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Manual SUMMER OF 65 (GREEN RIVER STORIES)

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Green River Ferry Improvement Projects

Toward Lake Forest Park, grading and vegetation control mean better views of glittering Lake Washington over lakefront homes. Still, trail traffic is lighter than in the city. The mile-long trail is a charming ribbon, in many places right above the river. But because the river flow is controlled by Howard Hanson Dam in the Cascade foothills, the water never approaches your wheels.

The Green River curves and winds and curves again, resulting in a delightful meandering ride. I like to begin at the Tukwila Community Center. The trail runs behind warehouses before breaking out into farmland and then into Kent. There, the trail connects to the Interurban Trail, on which you can continue south into Auburn. To make a loop of it, bike through Auburn and pick up Green River Road, which takes you to an intermittent trail along the river and back to the junction. When again meeting the Interurban at 29 miles on the odometer, I suggest returning via the Green River Trail to the start.

If urban or suburban cycling seem too busy or easy, head north to Snohomish County and try the rural Centennial Trail. Picnic at the Lake Cassidy rest stop, about 12 miles from Snohomish, detouring a few blocks into Lake Stevens for refreshments along the way. They probably attained their serpentine shape while cutting in softer, younger material, which long ago was removed by erosion, and then continued to cut their crooked channels down, until they created the deep rock-walled canyons in which they now flow as "entrenched" meanders.

Meandering streams tend to shorten their lengths from time to time by cutting through narrow walls between adjacent loops, leaving abandoned horseshoe-shaped channels or lakes. In most of the United States these are known as oxbows or cutoff meanders, but in the desert Southwest they are commonly called by the Spanish term "rincon.

Thus, there have been many natural and several manmade cutoffs along the lower Mississippi during historic times, but the most recent ones along the Green and upper Colorado Rivers probably occurred a million or so years ago, during the Pleistocene Epoch figs. Mark Twain served several years as an expert riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River during which several cutoffs took place. Chapter 27 of his "Life on the Mississippi" contains sage references to both natural and artificial cutoffs and concludes with a few good-natured jibes at geologists in particular and scientists in general:.

Therefore the Mississippi between Cairo and New Orleans was twelve hundred and fifteen miles long one hundred and seventy six years ago. It was eleven hundred and eighty after the cutoff of It was one thousand and forty after the American Bend cut-off. It has lost sixty-seven miles since. Consequently, its length is only nine hundred and seventy-three miles at present. Now, if I wanted to be one of those ponderous scientific people, and "let on" to prove what had occurred in the remote past by what had occurred in a given time in the recent past, or what will occur in the far future by what has occurred in late years, what an opportunity is here!

Geology never had such a chance, nor such exact data to argue from! Nor "development of species," either! Please observe:.

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In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of alderman.

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. Much more has been written about the Green River and the main stem of the Colorado than about the Colorado above the confluence the former Grand River , because all but one of the early float trips began on the Green. The first reports concerning Powell's memorable voyages of and were his articles published in Scribners Monthly during and followed by his formal report "Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and Its Tributaries. Events which actually occurred in and are reported as happening in There is no mention of the personnel of the party, nor is there an indication that there even was a second trip.

The engravings illustrating the report were made from photographs taken by Beaman and Hillers between and , but this fact is not noted. For these reasons, Porter's account contains Powell's diary of the first trip and many of the missing photographs, plus his own beautiful color prints. Much more complete and accurate accounts of the voyage than those of Powell, including many of the photographs taken by Beaman and Hillers, were given by Dellenbaugh , , who was a member of Powell's expedition.

Numerous river trips were undertaken in the years following Powell's pioneering expeditions. The ill-fated Brown-Stanton voyage of included starts on both the Grand and the Green Rivers. See section on "Colorado River. Trappers Charles S. Russell, E. Dellenbaugh's book was carried by the Kolb brothers as a guide for their trip down the river Kolb, In addition to making superb still photographs, the Kolb brothers took the first moving pictures in the canyons, and these are still being shown in the Kolb Studio on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Julius F. Stone and party traversed the canyons in , and his account also contains excellent photographs.

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LaRue, of the U. Geological Survey, and assistants made two trips down the Green and Colorado Rivers in and and additional trips from through Their comprehensive hydrographic findings and studies, plus excellent photographs, are given in two reports La Rue, , The report also contains p.

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River mileages in this log were taken from detailed topographic maps of both rivers prepared under the direction of Herron We will visit only a few notable features of the canyons; the mile-by-mile details for the Green River can be obtained from Mutschler , and those for the Colorado River, from Baars and Molenaar , p.

Several other references are given below, and additional ones are given by Rabbitt , p. The upper photograph in figure 62 was taken by Beaman on September 10, , looking eastward from the west end of the narrow saddle separating the upper and lower reaches of the river; the lower photograph was taken from the same point on August 19, , by Hal G. Stephens nearly 97 years later. Although there are changes in the vegetation, as described in the caption, there are virtually no visible changes in the bedrock. Nevertheless, the distant future will likely see a breakthrough, whereby Green River will shorten itself by about 7 miles Herron, , pl.

