The Puzzling Disappearance Of Glen And Bessie Hyde: A Couple Who Set Out To Make History In The Grand Canyon

Simon Dannhauer - - illustrative purposes only

In 1927, Glen and Bessie Hyde caught each other’s eyes while traveling on a boat to Los Angeles. Glen was originally from Idaho and had recently sailed from the Salmon River to the Pacific Ocean in a boat, known as a scow, that he built by hand.

Bessie, too, shared his adventurous spirit. She was a bohemian artist who enjoyed poetry and theatre.

And although Bessie was technically married upon meeting Glen, the pair felt undeniable chemistry. So, she filed for divorce, and just one day after the separation was finalized in 1928, Glen and Bessie tied the knot.

The pair opted to celebrate their nuptials by planning a romantic adventure through the Grand Canyon. At the age of 29, Glen was already an experienced river runner who had successfully navigated the Snake and Salmon Rivers. Bessie also shared his venturesome spirit, and at 22 years old, she was ready to tackle a novel challenge with her new husband.

At the time, traveling through the Grand Canyon together would have made Glen and Bessie history makers. Glen’s goal was to become the fastest person to traverse the Grand Canyon’s length by boat. And, joined by Bessie, his wife would become the first woman to ever complete that journey.

So, not only was this trip supposed to be an idyllic honeymoon, but the newlyweds also believed accomplishing such a journey would bring them overnight success and financial stability. More specifically, the Hydes were hopeful they would return home and find lecture invitations and book deals awaiting them.

With this in mind, the couple set out from Green River, Utah, in Glen’s handmade scow on October 20, 1928. They planned to travel southwest and reach Needles, California, in early December.

Glen and Bessie had packed enough supplies, and the couple’s river-riding skills held up as they navigated the Colorado River. So, the first leg of their travels actually went quite smoothly.

Along the way, the Hydes also got to meet a lot of new people. One of whom was Emery Kolb, a photography studio owner from the canyon’s southern rim.

Simon Dannhauer – – illustrative purposes only

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