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Rock Hounds and River Rats: The 1937 Carnegie-CalTech Grand Canyon Expedition

February 7, 2020 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

In 1937, a team of CalTech geology professors and rough-and-tumble boatmen set out in three small wooden boats on a six-week journey through the Grand Canyon to study the ancient rocks of the canyon’s Inner Gorge. At the time, fewer than a dozen river parties had successfully run the canyon–often with a loss of boats or crew. Leveraging excerpts from several of the members’ trip journals, as well as original photographs and video footage, learn about the adventures, hardships, conflicts, and triumphs of this important early science expedition. Highlights include famous boatman Frank Dodge’s mishap in Upset Rapid and their on-river meeting with Buzz Holmstrom (the first person to run the canyon solo).

Erik Berg is an award-winning historian and writer with a special interest in the early twentieth century southwest. Raised in Flagstaff, Berg has been exploring, hiking, and researching the southwest for over twenty years. In addition to contributing to several books and numerous conferences, his work has appeared in the Journal of Arizona History, Arizona Highways, Astronomy, and Sedona Magazine. A past-president of the Grand Canyon Historical Society, Berg currently lives in Phoenix.


February 7, 2020
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
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Casa Grande Public Library
449 N. Dry Lake St.
Casa Grande, AZ 85122 United States
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(520) 421-8710
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