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The River That Flows UphillGerman and Dutch translations are available, and the original English version is again available in an Authors Guild reprint edition through amazon.com and other booksellers.  
William H. Calvin
This page is at http://WilliamCalvin.com/bk3/index.htm
The River That Flows Uphill
A Journey from the Big Bang
to the Big Brain

Copyright 1986 by William H. Calvin.

You may download this for personal reading but may not redistribute or archive without permission (exception: teachers should feel free to print out a chapter and photocopy it for students).

This is a Deluxe edition in an unusual sense: the photographs and sound files are from Leonard Thurman’s Grand Canyon River Running web pages. What you get on your web browser is assembled, before your very eyes, using text delivered from Seattle (Washington State USA, near the Canadian border), and pictures and sound being sent from Tucson (Arizona USA, near the Mexican border).

Chapter List
Navajo Reservation: Where Did Humans Come From?

Day 1
Mile 0  Lee's Ferry: The Lizards Are Doing Pushups Again
Mile 4  Navajo Bridge: Of Clever Crows, Ravens, and Gulls
Mile 8   Badger Rapid: Life as a Staircase of Quiescence and Turbulence
Mile 17 House Rock Rapid: The Evolution of Feathers
Mile 21 North Canyon Camp: The Big Bang and the Condensation of Earth

Day 2
Mile 22 The Roaring Twenties: Descent into Layer-Cake Geology
Mile 29 Silver Grotto: The Light at the End of the Swim
Mile 30 Giotto's Tower: Parachuting Cats to the Rescue
Mile 31 South Canyon: The Peopling of the World

Day 3
Mile 33 Redwall Cavern: Roll On, Colorado, Roll On
Mile 39 Damsite: Beaver Instincts and the Salt of the Earth
Mile 47 Saddle Canyon: How Did Animals Become Smart?
Mile 52 Nankoweap Ruins: The Anasazi and the Supernova

Day 4
Mile 61 Azure Confluence: The Colorado Matter and Meteor Extinctions
Mile 64 The Great Unconformity: Sacred Hopi Salt Mines
Mile 66 Furnace Flats: How Was the Grand Canyon Carved?
Mile 71 Overlooking Unkar Delta:
                     An Eclipse of the Moon at an Indian Ruin

Day 5
Mile 71 Cardenas Creek: Population Ecology and Freedom
Mile 77 Inner Gorge: Bootstrapping through Fluctuation
Mile 84 Clear Creek: Early Earth and the Origins of Life
Mile 88 Phantom Ranch: In Limbo
Mile 92 Monument Creek: Hit-or-Miss Toolmaking and the Secret Necklace

Day 6
Mile 95 Hermit Rapid: Neural Templates for Reading and Writing
Mile 99 Crystal Rapid: Of Floods and Fools
Mile 104 Onyx Rapid: The Mental Image of a Hawk
Mile 109 Bass Camp: A Canyon Thunderstorm

Day 7
Mile 109 Powell Plateau: Islands and Evolution
Mile 116 Elves Chasm: Design by Change Order
Mile 118 Stephen Aisle: Of Natural Selection and Sexual Selection
Mile 120 Blacktail Canyon: Of Clones and Social darwinism

Day 8
Mile 121 Conquistador Aisle: The Puzzle of Cooperation and Sex
Mile 132 Stone Creek Beach: Alan's Walk Through Time
Mile 134 Surprise Valley: Marginal Agriculture and Nuclear Winter

Day 9
Mile 134 Tapeats Creek: Meteors Stirring the Pot of Ape Evolution
Mile 136 Deer Creek Falls: Scenarios for Post-Ape Evolution
Mile 137 Overhang Camp: Gathering, Tools, and Prehuman Brain Size

Day 10
Mile 143 Kanab Creek: Growing Young and the Big Brain
Mile 145 Olo Canyon: Selection Scenarios for Juvenilization
Mile 148 Matkatamiba Canyon:
                   Was Throwing the Fast Track for Big Brains?
Mile 150 Upset Rapid: The Evolution of Language

Day 11
Mile 155 The Ledges Camp: How Did Our Musical Abilities Arise?
Mile 157 Havasu Canyon: Consciousness and Will as Rehearsing the Future
Mile 166 National Canyon: Surprises from Emergent Properties

Day 12
Mile 170 Lake Lava: Ageing, Pain and Suffering
Mile 179 Lava Falls Rapid: The Great Black Hole
Mile 182 Honeycomb Tapestries: Ratchets Driven by Winters and Ice Ages
Mile 188 Anasazi Art Gallery: World Population Limits Human Change

Day 13
Mile 188 Whitmore Wash: Scenarios for Superhumans
Mile 205 Kolb Rapid: Trapped in the Backwaters of the Universe
Mile 212 Hangout Rock: Simulations of the Future
Mile 220 Upper Gorilla Camp: Stage-Managing as a Duty

Day 14
Mile 225 Diamond Creek Takeout: To Hold Eternity in an Hour


If you would like to see a translation for your language, alert a relevant publisher and point them toward my literary agent:
Brockman, Inc., 5 East 59th Street, New York NY 10022 USA.
fax +1(212)935-5535 ....... e-mail rights@brockman.com

For maps and photos, see
Grand Canyon River Trips and Grand Canyon Hiking web pages.

Begin reading the Prologue

The River That Flows Uphill (Sierra Club Books 1987) is my river diary of a two-week whitewater trip through the bottom of the Grand Canyon, discussing everything from the Big Bang to the Big Brain. It became a bestseller in German translation in 1995. AVAILABILITY  There are German and Dutch translations in print, and the English version is back in print and available via  amazon.com and other booksellers.