Just as canyon exploration at Lake Powell sometimes takes unexpected twists and turns, so does a search through its history.
A case in point was my discovery of The Desert Magazine, a magazine first published by Randall Henderson in November of 1937, discontinued in July of 1985 and revived in 2006 as an e-zine called My Desert.
I referenced the July 1956 issue in a page I built about Glen Canyon Dam. At the time I was interested in Randall Henderson’s article, “Boat Trip in the Canyon of Ledore,” and didn’t realize there was now an archive of all the old issues from 1937 to 1985.
I discovered the archive when I was building my latest page, (References, Resources and Links) which led me to Jack Pepper’s article, “A Lake is Born.” On the cover was a beautiful picture of sandstone canyon walls reflected in the rising waters of Lake Powell, with the description in big bold letters: “First Photos Of Lake Powell.”
This in turn led me to the May 1963 issue, because the magazine was correcting an omission of veteran Colorado River guide Art Greene of Canyon Tours, Inc., from the article, “These Professional Southern Utah Guides Can Take You Into America’s Last Wilderness Frontier.”
It is interesting to note that one of the river trips on the Yampa and Green, which included Cataract Canyon and Glen Canyon, was $15 per person per day (1/2 price for children). How times have changed!!
And, speaking of change, the magazine’s logo or mast on the front cover changed over the years: It started as The Desert Magazine, changed to Desert…Magazine of the Outdoor Southwest, then to Desert… Magazine of the West to Desert… Travel/Adventure Living to simply Desert.
In the May, 1965 issue is an article by Frank Jensen, titled, “Playground for Boaters,” which brings us full circle in our similitude of history and canyon exploration. In this article, Jensen writes:
“Lake Powell’s meandering side canyons are also legion in number. The boater with a yen for exploration and adventure can pick his way through hundreds of miles of slit-like gorges - some with descriptive names of Twilight Canyon, Dungeon, Cathedral Canyon and Hidden Passage.”
And, so it is; you’re never quite sure where you will end up when exploring the canyons of Lake Powell or when researching its past.
For those of you who are interested in the history of the western and southwestern United States or just like thumbing through old magazines, I think you will find My Desert a pleasant way to spend and afternoon.
Their archive is found at: http://mydesertmagazine.com/Desert_magazine_archive.html