Torn in Two


After reading about these cracks on the Arizona Geology Blog, the team agreed to make them a priority to investigate. The apparent lack of trips to the bottom and imagery made them a prime candidate for our interests. Follow up research into the history of their exploration revealed a fascinating tale from the early 20th century.

Explorer engineers Walter Atwell and G.H. Gordon.

The cracks were recorded as containing water in the 1880's and later a mining claim was made over one. Ben Doney, the owner of the claim used a series of steel ladders to recover the bones of prehistoric animals and some Native American pottery.

By 1935 enough interest in the cracks had been raised to mount an expedition from the National Park Service and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Protected from falling rocks by a steel helmet and carrying an "electric torch", G.H. Gordon was lowered in a bosun's chair 275 feet into the crack. The cable he was lowered on proved inadequate to reach the bottom of the crack, which he claimed was visible below him. After his return to the surface the expedition was put on hold until a longer cable could be found. Sadly there is little evidence of further exploration after these events.

Shout outs to Arizona Geology Blog for an awesome day and continuing to produce adventure inspiration!

[Museum Notes, The Museum of Northern Arizona, Vol.10 No.10, April 1938, Flagstaff Arizona]

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See the world, they
told me...

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the circumnavigator pt5
the circumnavigator pt4
the circumnavigator pt3
the circumnavigator pt2
the circumnavigator pt1
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one hell of a mile 3&4
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the mountain climbers 1&2
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bridge to nowhere
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a dance with death

casting the bones
mountain thief
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the apparition
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the lower depths
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the underdark
in the beginning