The Colorado River figured prominently in this year’s winners of the National Outdoor Book Awards.

The winners of this annual award program represent some of the finest outdoor writing and artwork being published today. The NOBA Foundation, Idaho State University and the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education sponsor the awards program.

Brad Dimock of Flagstaff, Arizona won the History/Biography Category with his book “The Very Hard Way.” Brad Dimock tackled this book like a tough rapid where success is uncertain. Not only did he come through intact as an author, but he produced a marvelous work, certainly registering among the most creative of outdoor biographies.

The subject of the book is Bert Loper, a legendary Colorado River boatman who died on the river at 80-years old while oaring his own boat. Loper, however, wasn’t the easiest subject to write about. He was an ordinary person, not particularly educated, never quite successful at anything, even at building a proper river boat. Yet Dimock artfully combines his own exhaustive research with interviews, first-person stories, letters, and Loper’s own writing to fashion an absorbing portrait of his life.

A river running guide to the Grand Canyon by Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis received top honors in the Outdoor Guidebook category. For whitewater river runners, the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is the pinnacle experience. Now there’s a river map and guide to match that reputation. It’s built upon a series of 7.5 minute topographic maps, correctly oriented and large enough to read easily from the seat of your boat. Outstanding cartographical work combined with accurate descriptions of rapids, camps and landmarks make this the state-of-the-art of river guides.

    Quick Summary of Winners.

  • Outdoor Literature Category. Winner. Backcast. By Lou Ureneck
  • Outdoor Literature Category. Winner. Blue Horizons. By Beth A. Leonard
  • History/Biography Category. Winner. The Very Hard Way. By Brad Dimock
  • History/Biography Category. Winner. Forever on the Mountain. By James M. Tabor
  • Natural History Literature. Winner. Sky Time in Gray’s River. By Robert Michael Pyle
  • Natural History Literature. Honorable Mention. Last Stand. By Michael Punke
  • Nature and the Environment Category. Winner. Condors in Canyon Country. By Sophie A. H. Osborn
  • Nature and the Environment Category. Winner. White Paradise: Journeys to the North Pole . By Francis Latreille
  • Design and Artistic Merit Category. Winner. Yosemite in the Sixties. Photographed by Glen Denny
  • Design and Artistic Merit Category. Winner. Arctic Wings. Edited by Stephen Brown
  • Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category. Winner. Guide to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. By Tom Martin & Duwain Whitis
  • Children’s Category. Winner. Peak. By Roland Smith
  • Instructional Category. Winner. The Complete Mountain Biking Manual. By Tim Brink
  • Nature Guidebooks. Winner. Birds of Northern South America. By Robin Restall
  • Work of Significance. Connecticut Walk Book. Edited by Ann T. Colson
  • Classic Category. Winner. The Natural History of Trees. By Donald Culross Peattie

Complete reviews of these and the other 2007 winners may be found at National Outdoor Book Award Web site at: