Bus Hatch started running the rivers of northeastern Utah in 1929. A carpenter by trade, Bus was curious what lay downstream of his hometown of Vernal, Utah, so he built himself a boat and set out exploring the Green River. River running quickly turned into a passion for Bus, and his enthusiasm spread. Soon people were asking Bus to take them downriver, and a business was born.
Bus Hatch led the first ever commercial rafting trip in the United States. Soon, rivers in other parts of the country were luring Bus, and he took his first group down the Grand Canyon in 1934.
Back in those days, even a river trip that people had paid for was still somewhat exploratory. Bus lacked the amenities of modern river trips: coolers that hold ice for days, propane stoves, and a host of other items we take for granted on rafting trips nowadays. Often the provisions for a trip consisted of a shotgun and ammunition, and a few bottles of whiskey for good measure. Bus thought these items could get him and his clients through any emergency…and he was right.