PHOENIX ARIZONA during March 2015
These events are all free and open to the public.
Proceeds from the book signings after the events will go to the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library.

Big Water Little Boats
Tuesday March 10, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., Pulliam Auditorium 1st floor

Big Water, Little Boats
Wednesday March 11, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Desert Sage Library 7602 W. Encanto Blvd.

From Powell to Power
Thursday March 12, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ironwood Library 4333 E. Chandler Blvd., meeting room

From Powell to Power **in Tucson**
Friday March 13, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
University of Arizona College of Public Health,
Drachman Hall, Room A-112.
1295 North Martin Ave.
Parking is available on the south side of the building. The entrance is between the two buildings that make up the Hall, on the east side of the breezeway.

From Powell To Power
Saturday, March 21, 11:00 am - noon
Saguaro library 2808 N 46th St. meeting room

Day Hikes from the River
Saturday March 21, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Century Library 1750 E. Highland Ave, meeting room

Dam Nation Film Screening
Tuesday March 24, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
South Mountain Community Library 7050 S 24th Street

Big Water, Little Boats
Thursday March 26, 6:00 pm
Cholla Library 10050 Metro Parkway E. meeting room 2nd floor

Day Hikes from the River
Saturday March 28, 11:00 am - noon
Agave Library 23550 N 36th Ave meeting room

Day Hikes from the River
Saturday March 28, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Juniper Library 1825 W. Union Hills Dr. meeting room

What these different presentations are about
Big Water Little Boats
Local 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. The program includes original photographs and film footage from various 1940’s-1960’s river trips. The program will be followed by a book signing of “Big Water, Little Boats: Moutly Fulmer and the First Grand Canyon Dory on the Last of the Wild Colorado River” with proceeds benefitting the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library

From Powell To Power
Otis “Dock” Marston first ran the Colorado River through Grand Canyon in 1942. Marston went on to participate in the first motorized down-runs and only up-run of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Local author Tom Martin will discuss the book "From Powell To Power, A Recounting of the first 100 River Runners through the Grand Canyon.” The program will be followed by a book signing of “From Powell To Power” with proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library

Day Hikes from the River
Join author Tom Martin as he describes some of the 100 hiking adventures available from camps on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. Photos from Bass Camp, Hell’s Hollow, Parashant and Cardenas will be shared. The program will be followed by a book signing of “Day Hikes from the River” with proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library.

DamNation Film Screening
This powerful film odyssey across America explores the change in our national attitude from the pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. “DamNation’s” majestic cinematography moves through rivers and landscapes altered by dams to explore the conquest of the natural world. Local author, Tom Martin will lead a discussion after the film and answer questions.

From Powell to Power
Saturday, April 18 at 2:00 PM.
Rock Springs, WY
White Mountain Library
2935 Sweetwater Drive
Big Water, Little Boats Moulty Fulmer and the First Grand Canyon Dory on the Last of the Wild Colorado River

A book by Tom Martin, author of Day Hikes from the River and Guide to the Colorado River through Grand Canyon.

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 dory, a fully decked McKenzie River dory, from photographs, notes, and the original wreck still housed in the Grand Canyon National Park Special Collections. The replica has made it through the Canyon four times since, even with Tom's poor driving. 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 ever run in the Grand Canyon. Big Water Little Boats includes many stories of other trips during the same time period, the 1940s through the 1960s, including the development of recreational river running and boat design on the Colorado.

Soft cover, almost 200 historic b&W and color photographs, 240 pages.ISBN 978-0-9795055-6-0. $24.95.

To see photographs from the most recent replica expedition in the Grand Canyon check out the Big Water Little Boats page on Facebook.


See longer reviews

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.

PLEASE BE AWARE WE CANNOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARD ORDERS OVER THE PHONE. EITHER USE THE PAYPAL BUTTONS OR MAIL A CHECK. You may order on-line by using your major credit card. On-line payments are processed by PayPal, an independent firm not associated with Vishnu Temple Press.

If you prefer to send a check please add:
Priority Mail
shipping ($8.00 for first book, $2 each additional)
or Media Mail shipping ($5.00 for first book, $2 each additional)

Available from:
Vishnu Temple Press
PO Box 30821
Flagstaff, AZ 86003
Phone & fax (928) 890 4214
Retail/Wholesale inquiries welcome.
"Well written, fabulously researched, and beautifully illustrated."
- Wayne Ranney, geologist and veteran river guide

"Congratulations on the book. To quote the English poet John Keats: “A thing of beauty and (is) a joy forever.” The book brought back many pleasant memories and one very great sadness. The death of Willie. He was a fine person who truly loved the canyon."
- Ed Hudson, crew member on the 1948, 1949 and 1950 powerboat attempts

“Thank you so much for allowing my tiny part of the canyon’s history to be included in this project. You have done a wonderful documentation on a unique period of American History.”
- Amrette Butler, crew member on the 1956 Reilly-Fulmer run

“WOW! What an amazing book. I was thrilled and excited to receive it. It is so much more than I expected it to be. The photos are stunning. This is a real treasure that will be available for years to come. Without your efforts, this information would have been lost as time goes by. Congratulations on producing such a special history.”
- Bevan Wright, crew member on the 1950 Frank Wright ESMERALDA II recovery

“What a wonderful book! Your research is surely impressive and the pictures are beautifully reproduced. I just wish Frank Moltzen could have lived long enough to see this book.”
- Neal Newby, two-person fourteen-day trip Lee’s to Phantom, 1956

I thought is was one of the most accurate of writings that has come out about the river history and that era.
- Bob Rigg, veteran river guide

Many thanks for the book, a landmark for sure.
- Martin Litton, doryman and environmentalist

The replica GEM in Granite Rapids, Grand Canyon National Park, 2010 Photo courtesy of Barbara Vinson
Click image or here to see pages 20-21

Click image or here to see pages 150-151

If you are interested in arranging a book signing or slide & movie show, please contact us at

If you have journals, photos, films of self-guided trips from the 1930s-1960s and you think Tom may be interested in them or if you want advice on how to preserve them, please contact Tom at

Proud to be part of The Conservation Alliance

Vishnu Temple artwork © Ron Short

Vishnu Temple photograph © Mike Buchheit

Book cover design © Sandra Kim Muleady

Vishnu Temple in the Grand Canyon

Big Water, Little Boats is a publication by Vishnu Temple Press LLC which is owned by Tom Martin and Hazel Clark © 1999
Site last updated February 2015