The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

October 13, 2008

View A Different Day

When the Grand River flowed from the continent free from human intervention, only two American rivers were larger: the Mississippi and the Columbia. In 1921, its name was changed to the Colorado River. Before this and to a much greater extent after the name change, it was diminished by a series of diversions in its many tributaries and in the River itself.

However, this isn’t about what’s gone; it is about what’s left:


Inspired by his late father Joe Lacy, who in 1962 made the first kayak descent of Westwater Canyon on the Colorado, Tom Lacy dreamed of traveling all the moving water along the river’s course in celebration of both his parents’ lives and his own fiftieth birthday.

The journey, punctuated by appearances of over a hundred friends and family members, follows the river from its snowy beginnings near the Continental Divide over a Grand of miles toward its end. Modes of transportation include snowshoes, kayaks, rafts and other watercraft. Motors are used only on the largest reservoirs. Difficulty of the moving water ranges from placid class 1 to impassable class 6.

You can view photographs taken at each mile along the way and read the day-by-day story by clicking on “view a different day” at the top of this page.

This expedition has been attempted before. In 1933, Harold Leich tried to travel the same length of the Colorado River, but had to abort when his boat was lost in the spectacular rapids in Cataract Canyon. Interestingly, this occurred just a few miles below where John Wesley Powell’s legendary 1869 expedition through the Grand Canyon joined the river; Powell had followed the comparatively mild Green River to its confluence with the Colorado.

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October 13, 2008Monday, April 14thJuly 15, 2007 - Day 59
The last day; The river’s end
July 1 - 13, Day 47 - 58June 30, 2007 - Day 46June 29 2007 - Day 45June 28, 2007 - Day 44June 27, 2007 - Day 43June 26, 2007 - Day 42June 25, 2007 - Day 41June 24, 2007 - Day 40June 23, 2007 - Day 39June 22, 2007 - Day 38June 21, 2007 - Day 37June 20, 2007 - Day 36June 19, 2007 - Day 35June 18, 2007 - Day 34June 17, 2007 - Day 33June 16, 2007 - Day 32June 15, 2007 - Day 31June 14, 2007 - Day 30June 13, 2007 - Day 29June 12, 2007 - Day 28June 2 - 11, Day 18 - 27June 1, 2007 - Day 17May 31, 2007 - Day 16May 30, 2007 - Day 15May 29, 2007 - Day 14May 28, 2007 - Day 13May 27, 2007 - Day 12May 26 2007 - Day 11May 25 2007 - Day 10May 24 2007 - Day 9May 23 2007 - Day 8May 22 2007 - Day 7May 21 2007 - Day 6May 20 2007 - Day 5May 19 2007 - Day 4May 18 2007 - Day 3May 17 2007 - Day 2May 16 2007 - Day 1