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Steamboats on the Colorado (access required)

Impressive as the steamboat Gila appears, Martha Summerhays, an Army wife who journeyed on the boat in 1874, described the steamer in less than glorious terms: “We had staterooms, but could not remain in them long on account of the intense heat. After a hasty meal and a few remarks upon the salt beef and the general misery of our lot, we could seek some spot which might be a trifle cooler. Conversation lagged; no topic seems to have any interest except the thermometer, which hung in the coolest place on the boat; and one day when Major Worth looked at it and pronounced it 122 degrees in the shade, a grim despair seized upon me.”

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