Sport: Ordeal by White Water

A few score miles from its source in the snows of Colorado, the Arkansas River becomes a bruising stream, sweeping along at 8 to 10 m.p.h., and churning into turbulent white water where great rocks challenge its course. The river is a trout fisherman's paradise and a boatman's purgatory. In early June, two Germans arrived at its banks, not to fish but to scout the Arkansas for what is widely regarded as the world's longest, roughest riverboat race.

Along 30 miles of river, on either side of the mining and tourist town of Salida...

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