Here is one of America’s most compelling stories of exploration and bravery. In 1869, Major John Wesley Powell, despite having lost his right arm in the Civil War, outfitted a small party of men in wooden boats in Wyoming, and descended down into the then unknown Colorado River. Daring that mighty river for a thousand miles of huge, horrifying rapids, unsuspected dangers, and endless hardship, he and his men were the first to challenge
the mysterious Grand Canyon. As the story unfolds, told largely in Powell’s own words, we are awed anew by his description of the Canyon’s grandeur, our imagination is excited at his discoveries, and we are stunned and humbled at the human cost of attempting this perilous descent. The Tragedy at Disaster Falls, Indian encounters, the desertion and death of three of his party, and his final triumph are among the highlights of this stirring production. A keen scientist as well as explorer, Powell’s prophetic warning regarding the wise use of water in the arid Southwest is also a major theme of this powerful production.