leaving the Blasket Islands

Great Blasket from above the ferry jetty

on my first trip to Ireland, my companions and I did a circuit of the Dingle Peninsula by car as I was taking them to Tralee to catch a bus to Dublin (on what turned out to be the Saturday at the heart of the Rose Festival; traffic was … interesting). one of my greatest regrets our self-imposed restrictions was that we only got a glimpse of the Blasket Islands as we zipped around Slea Head on what purported to be a two-lane road. (fortunately, almost everyone makes the drive in a clockwise direction.) my desire to visit the islands only grew as I continued my trip up the west coast, learning more about what happened to Irish farmers and families during the 19th century, and later in reading historical accounts of the last two centuries of Irish history – both fiction and non-fiction.

and so, when planning out our Dingle hike I knew I wanted to plan in a rest day to allow us time to take the ferry out to the island. armed with an approximate departure timetable for the fery, we started out at the heritage center which provided a pretty comprehensive look at life on the island, of linguistic heritage, animals and plant life, and the nature of the diaspora when the island was evacuated in 1953.

the islands were inhabited by small clusters of people for centuries, with the largest community on the Great Blasket (up to about 160 individuals). the islands saw an influx of residents from people fleeing the abominable policies of Lord Ventry (who owned much of the arable terrain on the mainland) during the Famine, though population declined in the 1840s all the same due to the effects of the Famine.

one of the single-family islands as seen from the main island

some of the smaller islands were home to single families and while in later years, particularly as the young emigrated and the remaining population aged, they relied on assistance from the mainland, their relative isolation and success as fishermen insulated them from the worst devastation of the Famine. the population didn’t begin to decline until the 20th century, when people hearing the success stories of those who had fled the Famine for America started leaving for better opportunities than a remote, island fishing community could offer. an outbreak of typhoid in the 1890s affected population as well. in the early 20th century, the government offered improvements, such as building a breakwater and new slipway; all the same, trips to and from the mainland still required adequate weather.

village on the Great Blasket from above

around the same time, cultural researchers became aware of the unique nature of the Blasket Islands – as an isolated community who’d defended their Gaelic language and heritage well in the face of efforts of the occupying English government to eradicate it from all of Ireland. (today, areas such as the Dingle Peninsula, Donegal and elsewhere Gaelic retains a strong presence are areas of governmentally-protected preservation called gaeltachts.) several researchers headed out to the islands to meet with inhabitants and to encourage them to share their stories for publication. quite a few took the opportunity, including Peig Sayers, who was actually born on the mainland (in Dun Choain) and married onto the island. her memoir Peig is one of the most well-known of the Gaelic Revival literature (it was certainly one of the easiest to find her book when looking for those Blasket narratives at a local bookshop after my first glimpse of the Blasket Islands in 2009).

ultimately, the exodus of young people took its toll on the island – while the island housed some 160 inhabitants in 1911, by the late 1940s only a few dozen people lived on the island (51, including infants, recorded in 1947). demands of subsistence living made further habitation of the islands untenable. trips to and from the mainland with necessities could only take place during good weather and the aging population increasingly could not keep up with the demands of island life; many abandoned the island in the decades prior to the final abandonment. eventually, the Irish government determined the islands must be evacuated and the last of the inhabitants left the island on 17 November 1953, relocating primarily elsewhere on the peninsula, as well as to America.

now, the islands are in a sort of limbo – not a national landmark but certainly not commercially owned. the highly informative interpretative center in Dun Choain provides an excellent overview of the history, culture, and life on the island, but a to fully appreciate the islands it’s worth the ferry trip (in good weather) out for a hike among the abandoned homes, up the mountain, and through the herd of remaining sheep (who, purportedly, are shorn once or twice a year and are otherwise left to their own devices).

(find additional information here: http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/blaskets.html)

Tom Crean & the South Pole Inn

during our lunch in Inch, the guy serving our lunch asked about our plans (our packs may have tipped him off to our hiking) and, upon learning we would spend the night in Annascaul, recommended a pub with good food, beer, and craic in the main road. that pub was the South Pole Inn, once owned by Antarctic explorer and native son Tom Crean.

