The Last Voyageur
May 21st at 7pm
CCA in partnership with Waucoma Books present a book talk and slideshow with author Vince Welch on his new book, The Last Voyageur: Amos Burg and the Rivers of the West. Amos Burg, one of the first commercial river guides, the last known individual to run all the major western rivers before dams made such voyages difficult if not impossible; first to complete source-to-mouth canoe voyages on the Columbia and Snake Rivers; first to pilot an inflatable raft through Grand Canyon and down the Middle Fork and Main Salmon.
In The Last Voyageur: Amos Burg and the Rivers of the West author Vince Welch, himself a river guide, weaves a passionate and well-researched narrative using extensive material from Burg’s own rich archives. History buffs, paddlers, and adventure readers alike will delight in this remarkable regional history of the larger-than-life Burg, a quintessential man of the American West and one of the last “voyageurs” of North America’s great waterways.
Suggested Donation is $5 at the door.
For nearly five decades Amos Burg traveled in search of adventure and natural beauty. During the 1920s and ’30s he completed lengthy voyages on all the major western rivers – Columbia, Pig, Yukon, Canada’s Mackenzie, the Green and Colorado – source to mouth, often traveling alone. He also managed to make a 4-month, 3,800-mile run on the Yellowstone-Missouri-Mississippi as well as the Middle Fork and Main Salmon, and numerous other small rivers. He broke new ground by being the first individual to take his rubber raft Charlie through Grand Canyon and down the Middle Fork and Main Salmon. The Last Voyageur chronicles Burg’s epic river voyages as well as his journeys along the Inside Passage and through the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the Dorjun and later the Endeavour. We follow not only the arc of his career as an outdoor writer, photographer, filmmaker, and lecturer for National Geographic magazine, but also his expanding sense of the natural environment as a place for spiritual and emotional rejuvenation and as a living repository of American western history. Burg once wrote, “How we treat our rivers tells us something about who we are?” Vince Welch has written for Oregon Coast, Wend, Rivers, Boatman’sQuarterly Review, Utne Reader, and The Hibernacle News. At present he is a senior correspondent and blogger (Rivermouth) for Mountain Gazette. A former professional river guide, and co-author of The Doing of the Thing: The Brief, Brilliant Career of Buzz Holmstrom, Welch continues to run rivers throughout the West with his family and other ancient mariners. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his family and a bunch of chickens.