“Fearful disaster,” read the headline on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on 3 July 1869. The paper was referring to an incident involving a motley team of explorers led by the one-armed, self-taught geologist John Wesley Powell. Their mission was simple, though not easy — to travel 1,000 miles (1,609km) downstream from the banks of the Green River in Wyoming, cataloguing their finds as they went.

Praise the Lord

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