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Reed raft stands the test of one of the West’s epic journeys

Grand Canyon Complaints
Posted at 8:18 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 10:18:53-04

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — An Arizona man who built a raft out of reeds and recruited a friend to run the Grand Canyon with it is convinced Native Americans navigated the waterway long before John Wesley Powell's expedition in 1869.

The Durango Herald reports Tom Martin, of Flagstaff, built the raft out of tule, a reed that grows along shorelines and wetlands.

His friend, Peter Brown, took the raft through some of the canyon’s most harrowing rapids this winter.

After 30 days and 278 miles, the raft survived intact.

Martin says the experiment proves indigenous people would have had the means to float the entirety of the canyon.