Canyon Country Explorations & River Lore: The Remarkable Resilient Life of Kenny Ross, is a well-researched tale about the life and experiences of a not well known character on the Colorado Plateau.
Author Gene M. Stevenson brings Kenny Ross to the surface as a major influence on modern and commercial river running in the Southeast United States Canyon Country.
When Gene introduced his new book to me, I didn’t know anything about Kenny Ross, but remembered hearing stories told by my dad when I was young about Norman Nevills, a “river rat” who operated the famous Nevills Expeditions.
My dad’s childhood memories and friendship with Norman’s daughters prompted me to share this new book with him. He and I have taken the time to read and explore this detailed history and found it to be very interesting.
The book contains incredible documentation from Kenny’s river and canyon explorations and a history of the birth of Wild River Explorations in Bluff, which is a tourism boost for the area.
The information is inclusive of all parts of the area history and people, from Mexican Hat, Bluff, Rainbow Bridge and Glen Canyon to Dark Canyon, Needles and Indian Creek.
One thing that stood out to me is that Kenny worked as a ranger at the Mesa Verde National Park for ten years and one of his duties there was to build dioramas for the museum. When I was in elementary school ,we visited Mesa Verde on a field trip. I remember being fascinated with the museum and especially the dioramas.
This book is a treasure trove of never before seen photos, maps and illustrations and truly remarkable. It is a must have for southwest canyon enthusiasts and historians.