As kids, we’ve all been told, “winners never quit, and quitters never win.” This week’s story is about three men who quit on the brink of victory, and, unfortunately, paid a great price for it.
John Wesley Powell was a self-trained naturalist and a one-armed explorer who had lost the other arm during the Civil War. Powell became enthralled with the wilderness along the Colorado River that included the Grand Canyon. In May 1869, Powell, eleven men and four wooden boats started the decent down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon.
The expedition was under funded, and the unknown river was treacherous. Almost daily the expedition was on the brink of disaster. Then, on August 27, the party heard the roar of a giant rapid. When they investigated it, they found the worst rapids yet. According to Powell, “the billows are huge and I fear our boats could not ride them.”
Everyone was concerned. The next morning, convinced the rapids were impassable, three men decided not to continue the voyage, and started up the side of the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
The remaining members climbed into the boats, and pushed off into the rapids. Amazingly, all of the boats made it through the great rapid. Even more amazingly, they emerged at the mouth of a great lake. The first people they encountered was a surprised search party looking for the remains of their supposedly lost expedition.
The men who left the expedition had been less fortunate. For, when they got to the top of the canyon they had encountered a war party of Indians, and were killed.
We need to keep this incident in mind the next time we think about quitting before a project is complete.
To learn about Dakota’s book, Living The Code, go to www.LivingTheCode.com.