finest Guided White Water Run for ages 8 to 80.”
Jones never advertised his maps, one found out about them through word of mouth. His maps covered just about every river segment on the Colorado Plateau (and other Western rivers) even segments like Flaming Gorge - now damned. Although somewhat inaccurate by today’s standards, les Jones maps were loving works of art and a boon to river runners seeking information.
THE POWELL SOCIETY GUIDE BOOKS In the sixties the Powell Society began as a loose organization of river running lawyers, doctors and professionals from Boulder and Denver, Colorado.
In 1967 the U.S. Geological Survey, Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society planned a trip to commemorate the Powell Expedition of 1869. Gene Shoemaker, a famous astro-astronomer, combined his knowledge of geology and river running to rephotograph the pictures taken on Powell’s second exploration of the Colorado River in 1871––72. Their work, ““In the Footsteps of John Wesley Powell,”” was published in 1987, and began photo matching work continues. The Powell Society of Denver, Colorado was in the process of writing a series of river geological and historical guidebooks. Members of the Powell Society accompanied the six segments of the trip to gather information for their guidebooks.
The Powell Society guides covered Dinosaur National Monument and Vicinity; Desolation & Gray Canyons; Labyrinth, Stillwater and Cataract Canyons; and Marble Gorge & Grand Canyon. Then guides authored by well-known geologists covered geological information, historical information and rated the rapids (Colorado River Rating System). Although the river maps were small, one could follow the progress down the river through the detailed descriptions in the booklet. Again, unless one knew about the “Society” the guidebooks were only advertised by Park Service Natural History Associations.
FOUR CORNERS GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY SAN JUAN GUIDE The Four Corners Geological Society was formed in the 1950's and conducted geological trips down the San Juan River. In the 1960's Don Baars, a geology professor at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, led many trips down the San Juan and wrote profusely of the region’s geology. Baars conducted trips and collaborated with the Nevills’ and Kenny Ross in conducting the geological trips.
Although many of Baars’ papers were published in the 1960's, it wasn’t until 1974 that the Four Corners Geological Society published a very complete guide to the San Juan. Primarily oriented to geology, the guide in the image of the Powell Society Guides, also covered river history subjects. Small cairns, no longer present, were placed along the river as keys to the guide.
THE BELKNAP GUIDE BOOKS Bill Belknap was a well-known photographer of the Grand Canyon, who rubbed elbows with the