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Award-winning author Brad Dimock has spent the last six years researching Bert Loper’s life and has just released his voluminous biography: The Very Hard Way: Bert Loper and the Colorado River. At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, Brad Dimock will be presenting an entertaining 45-minute slide show and lecture at Maria’s Bookshop, 960 Main Avenue, Durango, CO. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Dimock, who has spent nearly thirty-five years as a riverman himself, tells a story as only someone who has stood around a thousand campfires can. His 2001 Sunk Without a Sound:The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde, won the National Outdoor Book Award. The event is free and open to the public.

When riverman Bert Loper died at his oars in a Grand Canyon rapid at the age of eighty, he entered the realm of legend. He had begun his river running on the San Juan back in 1893 and spent much of his life working and living along the branches of the Colorado. By the time of his death in 1949 he had spent more time on the river than anyone ever had, and covered more miles of its main forks than anyone else ever could. Loper, orphaned and abused as a young child in Missouri, came West at 16 to work his uncle’s ranch in Cortez, a new settlement at the time. But his uncle ousted him as soon as Loper had the land grubbed and fenced. Loper worked in Durango and the Montezuma Valley for a few years as a coal miner, dairyman, ditch digger, and mule skinner before migrating to the mines of Telluride and Rico. His fifty subsequent years as a river runner began in 1893 when the silver market collasped and the mines closed. Loper acted as lead boatman on the 1921 government survey of the San Juan, and the following year for the Green River survey. He first ran Grand Canyon when he was 70.

For more information, phone 970 247-1438 or visit www.mariasbookshop.com
 
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