Download The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History through the Heart of the Grand Canyon Audiobook

The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History through the Heart of the Grand Canyon Audiobook, by Kevin Fedarko Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kevin Fedarko Narrator: Richard Powers Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2014 ISBN: 9781481509084
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (3 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $22.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

From one of Outside magazine's "Literary All-Stars" comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.

In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named the Emerald Mile at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd but downright suicidal.

The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • A magical convergence of words and paper, wood and water, rock and sky, human character and cosmic caprice. Can an adventure story be as beautiful as it is heart-stopping and exciting? This one is.”

    Bob Shacochis, National Book Award–winning author

  • “A great American tall tale that just happens to be true…An instant classic of adventure literature—a story shot through with bravura but also touched by the rarest kind of grandeur.”

    Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Re-creates an incredible voyage through the flood-swollen Grand Canyon in such heart-pounding detail that you need to pause every few pages to catch your breath.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Magnificent.”

    Cleveland Plain-Dealer

  • “An engrossing meditation on the eternal struggle between man and nature.”

    Pittsburg Post-Gazette

  • “Fedarko tells a satisfying story that is quite an entertaining ride.”

    Deseret News

  • “Brilliant…You’ll feel yourself lurching along with them on wooden boats, in ocher-hued canyons, beneath cobalt skies.”

    Mountain magazine

  • “A labor of passion from an adventurous journalist who still calls the Grand Canyon home.”

    Boulder Weekly

  • “Will have you poised on the edge of your seat like a high-sider at Lava Falls.”

    Durango Telegraph

  • “The river…and the canyon, rich in both geological and political history, prove to be the real protagonists.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An epic-sized true-life adventure tale that appeals to both the heart and the head.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Paul Michael Garcia grabs listeners’ attention right away with his ominous tone…Garcia’s graceful voice works well for the descriptions of the canyon’s beauty…Garcia delivers the drama of the run itself with every word, for an edge-of-the-seat thrill.”


  • A New York Times bestseller

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 3.333333 out of 53.333333 out of 53.333333 out of 53.333333 out of 53.333333 out of 5 Marty | 2/5/2020

    " "The Emerald Mile" is a must-listen not just for anyone visiting the Grand Canyon, but also for those who live or travel to any region of the Southwestern United States, where unprecedented economic development has been made possible by the construction of large-scale hydroelectric projects that seek to reign-in natural forces as formidable as the Colorado River. Fedarko gives fair treatment to the historical events that led colonial Spaniards, wiry-bearded John Wesley Powell, 20th Century hydrological engineers, and ultimately, a band of intrepid river guides, trained in dory boating by the legendary American conservationist Martin Litton, to explore and become enraptured by Grand Canyon country. Although the epic speed record has been broken--and further attempts to break the current record are ongoing--this narrative is a relevant as ever, because the crew of the Emerald Mile and listeners alike must navigate the opposing forces of American economic growth and "America?s Best Idea," which are like the rapids of a river, endlessly churning in chaotic opposition. The narrator?s reading style is a little lofty for a book about the hardscrabble canyon country, and his pronunciations of some place names and proper nouns may sound a little too academic to ears that are familiar with the region, but it is a good performance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michele | 9/21/2016

    " Great book for anyone interested in the grand canyon and it's boating history. It's a story about the fastest run through the grand canyon but the background on the dam and the history of river running is great. Very well written and read "

About the Author

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 Master of Philosophy in Russian history at Oxford in 1990.

About the Narrator

R. C. Bray is an award-winning audiobook narrator with over 180 titles to his credit. Besides winning five AudioFile Earphones Awards, he won the prestigious Audie Award in 2015 for Best Science Fiction Narration and has been an Audie Award finalist seven times. He has been a finalist for the Voice Arts Award, and in 2014, his narration earned a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award. He is also an accomplished producer and voice-over artist, and his voice can be heard in countless TV and radio commercials.