Crean was born in a farming hamlet near Annascaul in 1877, Crean enlisted in the Royal Navy a handful of days before his sixteenth birthday at the nearby Minard Inlet (site of the castle of the same name). within six years he’d risen from “boy second class” to “petty officer, second class.” in 1900 he was posted to a ship in the New Zealand Squadron and a year later, when Robert Scott’s Discovery expedition required a replacement for an able seaman who deserted, Crean volunteered. he distinguished himself during the expedition, receiving praise from the ship’s second mate and fellow seamen. when the Discovery became locked in ice in 1902, and efforts to extricate the ship the following summer failed, Crean remained behind in the Antarctic until the ship was freed in February 1904. upon returning to civilization, Crean received a promotion to petty officer, first class, at Scott’s recommendation, and returned to regular duty (and eventually torpedo school) in England. Scott eventually requested Crean join his crew and the latter followed the former through a series of ships and posts.

Crean was one of Scott’s first selections when organizing his crew for the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition. Crean accompanied Scott much of the way to the South Pole, but was ordered to turn back, along with two other men, while Scott and several others continued on towards the Pole. Crean’s group barely returned safely, but Scott’s group did not return at all.

in 1913, Crean received a Polar Medal (as did all surviving members of the expedition) and an Albert Medal (for his part in saving the life of Edward Evans after parting ways with Scott’s group), bestowed by the King in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

a year later, Crean joined Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Transantarctic Expedition as second mate, picking up all manner of duties including responsibility of one of the dog teams when the hired Canadian wrangler failed to show up. when the Endurance was trapped and eventually sunk by pack ice, Crean helped navigate lifeboats carrying the surviving crew in lifeboats to Elephant Island. he carried on with Shackleton with a team of eight set off for South Georgia to orchestrate a rescue operation. after successfully completing the 800-nautical-mile journey, Shackleton, Crean, and another man (Worsley), were forced to trek 30 statue miles across the glaciated island on foot as the rudder of their reinforced lifeboat had broken off when landing on the island. they made it and, after three attempts, Shackleton rescued the men stranded on Elephant Island.

Crean returned to England in 1916, and received a third Polar Medal for his service on the Endurance. he married an Annascaul woman in 1917 and spent most of the First World War stationed in Chatham barracks and later on a depot ship in Ireland. in 1920, Shackleton invited him to join another Antarctic expedition but, having settled down and recently welcomed a second daughter, Crean declined. he was retired from the navy on medical grounds, following a fall that effected his vision. he and his wife, Ellen, returned to Annascaul and opened the South Pole Inn. they ran the public house together until Crean suffered a burst appendix in 1938 and, following a delay in having it removed due to difficulty finding a doctor (he was first taken to Tralee and then later on to Cork as no surgeon was available in Tralee), died of an resulting infection, aged 61.

today, the South Pole Inn is a bustling local pub with live music on the patio during warm months, serving typical Irish fare and a lager from the Dingle Brewing Company named in Crean’s honor. a statue of Crean stands in the park across the street, erected in 2003.

Guinness Storehouse

as a fan of craft brews, and living less than 10 miles from one of the most popular microbreweries in the state, I’ve taken a brewery tour or two (or dozen) over the years. from DIY affairs, to ones where the brewmaster takes you back among the tanks to explain the finer scientific points of beer brewing, to very limited, controlled situations where the script never deviates from the one all “tour guides” are compelled to memorize, the experience at the Guinness Storehouse is just that — an Experience.

with annual sales topping more than 1.8 billion U.S. pints, it shouldn’t have surprised me how thoroughly and expertly produced the “tour” at St. James’ might prove. in the dozen years since the Storehouse opened as a self-guided tour and attraction, over four million people have visited. the site, St. James’ Gate, was initially leased to Arthur Guinness in 1759 for the amount of 45 GBP each year for the duration of 9,000-year lease. (the company has since expanded outside its initial footprint and ultimately bought the land outright. a copy of that original lease is displayed under glass in the floor of the atrium.

the building that houses the Storehouse was constructed in 1902 as a fermentation plant for the brewery. it served as this capacity until a new fermentation plant was built along the River Liffey in 1988. the attraction is laid out over seven floors in what was, at the time it was built, the largest steel-framed structure in Ireland. the atrium is rather cornily designed to resemble the shape of a pint glass. the first floor introduces visitors to the four ingredients of beer – water, barley, hops, and yeast — and the general brewing process. after years of intimate and in-depth tours of craft and microbreweries, the polish of production surprised me a bit with projections of boiling tubs of wort and ovens of roasting barley, but seemed expertly and deftly done. you can’t actually see Guinness being brewed anywhere along the tour, but you can see the buildings at which various steps of the process take place! on the whole, the exhibits presenting other information interested us more. we saw examples of their famous marketing campaigns – My goodness! My Guinness! – Guinness advertisements on television throughout the decades (with cheesily appointed rooms identifiable by decade),  the famous harp seen in the logo encased in glass at the top of one escalator.

the most interesting part, by a stretch, however, was the exhibit on the cooperage. at the height of barrel production (for transporting the black stuff) in the 20th century, Guinness employed hundreds of coopers. within a few decades, as aluminum kegs came into use after 1946, the number dropped precipitously — from some 300 in the war years to 70 in 1961. the last wooden cask was filled at St. James’ Gate in 1963. the exhibit featured all the tools of the trade, as well as fascinating footage from the 1930s or so of men at work – clearly decked out in their Sunday best to show off their work to the camera – working through the entire process of making a barrel. after that exhibit it was mostly down to figuring out where we’d like to enjoy our “complimentary” pint of Guinness. (we opted for the Gravity Bar at the top of the “pint glass” with panoramic views of the city.)

I had absolutely no idea of this: according to Wikipedia, St. James’ Gate traditionally served as the starting point for Irish peregrinos heading to Santiago de Compostela. they could get their credencials stamped in the brewery before catching a boat to Spain; the nearby church will still stamp them for you.

Ireland recap posts

on my first trip to Ireland, I wrote about several things we saw on this more recent trip. I may yet be moved to write about certain of these things this time, but feel free to read back (and marvel at my writing style!)

Dick Mack’s in Dingle
Dick Mack’s take two
Dunbeg Ring Fort
Gallarus Oratory
Fuchsia
St. Stephen’s Green
Temple Bar

1916
Countess Markiewicz
Eamon de Valera
Easter Rising 1916
Joseph Plunkett & Grace Gifford
Kilmainham Gaol

Dunquin

Dún Chaoin is the western most village in Ireland (the parish, which includes the Blasket Islands, is sometimes referred to as the next parish to America) and afforded us with a welcome opportunity to take a break from hiking the Dingle Way. compared with many of the towns on the outward portion of our hike, the town didn’t offer much in the way of conveniences; it was a good prelude for the next several days of hiking inland.

options for dinner when we arrived after a long and physically demanding (and breathtakingly beautiful) day of hiking we limited to: purchasing & cooking pasta in the hostel kitchen; hiking to the next town, some 30 minutes further along the road; or hoping the only pub in town still had makings for white-bread sandwiches. we opted for choice number three and stumbled down the hill to Kruger’s Bar, which was a nice change from the crowded and touristy a pubs in Dingle town. a younger woman was tending bar, chatting with a couple of regulars and a grandmotherly proprietor type, who contributed to the conversation exclusively in Gaelic. she may have even been on hand the evening in 1971 when the Campaign for the Revitalization of Ale (promoting real ale, real cider, and the traditional pub) was founded in the same room (now known as the Campaign for Real Ale, the largest single-issue consumer group in the UK).

we ordered our pints and white-bread sandwiches — ham & cheese for Andy, cheese & tomatoes for me — and settled down by a corner window with views of the water. not a lot of competition for seating (all those people who just drive around the Dingle Peninsula, me of several years ago included, don’t know what they’re missing). the grandmotherly woman got up and shuffled back into the kitchen to make our sandwiches which, frankly, were the the best white-bread sandwiches you could ever eat not just because we were hungry but because such a character prepared them for us.

while we waited, I considered the portraits tacked up along the walls — snaps from when film crews for “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Far & Away” visited Dunquin in the late 1960s and early 1990s, respectively. not much of a draw from them now, but certainly potent in their day. plan to watch both to see if anything looks familiar, or if it’s all been made into generic “Ireland” with a coastal flavor.

Inch Beach

growing up, beaches for me were usually narrow strips of sand eked out along occasionally weedy-looking lakes. when we went to Daytona on spring break my senior year of college, it was completely novel that people were driving out onto the sand and parking. why would anyone take up precious beach space by parking on it?! well, when you have so much of it, it’s less of a concern.

towards the end of the trip, I joked that we spent more time on beaches in Ireland than we did on our “beach vacation” last year to Key West. miles and miles of long, sandy stretches with surprisingly warm water. the water in San Diego certainly wasn’t this warm to wade in while I was there last month! (apparently the gulf stream keeps the water around Dingle peninsula warmer than elsewhere, and keeps the climate more temperate throughout the year.)
the beach is backed by a series of dunes — reminded me a bit of Coronado beach — but is on a peninsula jutting out at an angle from the Dingle peninsula. Inch Beach is popular with surfers, apparently, and we saw several surfing schools soliciting participants. 
we arrived a bit early in the day for beach-goers, apparently. it was a Sunday and people hadn’t yet arrived for their afternoon lounging. we saw one hatchback get stuck in the soft sand just at the edge of the marked lane onto the beach, though by the time we headed back up the hill to return to the Dingle Way after lunch they’d managed to extricate themselves. during the course of the time we sat, enjoyed Bob Marley, half pints of Guinness, and filling meals, a fair number of cars made their way onto the beach. lots of families, some with vertical windbreaks of a style we saw a lot of during the course of our trip. maybe we’d just arrived to early for families — lifeguards supervise the beach from noon to 7:00 p.m. in July and August.
apparently part of the film “Ryan’s Daughter” was filmed at Inch Beach. as I’ve never seen it, I kept confusing it in my head with the horse race scene in “The Quiet Man,” which I know was filmed farther north in Connemara as I’ve driven through the village that claims the film. the pub we ate at in Dunquin also claimed some of the filming; part of me feels I should now watch it. (apparently it’s an adaptation of Madam Bovary?! set during the 1916 Rebellion …) the beach also served as setting for a film adaptation of “Playboy of the Western World” as well.
ultimately, Inch was the only beach at which we put our feet in the water. it was early enough in the trip that the more persistent and problematic blisters had yet to form, but far enough in that taking off boots and walking along the sand to put our feet in the water was an imminently satisfying thought. it was also the one on which we spent the least amount of time, as the Dingle Way does not actually intersect or follow along this beach. just the ones at Ventry, Smerwick Bay, Cloghane, Camp …

Petřín Hill


after exploring the rest of the Czech Republic by various modes of public transportation, I returned to Prauge eager to visit sites I hadn’t had time to visit at the outset of my trip. high on the list, right the abandoned castle fort of Vyšehrad down the river, was Petřín hill. the hill stand some 327 meters above sea level, climbs 130 meters from the bank of the Vltava River and is covered almost entirely by parks and recreational trails.

the day I visited (in the middle of a week at the beginning of October) was cool and dreary and the park proved mostly quiet. rather than climb up, I opted for the three-stop funicular that runs between the neighborhood of Malá Strana beside the river and the top of the hill.

the funicular began operation in 1891 using water balance propulsion, but closed at the outset of the First World War. it did not resume operation until 1932, when all the equipment was overhauled or replaced. it ran for about thirty years before shifting earth once again forced the closure of the line. twenty years later operation resumed with new cars and following track reconstruction. it runs every ten minutes from March to November.

a lookout tower stands near the upper station of the funicular and offers views over the city from two observation decks. it was built the same year as the funicular after a group visited the Paris World Expo of 1889 and was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. it took four months to complete and advocates are quick to point out that, while inspired by the Parisian example, it differs significantly in design, with an octagonal base and support structure.

Petřín hill has featured in numerous pieces of Czech literature, including a short story by Franz Kafka (“Description of a Struggle”) and in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. my interest in the hill, however, stemmed from a novel proposed for use in the Muir Writing Program — Mark Slouka’s The Visible World. it is one of the best and most melancholy books I’ve ever read — certainly the best book I read in the year preceding my trip to the Czech Republic. the heart of Visible World revolves around the wartime experiences of the narrator’s mother, whom he has deduced had a great love who died during the Second World War. there’s an intense scene set atop the hill involving gestapo and a firing squad.

despite the verdant, serene recreational area Petřín is now, it has a dark past, whether the executions depicted in Slouka’s novel occurred or not. in the middle of the 14th century, Charles IV ordered the construction of a defensive wall along the top of the hill to protect the Castle from attacks from the west or south. employing locals in construction, the hladová zeď (or hunger wall), helped people fend off the effects of a famine that descended upon the city in 1361. while it helped many, it was a time of acute hardship among the greater populace. today about 1,200 meters remain of the original structure, which stands some 6 meters high and 2 meters wide. while Charles IV later cultivated a reputation for doing good for the poor, the construction of the wall was probably more strategic rather than a public works project. today the phrase hladová zeď is meant to refer to what is considered a useless public works project.

