Definition- finding or celebrating love on a river rafting trip
Love can be found and commemorated in many places, but there is something truly special about those connections that have been discovered or rejoiced in Grand Canyon. The legendary Colorado River and the beautiful canyon it created add one more exclamation point to tales of an already special occasion; whether it be a new love, wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary.
February hosts the year’s most flamboyant holiday of love expression, and over the next three weeks we will be contributing to the festivities by sharing some of the “river love” stories we have gathered in our decades of running Grand Canyon river trips.
Bessie and Glen Hyde
Grand Canyon’s most infamous narrative is that of honeymooners Glen and Bessie Hyde. Bessie Haley married Glen Hyde on April 12, 1928, and for them, no average celebration of their nuptials would do. They wanted to mark their union with a place in history; Glen setting a new Grand Canyon rafting speed record and Bessie becoming the first known woman to run the Canyon in its entirety. Though her honeymoon was Bessie’s introduction to whitewater, Glen had run the Snake and Salmon Rivers. Glen built the 20ft long wooden scow that would serve, not only as their river craft, but also their home during their journey. The pair very likely would have succeeded in attaining their goals if it had not been for mysterious events that occurred at the end of their adventure.
The Hyde trip began in the middle of October on the Green River in Utah, and in the following weeks they made their way south to Grand Canyon without any reported incident. That is until November. The couple was last seen rafting below Hermit Rapid, which is roughly river mile 95, on the 18th. Glen’s father initiated a thorough search for his lost son and daughter-in-law, and the evidence found indicated that they made it as far as Diamond Creek, river mile 225. Bessie’s own journal notes that they made it at least past river mile 231.
On December 19th a search plane at last found the boat, upright and still loaded with supplies, at river mile 237. Despite the many rumors and legends that have followed in the decades since their disappearance, no further trace of Glen and Bessie has ever been found.
Our guests follow part of the couples’ path on our Grand Canyon rafting trips and some have continued the Hydes’ tradition and found or celebrated love on the river, though with far less macabre ends.
Next week, our blog will host AzRA friends and guests Chuck and Catherine Flynn, who have a remarkable tale of their own to share. While you wait, you can learn more about the Hyde’s ill-fated adventure by purchasing a copy of “Sunk Without a Sound” by Brad Dimock from our Red River Sports store!