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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 1.2, Lees Backbone, Downstream View from River Left (Stake 2563)

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Stake 2563, 28 December 1889 View Larger Image
28 December 1889
Stanton needed to document his railroad route as the Colorado River, which briefly emerged from its canyon at Lee’s Ferry, plunged into the depths of Marble and Grand Canyons. Two of the crew members struck poses for this photograph taken opposite from Lee’s Ferry, overlooking the Kaibab limestone of Marble Canyon as it winds into the distance. The long sweep of beach visible at the right center is part of a large sandbar on the downstream side of the Paria River debris fan. While it is difficult to discern in this image, the man at right is sitting on a precarious rock that projects into open air.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-270, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 2563, 11 February 1992 View Larger Image
11 February 1992
The beaches have been eroded away, and Navajo Bridge, constructed in 1929, is barely visible in the distance. Jim Hasbargen is seated on the rock where one of Stanton’s crew members sat a century before, just not as far out as the man sat in 1889. Hasbargen did not throw that rock.
Photo credit: Ted Melis

Stake 2563, 21 April 2011 View Larger Image
21 April 2011
Few changes can be discerned in the twenty years between photographs. There is now a second bridge over Marble Canyon, but it is blocked from view by the original. Howling winds blew up the canyon on the day this image was taken, making it impossible to position the camera exactly, but the image is only slightly off. Three dust devils are visible in the center of the image, and the mixing of the muddy waters of the Paria River with the clear flow of the Colorado is affected by the wind. Photographer Bill Lemke set up the shot before crawling out to the perch on the rock, entrusting the acrophobic note-taker, Diane Boyer, to snap the shutter. Lemke was too busy holding on to hold a rock.
Photo credit: Bill Lemke

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