In the summer of 1873 Moran headed west to join John Wesley
Powell on a trip to the Grand Canyon. Four years earlier Powell had
captured the nation's attention when he led a small group of men in
custom-crafted boats through the whitewater of the Colorado River.
Already planning a pendant for Grand
Canyon of the Yellowstone,Moran accepted Powell's invitation to join
him the following summer. Accompanying the party was Justin E. Colburn,
a correspondent, who, during the trip, sent
letters east for publication in the New York Times. Vivid, candid, and insightful, Colburn's letters offer a clear view of a
forbidding landscape and a firsthand account of the often difficult journey he and
Moran made with Powell to the Grand Canyon.
Moran wrote his wife Mary a humorous and
revealing account of his adventures on 13 August 1873.