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‘Last Voyageur’ author Welch speaks Tuesday at Arts Center

Vince Welch, author of “The Last Voyageur,” will speak Tuesday, at 7 p.m. at Columbia Center for the Arts.

The biography focuses on Amos Burg, one of the first commercial river guides, the last known individual to run all the major western rivers (Columbia, Snake, Yellowstone, Missouri, Mississippi, Yukon, Canada’s Mackenzie, Green and Colorado, Middle Fork and Main Salmon) before dams made such voyages difficult if not impossible.

The event is hosted by Waucoma Books. There is a $5 suggested donation, with proceeds benefiting the non-profit Center for the Arts.

Burg was the first to complete source-to-mouth canoe voyages on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and the first to pilot an inflatable raft through Grand Canyon and down the Middle Fork and Main Salmon.

Welch, himself a river guide, weaves a passionate and well-researched narrative using extensive material from Burg’s own rich archives.

Burg was a quintessential man of the American West and one of the last voyageurs of North America’s great waterways.

Welch was a boatman on Northwest rivers for several years before heading to the Colorado River, where he guided for Grand Canyon dories and first encountered the legend of Amos Burg. He has since lived and guided all over the West and has written for River magazine, The Utne Reader, Boatman’s Quarterly Review, and others.

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