand Canyon Boatman Stories edited by Christa Sadler, river guide Teresa Yates Matheson describes a trip she took on the Colorado River with her mother. Having set up camp along the shoreline earlier in the day, Teresa was shocked to find a guest at the bottom of her sleeping bag that evening. What felt like a coiled rope soon began moving up the length of her body. In an effort not to alarm her mother, and possibly startle the snake, she remained still and quiet until the reptile exited her bag, the rattles brushing past her face. Thankfully, they soon corralled the critter and moved him upstream.
Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence.