The Rio Grande is disappearing. Demand for water is growing as snow packs shrink, rain patterns shift and average temperatures rise faster than they ever have in the past 11,000 years.Read more
Today we ran Mariscal Canyon, the deepest and most remote of the three canyons along Big Bend National Park.
We also crossed over the start of the Wild and Scenic Reach of the Rio Grande.
We are seeing more turtles and birds. There is sign of beaver along the muddy riverbanks. The conductivity of the river has decreased, as has the bacteria count.
The group has accepted that we will just see this one canyon.
We have run the rapids, surfed the waves and tomorrow we will climb up to the rim of the canyon and explore campsites that have been used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
The weather has been ideal and tonight we are in the same campsite Dan Reicher camped at 37 years ago. According to his journal, he and his fellow explorers spent the night making music that reverberated off the canyon walls.
The group today is a bit more subdued. Dan brought his recorder and Crystal Allbright is teaching him some Mexican folk tunes.
There is talk of planning a return trip to see more of the canyons. It’s just too good to only see once.
“It’s a very humbling experience to come into a canyon,” said Fred St. Goar. “It reminds you of your place in the world. … It’s spiritual.”
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As they travel, Colin and Erich are taking water samples for the following periodic water quality tests. In partnership with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment’s Texas Stream Team Program at Texas State University, the results will be added to a public database it helps maintain for research and monitoring water quality.
While making his way to the Gulf of Mexico, Colin will be periodically activating a device that uses satellite technology to share his current location. Use this map to see where he traveled on this day.
|Check-In||Time of Check-In (CST)||Latitude||Longitude|
To report on and understand the haphazard irrigation system the Rio Grande has become and the changes it is going through, Colin decided the best approach would be to travel the length of the Rio Grande by foot and small boat.
He knew it would give him a unique perspective on a river that few understand. It did require many long days of moving slowly and camping on muddy riverbanks, but Colin likes that sort of thing.
The benefit was it provided access to people who wanted to share their stories and experiences with the Rio Grande. Via Facebook and chance encounters, Colin made instant friends who opened their homes. They provided help from loaning their trucks to their cell phone contact lists to help tell the story of the Rio Grande.
The trip would not have been possible without their help, along with the dedicated assistance of David Lozano, Jason Jones and Daniel Dibona, who drove thousands of miles to get people and boats in place.