© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Up To Date

The Fastest Ride in History Though the Heart of the Grand Canyon

Simon & Schuster

In the spring of 1983, the convergence of the largest El Niño event on record, a massive snowmelt and a desperate scramble to avoid a catastrophic dam failure saw three men create a legend.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Kevin Fedarko, author of The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Though the Heart of the Grand Canyon. Fedarko tells the story of the three river guides who, in an act of defiance, ran the Colorado River in conditions so severe that park rangers were conducting the largest helicopter evacuation in the history of Grand Canyon National Park. We learn what sent these men into the roiling waters of the Colorado in a wooden dory christened The Emerald Mile.

Hear in KC: Kevin Fedarko speaks about his book on Thursday evening September 5 at 6:30 at the National Archives in Kansas City, 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo. You can RSVP for the talk: 816 268 8010 or write kansascity.educate@nara.gov


Credit Simon & Schuster

  • Kevin Fedarko lives in northern New Mexico and works as a part-time river guide in Grand Canyon National Park. In addition to his travel narratives in Outside, where he worked as a senior editor, Fedarko’s work has appeared in Esquire, National Geographic Adventure, and other publications, and has been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing in 2004 and 2006. Fedarko was a staff writer at Time magazine from 1991 to 1997, where his work helped garner an Overseas Press Club Award for a story on the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Fedarko earned a Masters of Philosophy in Russian history at Oxford in 1990.
Up To Date
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.