ROCK SPRINGS — Grand Canyon boatman and author Tom Martin will present a 50-minute, behind-the-scenes look at Colorado River legend Otis "Dock" Marston's book, From Powell to Power: A Recounting of the First One Hundred River Runners Through Grand Canyon, on Saturday, April 18 at 2 p.m. The event will take place at the Sweetwater County Library at 300 N 1st East Street in Green River and is free and open to the public.
Marston’s book was finally published last year by Vishnu Temple Press, 35 years after the author’s death. Copies of From Powell to Power will be available at Saturday’s presentation, along with other Vishnu titles. The Flagstaff-based publishing house specializes in Grand Canyon literature. Proceeds from the book sale will benefit the Sweetwater County Library Foundation.
Marston, a submarine commander for the U.S. Navy earlier in his life, first floated in a wooden boat through the Grand Canyon in 1942. Five years later, he began to write a history of river running in the Grand Canyon. What he thought would be a six-month project in 1947 kept Marston busy for the next 30 years. Along the way he amassed a huge collection of first-person accounts of these early river runners, including everyone from James White on a log raft in 1867 to the first Grand Canyon powerboat runs of 1949-51.
According to Martin, who edited the book, Marston’s manuscript is unparalleled in the depth and breadth it brings to its account of the history of the first 100 river runners through the Grand Canyon. Martin will discuss who Dock Marston was and look at some of the highlights of Marston's account of the First 100. His presentation will also include historic film footage of Marston and other river runners.
Tom Martin has been hiking and rafting the Grand Canyon since 1969. He worked for 20 years as a physical therapist at the Grand Canyon Clinic at the South Rim. Besides helping river runners to explore Grand Canyon with his book, Day Hikes from the River, Martin has written Big Water, Little Boats and, with coauthor Duwain Whitis, Guide To The Colorado River In The Grand Canyon From Lee's Ferry To South Cove. Martin is a co-founder and council member of River Runners for Wilderness, serves as Secretary of the Grand Canyon Historical Society, and, with wife Hazel Clark, is co-owner of Vishnu Temple Press.