It is interesting to note that the vertical cliffs of Wingate Sandstone in and west of Bowknot Bend are only a few hundred feet above the river, whereas because of the gentle northward dip of the beds and the gentle southward grade of the rivers, the Wingate cliffs are more than 2, feet above the two rivers at Grand View Point and Junction Butte, at the southern tip of Island in the Sky.

At the mouth of Horseshoe Canyon, about 3 miles below Bowknot Bend, we pass a large rincon where the Green River shortened its course by about 3 miles. Some idea of the rincon's antiquity is gained from the facts that the river is now some feet lower than at cutoff time, whereas Bowknot Bend fig. This rincon was not noted by Powell or other early voyagers, seemingly because they did not happen to climb the banks at this point, but it is quite noticeable on modern topographic maps and on aerial photographs. Stone , p.


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Wheeler at Green River , record, and photograph the inscription shown in figure Mutschler , p. A similar inscription by Julien was found in Cataract Canyon, 31 miles below the confluence, but it is now covered by Lake Powell Mutschler, , p. The National Park Service had three successful test wells put down in Taylor Canyon, and water under artesian pressure was found in the White Rim Sandstone at depths of to feet. When funds become available, they hope to complete one or more of these wells and pump the water up to Island in the Sky, where two dry holes were drilled earlier.

About miles below Upheaval Canyon is an interesting ruin on a hill in the middle of a large nearly closed loop of the river enclosing Fort Bottom. This was noted by Dellenbaugh during Powell's trip and was described in more detail by Mutschler , p. The ruin consists of two, two-story, interconnected, crudely circular towers, and a third separate, completely collapsed tower, built on the summit of the bluff with a commanding view downriver and of Fort Bottom.

Other collapsed structures are present on the summit, and a slab-lined cist is present beneath the Moss Back ledge west of the towers. The ruin was built of dry laid masonry and most of the mud plaster on the inside has been washed away, leaving the structure in danger of imminent collapse. Please do not climb the walls! At about the mouth of Millard Canyon, we leave Labyrinth Canyon and enter Stillwater Canyon, aptly named by members of the Powell voyage Dellenbaugh, , p. From here Powell's men observed a butte to the southwest thought to resemble a fallen cross and named it "Butte of the Cross.

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Although some rincons are more recent, they are along minor tributaries such as Indian Creek fig. The cutoff at Anderson Bottom probably took place during the Pleistocene Epoch, whereas most of the others along the main rivers probably occurred during the Tertiary Period fig. An aerial view of the Anderson Bottom rincon is shown in figure 65, and a sketch of the drainage change is shown in figure This feature was noted and correctly interpreted by Powell and his men, who applied the name Bonita Bend to the sharp new course the river took after the cutoff.

Continuing through Stillwater Canyon, we pass Turks Head figs. Figure 67 shows the canyon just west of the confluence.

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The lowest and largest cliff above the river is the upper member of the Hermosa Formation, overlain by the slopes and thin ledges of the Rico Formation. The massive sandstone at the top of the canyon wall is the Cedar Mesa. Junction Butte and Grand View Point are on the right skyline.


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  • We have already viewed the confluence and Cataract Canyon from the land and from the air figs. As indicated earlier, all but one of the early river voyages began on the Green River. The Grand Colorado River above the confluence was neglected for some 18 years after Powell's second voyage, until, in , Frank M. Brown organized a company for construction of the proposed Denver, Colorado Canyon, and Pacific Railway. This railroad was to carry coal from mines in Colorado over a "water-level" line through the canyons of the Colorado River to the Gulf of California some 1, miles away; from there the coal would presumably be shipped to ports as far north as San Francisco Dellenbaugh, , p.

    On March 26, , Brown, president, F. Kendrick, chief engineer, and T. DS: If you could swap places with one teammate, who would it be and why? SM: I would swap places with Olivia Champ. She is one of the best riders I have ever seen and demonstrates such great horsemanship. She truly loves the horses and has a great passion for the sport, plus is an all-around great person. DS: Outside of sports, what are you most passionate about?

    However, having taken various classes with the engineering and economics departments I realized that my main overarching goal would be to solve worldwide problems that would make a positive impact on others. For instance, I have been working closely with Ideas For Action, a joint program of the World Bank and the Wharton Business School that is centered around financing development programs and implementing the sustainable development goals. DS: What would be your best advice to your year-old self?

    SM: I would tell myself to take it a bit easier on myself. I have always tried hard to be a perfectionist, which I think can be a positive and negative thing at times. My attention to detail and commitment has definitely helped me be where I am today and strive to be in the future. So, although I would tell myself to continue to work as hard I would also tell myself to not be afraid of try new things and challenges because that is what makes you grow and improve. DS: Other than your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life?

    She is one of the most hardworking, talented and driven people that I have ever seen. She knows her self-worth and exudes confidence.