Cross Mt. First Attempt
Here's a bit of history that was posted to the Grand Canyon Private Boater's email list.
----- Original Message -----
From: Roy Webb
To: gcpba -at -yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2007 10:54 AM
Subject: [gcpba] Cross Mountain
If anyone is interested, the first known attempt at Cross Mountain was about 1943 by Bus Hatch and his drinking buddy, Jim Orr. Bus was the construction supervisor at Kearns Army Air Base in Salt Lake at the time; Orr was his boss. So they brought one of Bus's wooden Galloway-style boats out to try the run. They found a local rancher to haul their boats to the put-in with his wagon and team; he also warned them not to try it, but they went ahead. As they got to the first rapid, Bus said he realized they had a 50-50 chance to make it, which they did; but in the next one the boat was destroyed and they were left clinging to the side of the canyon. In the meantime, Bus's brother Bay saw the wrecked boat come out of the canyon and set off to find help. They were able to work their way upriver in water up to their necks and reach a deer trail, and finally scramble out of the canyon. They made their way, barefooted and beat up, back to the ranch where they had started, and asked to borrow horses to ride back to where their car was. The rancher reportedly said yeah, he had a couple of stiff necked old nags, named Jim and Bus.
Another Yampa adventure of Bus and Jim was a spring trip, when all they brought for food was whiskey and eggs. They ran into an ice jam and in getting around it got soaked, and were just about frozen when they got to the Mantle Ranch. Esther Campbell, who was teaching the Mantle kids at the time, saw them and with the kids were able to pry them out of the frozen boat and feed them some hot food so they could go on.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse