The Man Who Walked Through Time: The Story of the First Trip Afoot Through the Grand Canyon

by Colin Fletcher

Paperback, 1989

Call number




Vintage (1989), Edition: Reissue, 256 pages


The story of the remarkable journey of the man who walked the length of the Grand Canyon below the rim.

User reviews

LibraryThing member bragan
Colin Fletcher's account of walking the length of the Grand Canyon (or at least that part of it that lies in the National Park) is less about the physical details of his journey and more about his quest for a change of perspective among the Canyon's solitude, and in particular his attempt to understand, fully and viscerally, the immense age of the Canyon's rocks. At times his philosophical musings may seem a bit repetitive or unoriginal, but they are appealingly honest and, I believe, quite valid. And some passages are highly evocative, vividly painting a mental picture of the vast evolutionary web of life, or recalling strongly to my mind the sensations and emotions of my own, infinitely less ambitious, desert hiking experiences.

One thing that is a bit disappointing, though, is the lack of pictures. Fletcher correctly points out that relying only on sight gives one a woefully incomplete feel for a landscape like the Grand Canyon's, and that taking pictures can be a bad distraction from actually living your experiences. But he does mention taking photos during the course of his trip, so the reason why they fail to appear in this 1967 paperback is almost certainly economic rather than philosophical. And it's a shame, as I think they would have helped to enhance the reader's sense of making that journey with him.
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LibraryThing member Sean191
I thought I'd like this and at the very beginning, I did. But really, although the author did something pretty cool, it wasn't overly daunting. There was not the amount of danger you come across in some other extreme nature challenges (or if there was, he didn't clearly give that impression. And really, it wasn't a book so much about the canyon, but about Colin Fletcher's own quest...and he annoyed me a little.

He went into so much detail about what he was carrying and little things he saw - he went into detail about how annoyed he was when he saw signs of man in the canyon at times, but he doesn't go into detail about what happened to all the trash he generated from supplies grabbed at arranged air drops. And there's no way he was carrying it out.

Beyond that, there was just a tone that ended up grating against my nerves. I could imagine he wouldn't be the best travel companion. I'd take Bill Bryson over this any day for the humor, or other more serious travel adventure for the level of talent in the writing and the lack of egotism.
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LibraryThing member mschooling
One of my all time favorites ... early Colin Fletcher; deepened my desire to explore the Grand Canyon.
LibraryThing member asails
A great look at some on who spent a life walking while considering philosophy, history, and methodologies.One of my favorite saying from Colin is: Hell is where the police are Italian, the politicians are French and the cooks are English......




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