Skip to main content

Mapping the Grand Canyon in 1923: The Birdseye Expedition, part 3

On September 18, rainstorms upriver caused an unexpected flood that caught the expedition by surprise. The men spent a sleepless night repeatedly moving their camp and the boats to higher ground as the river rose 14 feet. The water rose an additional 7 feet the next day (water volume went from 10,000 ft3/s to 125,000 ft3/s in 24 hours). The party had to wait three days for the river to go down far enough to expose their survey point so they could continue their work. When they finally arrived at Diamond Creek many days later than expected, they were shown newspaper headlines reading, "HOPE NOT GIVEN UP FOR RIVER PARTY!" (Westwood, 1992).

 

Dodge handling the surveyor's rod at Walthenburg Rapid
Dodge handling the surveyor's rod at Walthenburg Rapid(Public domain.)
Listening to the radio at Tapeats Creek
Listening to the radio at Tapeats Creek(Public domain.)
E.C. LaRue using a current meter to measure stream flow
E.C. LaRue (right) using a current meter to measure stream flow(Public domain.)
Portaging around rapids at Soap Creek
Portaging around rapids at Soap Creek(Public domain.)