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Writer David Quammen
 
 
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Life on Assignment
Grand Canyon Quest
By the time David Quammen pulled his kayak out of the Colorado River for good in September 2001, the world had changed—but the Grand Canyon had not. Here he discusses his new article and the canyon's lessons in perspective.

Last September, on an 18-day kayaking trip, writer David Quammen explored a great mystery of the Grand Canyon's 300-million-year evolution: How did the Colorado River leap up and over a mountain of rock, seemingly defying the laws of gravity?

Along with contemplating the canyon's geologic wonders, Quammen reflected on his own life's eddies and swells—all covered in the January/February 2002 issue's "The River Jumps Over the Mountain."

In the audio clips at left Quammen discusses this quintessential American journey, an adventure he considers one of his most fulfilling assignments.

—Nicole Davis

Photographs by Mark Gamba; Quammen portrait by Michael Llewellyn

 

Audio

Too Long in the Tooth? (2:57)
“At first I thought, ‘Maybe it is too late?' I haven't kayaked all that much in the last couple of years”
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Heavy Water (3:01)
“Talk about an exercise in detachment: pulling away from Phantom Ranch in kayak on the afternoon of September 11.”
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Flows of time (2:12)
“The river is constantly young and new ...the rock dates back to 1.7 billion years ago.”
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In Canyon Country (3:30)
“It's not the wildest place in North America, by any means. But it is one of the most forceful.”
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A U.S. Icon (1:53)
“The Grand Canyon is fabulous despite the fact, and not because of the fact, that it is an iconic American place.”
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Related Web Site

Grand Canyon Travel Guide Online
Get in-depth information from National Geographic, including historic sites, driving tours, photographs, links, maps, and more online.

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More Adventure From nationalgeographic.com

*National Geographic Adventure & Exploration

*Expeditions: Vacation With National Geographic Experts

*Adventure & Exploration News

*TOPO! mapXchange: Create and Post Your Own Maps

*Trails Illustrated Map Catalog

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January/February 2002:
In the Magazine | Excerpts | Adventurer's Handbook | Sierra Ski Photos | Grand Canyon | Deadly Conservationist | Forum | Snowboard Boots, Bindings | Travel Tools | Everglades Guide




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