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On my 1450 mile journey down the Colorado River, I celebrated the end of each day with Herbal Cool to calm my aching muscles.

Jonathan Waterman in action

Jonathan Waterman

Activity: Walking
Activism: Water

Jonathan Waterman is renowned for unprecedented mountaineering ascents, long river descents, and arduous wilderness traverses—such as his 2,200 mile solo of the Northwest Passage (Arctic Crossing, Knopf, 2001). He has worked as a guide, park ranger, magazine editor, the director of a small press, and has published in National Geographic Adventure, the Washington Post, Outside, the Baltimore Sun, and numerous prominent journals. Jon has also written for, appeared in, and created five television documentaries about his wild journeys. The accolades for his work include seven book and magazine awards, an Emmy, and the National Park Service Special Achievement Award for his rescue duties on Mt. McKinley.

His most recent book, Running Dry, is his journey from source to sea on the Colorado River. This 1,450-mile, five-month-long trip included unintentional swims through rapids;

trespasses across dams; a fall onto a Grand Canyon rattlesnake; weeks of solitude on the river balanced by meetings with scientists and water operators; a ten-day walk through the dried-out delta (occasionally paddling his three-pound raft down irrigation canals); and convincing a well armed squad of Mexican soldiers on the river mouth that he was not a drug smuggler. Until his journey, the full descent of the Colorado River had never been completed. Now Jon believes that it should not be undertaken again until the river reaches the sea. He lives with his wife, June, and children, Nicholas and Alistair—in Carbondale, Colorado.

Waterman’s new book, Running Dry, is available on For more information or to organize a lecture from Jon, please go to his website:

Why Care About Water?