People have run the Grand Canyon in all sorts of boats, from wooden dories to rafts, kayaks, and the occasional open canoe. Who’s to say indigenous people didn’t run the Grand Canyon hundreds or even thousands of years ago? He later learned that the Peruvian fishermen who famously ride reed boats through head-high surf use a similar technique in rough water, straddling their caballitos de totora, or reed ponies, like so many nautical cowboys. Where a lightweight kayak would bob across waves and get recirculated in holes, the heavier reed boat submarined to safety. The Grand Canyon we know is full of formidable rapids, because at the standard flows released from Glen Canyon Dam the whitewater is both powerful and somewhat technical.