6 Exercise Your Barrier-Breaking Authority


On August 2nd and 6th of 1869, John Wesley Powell’s journal entries foreshadowed imminent doom for the crew in their journey into the Grand Canyon. Had his predictions come true, history would forever have been changed.

2, Aug, ’69 . . . We have now gone 28 days without seeing a rabbit or deer. Our food rations have been reduced to flour, moldy bacon, and the two containers of beans we found at the bottom of Sumner’s ruck sack. No one told me there’d be no game to shoot in this canyon of death! I’m tired of the fellos constant complaining of my poor planning . . . I’m forever determined to hang the shop owner back in Missouri who insisted I bring two hunters instead of one. He fooled me . . .

. . . had to carry the boats around another rocky rapid. The 3rd one today. We’re losing precious time—time that in its stead I could be using to better map this ugly world.

6, Aug, ’69 . . . Lewis and Clark are lucky they are deceased. If they were not, my first errand upon getting off this river of Hades would be to show them the sharper end of my knife. Who were they to tell such lies about the abundance of the west? We must endure conditions far more severe than they, yet their legends only grow . . . the spirit we had when we launched is now broken.

If you’re thinking, “No way! The team was falling apart like that?” then trust your instincts. ...

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