Grandview Hotel

on our way back from the Tusayan ruins (about which more to come), I took driver’s prerogative and stopped at several vistas to snap pictures and admire the Canyon. one of those locations was the site of the former Grandview Hotel, one of the first lodging options for tourists at the Grand Canyon.

in 1886, a rancher named John Hance opened his land up to visitors. thought to be one of the first non-Native American residents of the Grand Canyon area, after failing as an asbestos miner, Hance developed trails and took groups of visitors down into the Canyon. he sold his ranch to a couple of miners working around the point in 1895 to focus on guiding and serving as postmaster. he died the year the site became a National Park and was the first man buried in the Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery.

while successfully extracting copper, gold and silver, from claims just below Grandview Point, miners Ralph Cameron and Pete Berry improved the hiking trail into the Canyon by partially following an existing Native American path and employing mules to transport goods and people along the route. Cameron and Berry capitalized on the growth in tourism, developing services for visitors including a lodging at both Grandview Point and farther along the rim near what is now the Bright Angel Trailhead.

between 1892 and 1897, Berry and his wife, Martha, put his share of the mine profits into a rambling, rustic lodge they named the Grandview Hotel. they aimed for an “authentic” Southwest quality, using Ponderosa pine for construction and featuring Native American crafts throughout the lodge. when the Santa Fe Railroad completed a line to Williams in 1901, the Berrys offered free stage transportation to their hotel to encourage visitors. they sold the Grandview property the following year, however, to a mining company from Chicago and set up a new hotel on their homestead property nearby.

competition heated up in 1905 when the Santa Fe Railroad built the extravagant El Tovar Hotel across from their new depot (and which still stands today at the heart of Grand Canyon Village). the Berrys struggled, eventually dividing and selling their property in an effort to foster a community to rival the growing Grand Canyon Village. the venture failed but when Santa Fe offered to buy their property, the Berrys refused, opting instead to sell to William Randolph Hearst in 1913 pleased with the idea that a wealthy man had thwarted the corporation that put them out of business. Hearst closed the hotels, however, maintaining the properties as a family retreat in the short term; the Berrys served as caretakers for the property until their retirement in 1919. when Martha and Pete died, in 1931 and 1932 respectively, they were buried in the Grand Canyon cemetery along with John Hance.

despite leaving the Grandview and Berry properties as family retreats, Hearst did harbor aspirations of developing a grand tourist resort on the land, which the budding National Parks Service, which assumed supervision of the Park in 1919, found troubling (I wonder how much the railroad lobby had to do with that …). the Parks Service successfully concentrated tourist services management under the aegis of a single concessionaire — the company responsible for the Santa Fe-owned hotels. after this, while Hearst retained ownership of his property, he let the buildings fall into disrepair before finally dismantling the Grandview and selling some of the beams. in 1941, the Parks Service gained control of the Hearst property through condemnation; he did not take lightly to this challenge and waged a typically searing (though ultimately unsuccessful) campaign against the government in the press. the Parks Service finally dismantled the Summit Hotel in 1959, though some of the mining structures left from the Hearst property remain as historical artifacts on Horseshoe Mesa.

old gives way to the new

the Mob Museum was fascinating in part because it illustrated to some extent the rapid pace at which Las Vegas turns over. if something’s not profitable, not working any more — implode it to make way for something new!

two stories in particular piqued my curiosity about classic resorts and what became of them. the first was the Desert Inn, originally situated on the Strip about parallel to where our hotel stood on Paradise Road. it opened in 1950, the fifth resort on the Strip and the first to have its own golf course. when the original owner (Wilbur Clark) ran short of money, the Cleveland mob took over with Wilbur remaining on as figurehead while Moe Dalitz arranged financing and stayed in the background.

the resort enjoyed its share of fame and notoriety in pop culture, beginning in 1960 with the original “Oceans 11” which featured the Desert Inn as one of five heist locations. six years later, Howard Hughes arrived on Thanksgiving and, when his reservation expired ten days later and he refused to leave, he simply negotiated with Dalitz to buy the hotel, eventually handing over $13 million for the property. it was the first of many Las Vegas purchases for Hughes (and remained a Hughes property until 1988), which later included the Sands (about which more in a moment). the Desert Inn was also featured in Dynasty and Vega$ in the 1980s, “Sister Act 2” and, finally, Rush Hour 2.

