Down the River of Doubt
Where: The Explorers Club
46 E. 70th St.
212-628-8383 Price: $25
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In 1914 Theodore Roosevelt embarked, unknowingly, into the most difficult task in his adventurous life: to descend the uncharted River of Doubt in the far reaches of Western Brazil, braving hostile native tribes, malaria, and piranhas. It was a particularly strained period in his life, after having lost his election bid, and the tour through South America was expected to be ‘a walk in the park.’ The expedition, co-led by Candido Rondon, legendary Brazilian explorer, succeeded at a high human cost and sacrifice: three deaths and the near loss of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, who asked, wounded and delirious, for the members to abandon him. As a celebration to this great feat of courage, a team, exactly 100 years later, mounted an expedition to retrace the original route. The expedition had three objectives:
• Retrace the original Roosevelt-Rondon expedition route to gain insight and celebrate the human endeavors and sacrifice of the first expedition.
• Establish a broad based collection of unique biological specimens to be found along the route and perform other scientific research.
• Compare the changes over the past century by using Roosevelt’s original detailed reporting of geography, fauna, flora, and native inhabitants.