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Brave the wild river : the untold story of two women who mapped the botany of the Grand Canyon  Cover Image Book Book

Brave the wild river : the untold story of two women who mapped the botany of the Grand Canyon / Melissa L Sevigny.


"The riveting tale of two pioneering botanists and their historic boat trip down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon. In the summer of 1938, botanists Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter set off to run the Colorado River, accompanied by an ambitious and entrepreneurial expedition leader, a zoologist, and two amateur boatmen. With its churning waters and treacherous boulders, the Colorado was famed as the most dangerous river in the world. Journalists and veteran river runners boldly proclaimed that the motley crew would never make it out alive. But for Clover and Jotter, the expedition held a tantalizing appeal: no one had yet surveyed the plant life of the Grand Canyon, and they were determined to be the first. Through the vibrant letters and diaries of the two women, science journalist Melissa L. Sevigny traces their daring forty-three-day journey down the river, during which they meticulously cataloged the thorny plants that thrived in the Grand Canyon's secret nooks and crannies. Along the way, they chased a runaway boat, ran the river's most fearsome rapids, and turned the harshest critic of female river runners into an ally. Clover and Jotter's plant list, including four new cactus species, would one day become vital for efforts to protect and restore the river ecosystem. Brave the Wild River is a spellbinding adventure of two women who risked their lives to make an unprecedented botanical survey of a defining landscape in the American West, at a time when human influences had begun to change it forever"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780393868234
  • ISBN: 0393868230
  • Physical Description: 290 pages : illustrations, map ; 23 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prologue: Stranded -- On the Borders of Precipices -- Have You Seen That River? -- A Mighty Poor Place for Women -- There Goes the Mexican Hat! -- A Beautiful Pea-Green Boat -- Delayed -- Hell, Yes! What River? -- Paradise -- A Most Unusual and Hazardous Means -- A Hundred Personalities -- Lonely for the River -- Heaven As I Go Along -- Legendary -- Epilogue: A Woman's Place.
Subject: Clover, Elzada U., 1897-1980 > Travel > Arizona > Grand Canyon.
Jotter Cutter, Lois, 1914-2013 > Travel > Arizona > Grand Canyon.
Women travelers > Arizona > Grand Canyon > History > 20th century.
Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
Grand Canyon (Ariz.) > Discovery and exploration.
Nevills Expedition (1938)
Botany > Arizona > Grand Canyon > History > 20th century.
Plant collecting > Arizona > Grand Canyon > History > 20th century.
Scientific expeditions > Arizona > Grand Canyon > History > 20th century.
Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico) > Discovery and exploration.
Grand Canyon (Ariz.) > Description and travel.
Botanists > Biography.
Botanists > Arizona > Grand Canyon > Biography.
Nevills, Norman D., 1908-1949 > Travel > Arizona > Grand Canyon.
Genre: Travel writing.

Available copies

  • 3 of 4 copies available at Skagit Evergreen Libraries. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at La Conner Swinomish Library District. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at La Conner Regional Library.


  • 0 current holds with 4 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
La Conner Regional Library 578.09 SEVIGNY 113062 NON FICTION Available -

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