Day 88. How the Colorado River was born from the sea

I meet Antonia Torres Gonzalez who runs the little cultural center of the native Cucopah tribe. I feel like she is skeptical at first and I soon understand why. It is something I have witnessed on this trip, whenever talking to representatives of the Native American tribes. There is a way “we” want to see them, and there is a way they are, which many times their want to protect from the outsider, because they have been misinterpreted, misunderstood and their image has been manipulated many times over. It is a conflict that I will try to describe in more depth when I take the time to write my book.

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Day 86. Reforestation with Pronatura

Today I participate in an effort of reforestation in the small community of Pozas de Avizu. Pronatura Noroeste has brought along about 50 little trees of different kinds, that will grow well with little water in the arid soil. The place we plant them on is the „park“ of the town, although it currently really looks more like a dusty parking lot with a lost looking basketball hoop in the middle and loads of trash everywhere.

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Day 85. Dusty river

After spending the night in San Luis Rio Colorado, I hike a stretch of the dried out riverbed. I have seen pictures of what it looked like when the Pulse Flow of 2014 led some water through it and it was an entirely different world. Back then, kids were playing in the blue water and the insane amount of trash in the area had been cleaned up by residents welcoming the river back.

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Day 84. Paddling along the US-Mexican border

As Juan Butron takes us to the place where we will put in, below Morelos Dam, he tells us all the stories of what he has seen and experienced, when he was paddling along this section of the Colorado River, which meanders back and forth between Mexico and the US, along the border. For the first time on this trip I am getting nervous, as the stories all include violence and danger. Like one time when Juan went down on a science trip, collecting data with a his colleague Osvel. Mexican cops stopped them and he was held at gunpoint, while they were shouting at Osvel to put his hands up. But Osvel was holding the laptop with all the precious data, that would have fallen in the water, had he let go…

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Day 83. A river in conflict

Having seen what the situation at the border is like, I am still sort of confused about how to go about this next stretch, that meanders along the borderline. My only option to stay right on the “river” from the start, is to “illegally” cross the border time and again, and to launch at a spot, that is very hard to reach without a car, right below Morales Dam on the US side. That does not sound very tempting.

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Day 82. Resting

I am at the library again. Libraries have proved to be a great place of refuge on this trip. Books and focused silence create a good atmosphere to calm me down. Following my self created steps the other day, that I can now humorously look back upon, I have found some good places in Yuma, and am beginning to feel a little better.

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