What I’m Reading Now: January 28, 2017

So I had a series I wanted to share with you, and then Amazon sent me a book I’d forgotten I’d ordered. I tore through it in one night, and decided that I had to share this with you all first.

Fair warning – this is not my normal genre fiction at all.  It’s a mix of non-fiction and historical fiction. And I have to go back in time a bit, so bear with me.

Right before my oldest was born, I wanted to go on vacation.  It was February, in Maryland, and I was cold. That’s saying something, being 6 months pregnant. I said, Let’s do a cruise! The expression my Dear Husband’s face told me that it probably wasn’t going to happen. LOL. He said, Hey, why don’t we go to Arizona? It will be warm there, with the desert and all!

Well. It was warm, in parts. And if you go, I will tell you to please, please, please go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It’s worth the drive and a day to spend there. Go sit in the hummingbird enclosure, and take the walk. Trust me on this. You also need to go to Sedona, but that’s for another post. The big thing on our trip was the Grand Canyon.

I’d like to mention, it was not warm at any time while we were in the Grand Canyon. We drove along the South Rim with the snow falling down in the sunlight. It was amazingly beautiful. I will never forget how that looked. I’ve been at both the North and South Rims and it’s worth going to both – they are almost different worlds.

Anyway, it was phenomenal. Outside of the driving where guard rails fear to go. We stopped at a lot of the rest stop areas along the Rim, and I found my way into the bookstore. I got a book (this was over 10 years ago) that has stayed with me ever since.

Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers. It’s been updated since then, but it goes through all the recorded deaths that occurred in the Grand Canyon. It’s rather sobering, and the authors tell you point blank the main thing you can practice to avoid dying. The fact that this has been updated tells me it probably hasn’t taken as a Stay Alive tip. Sadly. But it’s fascinating, and I HIGHLY recommend it. Especially if you’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon.  The above book is the genesis for today’s post.

One of the supposed deaths was that of Glen and Bessie Hyde. I find mysteries that are never solved both full of sorrow and fascination, and again, this is one that stayed with me. They were making a run at being the first set of rafters with a woman on board to make it through the Grand Canyon. They disappeared, leaving behind their scow raft, which was found floating down river from the last place they were seen in good condition.  Most of the contents of the boat were still there, as well. There have been numerous theories as to what happened to them.  When I was searching for something else, I came upon this on Amazon:

Grand Ambition by Lisa Micheals. This is a fictionalized account of what happened to the couple.  (This is the book that derailed my scheduled post today – but spontaneity is good for the soul sometimes.) I read an interview with the author, Lisa Micheals, where she says she really identified with Bessie, and wrote the book with that in mind. Bessie was what was called at the time “a bohemian”. She wrote poetry, and an avid reader. I really liked the way Micheals portrays their relationship from Bessie’s eyes. Some of her descriptions are hauntingly poignant. I actually went back and read them again because they evoked such a wonderful visual while reading.

And it makes sense – even now, this is one hell of a trip to go on,  putting aside the fact that they were doing this as their honeymoon trip (no, I’m not making that up). You would have to have the sort of depth of feelings that Grand Ambition attributes to Bessie to not only agree to this, but to stick with it. The first year of marriage is hard enough. Toss in a primitive rafting trip on a boat considered difficult and probably not the best style for the intended trip, and no amenities whatsoever – there better be a lot of love. It’s another way to look at this, and with mysteries such as this one, I like more than one point of view.

I don’t want to say too much because while the end result – they  disappeared, and no one knows where they went – is the same, I don’t want to spoil the book for you.

Because I can’t let things that interest me go, I was looking for the link for one of the books, and another book popped up that covered the mystery of Glen and Bessie Hyde. Sunk Without a Sound by Brad Dimock. It came out in 2001, around the same time as Micheals’ book. So this is on my TBR next week, once it gets here, LOL.  It’s written from the perspective of a man who knows the river well – as well as anyone can. I’m excited to get this and see what he says. He and his wife ran the Canyon in a boat like Glen and Bessie used. (I hope Mrs. Dimock chimes in somewhere in the book!)

That’s it for me this week. I have a ton of homework (deadlines – meet one, and another rears its ugly head, LOL!) but I’ll add onto another WIRN to let you know what I thought of Sunk Without a Sound.

As always, if I post a book here, click it for the link.

Have a great weekend, guys!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.