despite a major renovation project undertaken in 1997, the Desert Inn didn’t last long into the 21st century. three days after a time capsule was buried as part of the resort’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Steve Wynn purchased the property with the intention to demolish it in favor of a new megaresort. a year later, in October 2001, the main tower of the Desert Inn was demolished.

the Sands Hotel and Casino opened a next door to the Desert Inn in 1952 — the seventh resort on the Strip. the Sands also benefited from the Ocean’s 11 filming in 1960; during their stay in Vegas, the five stars of the show performed at the Sands’ Copa Room in what became known as the “Summit of the Sands” and generally held as the birth of the Rat Pack. this performance also marked a (limited) action taken by the Sands to allow a degree of integration in highly segregated Las Vegas; in the 1950s, the Sands “allowed” Nat King Cole to stay and gamble at the resort and in the 1960s, Sammy Davis Jr. convinced the resort to hire and permit entry to more blacks.

in 1988, Sheldon Adelson bought the Sands and eight years later decided to demolish it to make way for what is now the gargantuan Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. the Sands got one last hurrah on film, though, when the plane from Con Air crashed into its soon-to-be-demolished lobby at the end of the film. (I encourage you to search for “Jon Stewart says Sheldon Adelson.”

 and so, when there’s money to be had or money to be made, Vegas has no qualms about wiring explosives up to any old building whose shine has faded and pushing a detonation button. of course, when the rivers of cash freeze over in a frigid economic climate, demolitions may go forward without anything to rise up from the barren waste left behind.

Kolb Studios

the morning after our arrival at the Grand Canyon, we’d hoped to hike part way down the Bright Angel Trail into the canyon. unfortunately, the snow that had fallen in previous days had packed down on the shaded trail and both signs and rangers warned that crampons or some other method of “traction control” were strongly recommended.

disinclined to fork out the inflated price for Yaktrax, we opted to hike along the South Rim instead, from the Kolb Studio at the Grand Canyon Village back to the Visitor’s Center. I’m glad we made the effort to trek around the construction blocking access to the Bright Angel Trailhead, at the top of which perches the Kolb Studios.

Studio from the Bright Angel Trailhead

for those of you familiar with the Wisconsin Dells, the Kolb Brothers (Emery and Ellsworth) were to the Grand Canyon as H.H. Bennett was to the Dells, taking remarkable, breathtaking daring shots of the natural wonder of the Canyon and Colorado River. the brothers arrived at the Canyon in 1901 and 1902, one working as a bellhop in the lodge and the other hoping for work in an asbestos mine. fortunately for Emery, the mine had closed by his arrival and he stumbled upon a photography shop for sale in Williams; having previously dabbled in photography, he took the risk of the sale and began snapping shots of visitors winding their way down the Bright Angel Trail on mule trains.

initially, they operated out of a tent studio on the rim of the canyon. with the success of their business, however, allowed them to carve a shelf out of the canyon rim and construct a permanent building, which stands today as the core of the studio and museum. the studio grew through several additions including, most importantly, an auditorium in which the brothers screened the film that made them famous. though Ellsworth moved west to Los Angeles in 1924, Emery continued to run the studio and screen the film until his death in 1976, making it the longest, continually-running motion picture in the history.

the Kolb Brother’s canvas boat with cork life vest

after enjoying wide success from unique photos from the base of the Canyon and along the River, in 1911 the brothers undertook to navigate the Green and Colorado Rivers, through the Grand Canyon, eventually ending in Needles, California. the expedition took two months and they took the resulting moving picture show, the “Grand Canyon Film Show,” on tour across the country, playing to packed houses from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York City. upon returning from the screening tour, Ellsworth bought another boat and rode the spring flood from Needles to the Gulf of California, and recounted the entire adventure in the still-in-print Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico.

as I said, Emery stayed and worked in the studio until his death, continuing to photograph the Canyon and Rim as it became increasingly popular with tourists, changing and growing around him. proceeds from the studio and his photography helped support the entire family.

for more images of the studio, as well as the current exhibit in the studio on the Kolb Brothers, check out the National Park’s photostream.