By: Lauren Wood


This week I had the chance to sit down with one of our new trip facilitators, Dr. Andrew Gulliford and ask him a few questions about his work, his love of rivers, and why he is such a lover of Western history.  


Lauren: Why do you do the work you do; What drives you?

Andy: I am a historian and interpreter & have been for over 20 years. I do it because I’m a professor at heart and I love to teach about the West on location and bring folks from all over the country to places they would never otherwise see. I love talking about the history of the Native Americans, miners, prospectors, pioneers, in camp around a fire in the very places these stories unfolded. 


L: Why have you chosen to come with Holiday on this trip?

A: I have been on floating on Western rivers for two decades and had many contacts with Holiday guides and clients along the way. I think you run an excellent business and have heard nothing but good comments about your trips. I am honored to join Holiday’s river family! 


L: What is your relationship to a river?

A: Rivers are life. Water is life. In the Southwest about 90% of all animal and plant life exists in riparian corridors. Rivers are where all the history happened, where all the rock art exists, where humans have been for roughly 10,000 to 11,000 years. I love rivers at the crack of dawn and as darkness falls. Rivers are a fascinating way to get across the West. With the technological advancement of rafts after World War Two all these canyons opened up across the Southwest. These rivers provide a way to look at the landscape and understand it in a way no other pathway does. 


L: What makes you so curious about the history of this region?

A: We are blessed with living in one of the great open spaces in the world. On the Colorado Plateau there are more Wilderness Areas, National Parks, National Monuments, Reservations & other public lands than anywhere on earth…it is so open. We have incredible night skies as well. I’m always curious about moving through open landscape and who was here experiencing them before us. What are the stories we can tell about them? 


L: What is one thing you hope someone on your upcoming trips takes away from the experience?

A: I hope they take away the need for public land preservation; the need for understanding environmental changes in the West and why it is so essential to keep these lands open and available…for outdoor recreation, for the silence solitude and darkness many Americans don’t get from their home…These public lands are one of our greatest gifts from our forefathers and we need to protect them!


L: How can people find out more about you?

A: You can check me out at 


To find out more about Andy Gulliford’s two trips with us this summer, visit the specialty trip pages here!  Desolation River History (& Stargazing) & Yampa River History 

Also for those lucky enough to book a trip with Andy this summer or for anyone interested in the history of the Southwest, Dr. Gulliford has provided us with his wonderful Southwest Bibliography:


Southwest Archaeology

Blackburn, Fred M., and Ray A. Williamson, Cowboys and Cave Dwellers: Basketmaker Archaeology in Utah’s Grand Gulch

Childs, Craig, House of Rain

Cole, Sally, Legacy on Stone: Rock Art of the Colorado Plateau and Four Corners Region

Cordell, Linda, Prehistory of the Southwest

Plog, Stephen, Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest

Schaafsma, Polly, Warrior, Shield, and Star: Imagery and Ideology of Pueblo Warfare

Snead, James E., Ruins and Rivals: The Making of Southwest Archaeology

Stuart, David E. Anasazi America

Thybony, Scott, Rock Art of the American Southwest

Southwest History and Native American Culture

Atchison, Stewart, Hole-in-the-Rock Trail

Berke, Arnold, Mary Colter: Architect of the Southwest

Berkholz, Richard C., Old Trading Posts of the Four Corners

Brown, Kenneth, The Four Corners

Gulliford, Andrew, Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions

____________, The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes

James, H. L., Rugs and Posts

Lamar, Howard R. The Far Southwest 1846-1912

Lavender, David, The Southwest

McPherson, Robert, Sacred Land, Sacred View

________________, The Northern Navajo Frontier, 1860-1900

Poling-Kempes, Lesley, The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West

Pyne, Stephen J. How the Canyon Became Grand, New York: Penguin Books, 1998.


Southwest Literature

Abbey, Edward, The Monkeywrench Gang

Dunaway, David, ed. Writing the Southwest

Ellis, Reuben, ed. Stories and Stone: Writing the Anasazi Homeland—An Anthology

Hillerman, Tony, A Thief of Time

La Farge, Oliver, Laughing Boy

McNickle, D’Arcy, Runner in the Sun

Momaday, N. Scott, House Made of Dawn

Querry, Ron, The Death of Bernadette Lefthand

Southwest Memoirs/Travel Narratives/Nature Writing

Abbey, Edward, Desert Solitare: A Season in the Wilderness

Clark, H. Jackson, The Owl in Monument Canyon and Other Stories from Indian Country

Faunce, Hilda, Desert Wife

Gulliford, Andrew, Ed. Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology

Meloy, Ellen, Raven’s Exile

___________ The Anthropology of Turquoise

___________ Eating Stone

Watkins, T. H., Redrock Chronicles

Williams, Terry Tempest, Red: Passion and Persistence in the Desert

____________________ An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field

Zwinger, Anne, Wind in the Rock


Southwest Weaving

Allen, Dodie, The Weavers Way: Navajo Profiles

Berkholz, Richard C., Old Trading Posts of the Four Corners

Blomberg, Nancy J., Navajo Textiles: The William Randolph Hearst Collection

Dedera, Don, Navajo Rugs: The Essential Guide

Faunce, Hilda, Desert Wife

Hedlund, Ann Lane, Reflections of the Weaver’s World

________________ Navajo Weaving in the Late Twentieth Century: Kin, Community and Collectors James, H.L., Rugs and Posts

McNitt, Frank, The Indian Traders

Weisiger, Marsha, Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country

Wilkins, Teresa J. Patterns of Exchanges: Navajo Weavers and Traders

Winters, Mark, Dances With Wool: Celebrating 100 Years of Woven Images from Southwestern Mythology

____________The Master Weavers: Celebrating one hundred years of Navajo Textile Artists from the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills Weaving Region


The Colorado River & Environmental Issues

Boyer, Diane E. and Robert H. Webb, Damming Grand Canyon: The 1923 USGS Colorado River Expedition. Logan: Utah State University Press, 2007.

Davis, Wade, Grand Canyon: River at Risk, San Rafael, CA: Earth Aware Editions, 2008.

Dolnick, Edward. Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon. New York: Harper Collins, 2001.

Fedarko, Kevin, The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

Fishbein, Seymour, L., Grand Canyon Country, Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1991.

Fradkin, Philip, A River No More: The Colorado River and the West, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1984.

Leydet, Francois, Time and the River Flowing: Grand Canyon, New York: Sierra Club-Ballantine Books, 1968.

Martin, Russell, A Story That Stands Like a Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle for the Soul of the West, New York: Henry Holt, 1989.

Powell, J.W. The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons (1875) New York: Dover Publications, 1961).

Reisner, Marc, Cadillac Desert

Stanton, Robert Brewster, Colorado River Controversies, Boulder City, NV: Westwater Books, Reprint, 1982.

Stegner, Page, Adios Amigos: Tales of Sustenance and Purification in the American West Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2008.

Waterman, Johnathan, Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea down the Colorado River

Zwinger, Ann Haymond, Down Canyon, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995.