Vishnu Temple Press
Phone and fax (928) 556 0742

Vishnu Temple Press publishes and distributes non-fiction books about the Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau.

Vishnu Temple in the Grand Canyon Art © Ron Short

Photo © Mike Buchheit

Moulty Fulmer and the First Grand Canyon Dory on the Last of the Wild Colorado
by Tom Martin


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Order Day Hikes from the River, Guide to the Colorado River & Big Water, Little Boats and save. Combination available for $65

There was a time when river runners built their own boats and rowed the Colorado River through Grand Canyon on free-flowing water; no permit problems, no high-tech gear and not much in the way of backup. What they did have were cameras, lots of film, cans of food, life jackets and journals to keep their notes in. Tom has chatted with a number of the guys and gals still standing, then scoured libraries, attics and garages to find the stories and pictures the others have left behind. He built a replica of Grand Canyon's first decked McKenzie River dory from photographs, notes, and the original wreck the boat builder left behind, and has since rowed it through the Canyon three times. Here he tells the story of Moulty Fulmer, Brick Mortenson, P. T. Reilly, Dock Marston, and their friends on river trips on some of the highest water of the last century. He has included many stories of other trips during the same time period, the 1940s though the 1960s, including the development of recreational river running and boat design on the Colorado.

Soft cover, lots of historic b&W and color photographs, 240 pages. 978-0-9795055-6-0. Publication date May 2012

Back Cover copy:

Moulty Fulmer was bitten by the river running bug during a San Juan River trip in 1942. After a chance meeting with a McKenzie River dory builder, Fulmer constructed his first dory and rowed the San Juan in 1947. Traveling through Grand Canyon in 1948 on a Norm Nevills expedition, Fulmer met Colorado River historian, Otis "Dock" Marston, and they went on to run rivers together and correspond for the next thirty years.

Fulmer built his second dory, the Gem, specifically for big water. Joining forces with Pat Reilly in 1954, they ran the Grand Canyon five times in home-built boats. Their adventures included rowing the wild Colorado River in 1957 on 126,000 cubic feet per second, one of the highest flows in the last century.

Using historic photos, river logs, letters and interviews, author Tom Martin recounts the voyages of a number of unsung river runners during the transformation from Grand Canyon expeditionary river running into today's whitewater recreation. Big Water, Little Boats chronicles the start of the park's river running permit system in 1955, the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, and the explosion of river running that occurred after the completion of the dam in 1963.

Big Water Little Boats is also available from the following:
Aspen Sports, Flagstaff, AZ
Babbits Backcountry, Flagstaff, AZ
Back of Beyond Books, Moab UT
Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ Canyon REO, Flagstaff, AZ
Cascade Outfitters, Boise, ID
Down River Equipment, Wheatridge, CO
Four Corners River Sports, Durango, CO
Couzens Ranch Museum, Fraser, CO
Idaho River Sports, Boise, ID
JW Powell River History Museum, Green River, UT
Marble Canyon Lodge, Lees Ferry, AZ
Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO
Peace Surplus, Flagstaff, AZ
Sweetwater County Museum, Green River, WY
Tumalo Creek Canoe & Kayak, Bend, OR
Wet Dreams, Flagstaff, AZ
Willow Canyon Outdoor Co, Kanab, UT

Moulty Fulmer and the First Grand Canyon Dory on the Last of the Wild Colorado
by Tom Martin 978-09795055-6-0 May 2012
Soft cover, 240 pages, b&w and color photos throughout, $24.95

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Vishnu Temple Press
PO Box 30821
Flagstaff, AZ 86003
Phone & fax (928) 890 4214
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Vishnu Temple artwork in the header © Ron Short
Vishnu Temple photograph in the header © Mike Buchheit

Vishnu Temple Press LLC is owned by Tom Martin and Hazel Clark © 1999
Site last updated February 2021