The Emerald Mile

  • by Kevin Fedarko
  • Narrated by Paul Michael Garcia
  • 17 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 15 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Amazing, but not so captivating

I love non-fiction adventure stories with some of my all-time favorites being Unbroken, The River of Doubt, The Boys in the Boat, Miracle in the Andes, Endurance, and In the Kingdom of Ice. So, I was really looking forward to this book. The story is compelling and the author does a fantastic job of tying together the discovery of the grand canyon, the development of hydro-electric power in the U.S., the environmental movement in the U.S., and the lifestyles of hard core river rats. All the ingredients seem to exist for this story to be as compelling as those named above, but it fell short for me. I can't really put my finder on the reason, but I really didn't care about any of the many many characters who play a part in the story. I just didn't feel invested because each faction appeared to take an extreme position with no respect for the other side. Unless you have a deep interest in the canyon, hydro-electric power, or whitewater rafting, I suggest that you'll get more entertainment from one of the stories listed above.
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- Anon E Mouse

Awesome story and history of the Grand Canyon!

This is the first audiobook I have ever listened to that wasn't directed at my young kids. Given my own challenge with listening, I followed a written copy of the book at the same time.
This is a tremendous story - great character development, excellent detailing, a thought-provoking read on the trade offs of wilderness and modern society.
The only drawback was that the reader fairly frequently was reading things that differed from the book, in some cases quite substantially. I found this quite disconcerting. Being a detail person, I was left wondering what version was correct.
I would highly recommend this book to others who love the outdoors, wilderness and the power of moving rivers. I greatly enjoyed it!
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- Mike

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-04-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.