Last Float Down Glen Canyon:Sept/Oct 1962, Part 3…Headed to Hole in the Rock

Edna Fridley was a good friend of the canyon country of southeast Utah for more than 30 years. Every year she returned to the slickrock from her home, back east, to wander and explore what was then one of the most remote and isolated parts of the United States.
In the fall of 1962, Edna set off on her last trip down Glen Canyon. The dam, 150 miles downstream, was almost complete. Within months the Bureau of reclamation would close its diversion tunnel and stop the free flow of the Colorado River.
Edna had been invited to join a party of friends to celebrate Harry Aleson’s wedding, which was to happen during the trip. She flew to Salt Lake City, then rented a car to Page, Arizona via Zion National Park. At Page, after checking in at the Page Boy Motel, she arranged a flight to the dirt airstrip at White Canyon.
She took thousands of photographs of her pack and river trips with leg­endary guides Ken Sleight and Harry Aleson. But she also kept journals, often scribbled in small spiral notebooks. Here are excerpts from that trip— Part 3 of Edna’s last journey down Glen…and, of course, these amazing, never­-before­-seen photos…JS

Approaching Hole in the Rock

Morning Camp.

DOCK MARSTON: Historian, river runner,
troublemaker… For more on Dock, check out this link for a fas­cinating interview called, “CURMUDGEON CHRONICLES…The Dark Side of River History.”
http://www.gcrg.org/bqr/15­4/chronicles.html

HARRY ALESON entices a lizard.

HOLE IN THE ROCK. “Mormon pioneers of San Juan Valley crossed the Colorado River at Hole-in-the-Rock. January 26, 1880. Twenty-six wagons were lowered over the cliff that day. A total of 250 persons were in the party. All made the perilous descent and ferried the river here.”
–from the “Hole-in-the-Rock plaque

Register Rock

An inscription left by the pioneers of the Hole in the Rock expedition…

Another inscription…

Yet another inscription…

And more inscriptions.

The plaque commemorating the pioneer expedition.

The river.

From near Register Rock, looking back over the river.

To read the previous installment of “Last Float Down Glen Canyon,” click here…

Click here to read Part 1 of the PDF version of this article

Click here to read Part 2 of the PDF version of this article

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