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In an hour rain rapidly turned the sparkling clear water into a maelstrom of brown and white frothy energy. Increasingly, waterfalls cascaded down both sides of the canyon from creeks and crevices, giving a new perspective to the upthrust tilting of the rocks and the great volcanic sheets of vertical frozen lava. The raging river now confirmed Jenkinson's description. He had written in his journal, "In high water, the Urique may be the most violent river in America. During the rainy season, some Urique rapids seem like science fiction."
We stopped to put on rain gear. Within minutes the rock we had hauled our...