Mountain Man? Maybe. Canyon Man? Absolutely. After losing his right arm at the Battle of Shiloh in the Civil War, Major John Wesley Powell, at 35, strapped a wooden chair to a wooden boat, enlisted nine men and floated his way down the Grand Canyon, making the first ever-run through the canyon by a bunch of white guys and possibly by anyone.
The journey started in May of 1869 on the shores of Wyoming’s Green River. Before hitting the mighty Colorado, John Wesley Powell only lost one man who walked away, but most of their supplies had been lost to the rapids. Over the next two months, the crew had to portage what they could and run what they couldn’t. At Separation Canyon, three men had decided they would rather hike out and brave the desert, than almost surely die from starvation or drowning in the canyon. Two days later, the remaining crew floated out of the canyon. Those who hiked out were killed by Shivwit Indians. Powell went on to head the U.S. Geological Society, and he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.