At age sixty-seven, Colin Fletcher, the guru of backpacking in America, undertook a rigorous six-month raft expedition down the full length of the Colorado River--alone. He needed "something to pare the fat off my soul...to make me grateful, again, for being alive." The 1,700 miles between the Colorado's source in Wyoming and its conclusion at Mexico's Gulf of California contain some of the most spectacular vistas on earth, and Fletcher is the ideal guide for the terrain. As his privileged companions, we travel to places like Disaster Falls and Desolation Canyon, observe beaver and elk, experience sandstorms and whitewater rapids, and share Fletcher's thoughts on the human race, the environment, and the joys of solitude.
Colin Fletcher, the author of the Grand Canyon classic The Man Who Walked Through Time, adds to his life list of desert voyages with a trip down the 1,700-mile-long Colorado River. From its sources in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming to its union with the Gulf of California, Fletcher traces the Colorado in an entertaining and often quite funny travelogue. More seriously, he ponders his own life's passage, musing on lost loves, the experience of war, the onset of old age, and impending mortality. Despite the title, other travelers have made this journey--devotees of the Colorado will know the writings of John Wesley Powell and the Kolb brothers, among others. That notwithstanding, Fletcher makes keen observations of the area's geology and wildlife, and of human behavior.