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's post is written by Mike Kane.
It was one of the nicest sunsets I've seen since joining Colin on this expedition. But knowing our time on the Kickapoo Reservation was limited, and having only just spotted the towering lights of the casino parking lot peeking out over the giant cane, it was also a stressful sunset. My best bet for pictures was to find something interesting to shoot tonight, before it got dark, and we were still on the river.
Finally we hit the take out. Colin agreed to haul our gear 300 yards to the hotel while I shot out in search of ... something.
I was prepared for failure — the odds were against me. The sun neared the horizon while I walked into the small cluster of mobile homes just down the main street from the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel. First six homes, nothing. And then, a dog. Kids. Adults. A gerbil.
I introduced myself and explained why I was talking so quickly, that the sun was going down and tomorrow we were leaving early and could I please take some pictures of ... whatever it is you're doing?
I think — in part due to the irresistible allure of this expedition, but perhaps mostly due to the good-natured warmth I'm coming to expect from people along the river — they welcomed me into the yard. Within three minutes I was crouched down shooting pictures of smiles, tears, laughter, and the most intense thing I hope to see on this trip: a very lopsided pet smackdown between a dog and a gerbil.
As the kids looked on and the gerbil lay motionless in the grass, I thought about how incredibly random things have been on this trip, and how powerful moments have come from simply pressing forward, even when possibilities seem remote.
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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.