After visiting with old friends of the Hatch family this afternoon, recalling stories of past wilderness river adventures hold a new and invigorated interest. These pioneers in the field hold valuable information about a place changed by innovation. Appreciation that these stories were written down grows with every passing day. The Flashback Friday this week continues with the interview between Elizabeth Sowards and Ted Hatch from 1984.

wilderness river expeditions

Photo Courtesy of Roy Webb

Ted: You can see these old Model A Ford wheels. (Laughs) Those were new Model A. Ford wheels then. This was named Lota Ve after…. Alt Hatch had named his daughter Lota. I don’t know if you remember Alt. He was manager, eventually, of the Pennys Store in Boulder.

E. Sowards: He was you dad’s brother.

Ted: Yes.

E. Sowards: Was that his whole name, Alt? Or was that a nickname?

Ted: Alton was his name.

E. Sowards: Alton.

Ted: You knew "Bay" Hatch. He didn’t run the river much. He used to live here. He died. He was born and raised in Vernal. He died quite young. He didn’t run much, but the Swains are double-cousins due to the Hatches have married Swains. Two brothers married two sisters. So anyway, Frank Swain and those guys were all related closely to us. I had three uncles on the trip and my dad.

These are early pictures up on the middle fork. This is a history of that area. The guy that wrote that used to work for us. He ran boats for us, Cort Conley.

I got this this year, and I thought it was really neat. Goldwater sent me this book that he wrote on the Grand Canyon when he went through. He went with Norm Nevills (of Mexican Hat, Utah) who was a friend of my dad’s, and he wrote and thanked me and said he knew our family and had great respect for my dad; which I really appreciated.

E. Sowards" Oh, that was great!

Ted: You know, he didn’t have to do that. He just did.

But when they ran Grand Canyon, they started way at the top. On the Nevills Expedition they started at Green River, Wyoming. They went all the way through Flaming Gorge through what we used to run too. Flaming Gorge, Brown’s Park, LaDore, Split Mountain, Grey, Desolation, Stillwater and Labyrinth Canyon, Cataract Canyon, and now of course, there is a dam at Page. In those days they had the Glen Canyon. Then they ran Marble Canyon and Grand Canyon and you were at Lake Mead.

The earlier explorers went clear on down, some of them. Powell didn’t go all the way, but some of his men went on down to the Gulf…all the way through.

Hopefully guests and guides alike have enjoyed these Flashback Friday’s about wilderness river adventures.

Flashback Friday – Ted Discusses Historic Wilderness River Adventures was last modified: July 22nd, 2015 by Katy Nelson

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