Mile 41.5 - Bert Loper’s Boat and Bert’s Canyon
Bert Loper capsized his boat while running 24.5 mile rapid during high water in July of 1949. It is likely that Loper, aged 79, began having a heart attack just before the capsize. He remained motionless in mid-river immediately following the upset as his passenger, Wayne Nichol, hollered at Bert to self-rescue. Once the rest of the river party caught up to Loper’s boat, named Grand Canyon, it was lifted and pulled above flood line. His friends proceeded to solemnly paint in bold letters, “Bert Loper, Grand Old Man of the Colorado, Born July 31, 1869. Died July 8, 1949”, on the bow of the boat. Loper’s body was never recovered, except for his jawbone which was discovered by a hiker in a driftwood pile at Cardenas Creek, some fifty miles downstream from where he was last seen by Nichol. The remnants of Bert’s Boat rest where they were left in 1949.