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.„Day 88. How the Colorado River was born from the sea“ weiterlesen
I am happy to hear that Yuli wants joins me for another day on the river. There is a section a little downstream from Pozas de Arvizu that currently has water again. I am planning to float to Laguna Grande, another restoration site that is managed by the Sonoran Institute.„Day 87. Paddling reeds again and Laguna Grande“ weiterlesen
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.„Day 86. Reforestation with Pronatura“ weiterlesen
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.„Day 85. Dusty river“ weiterlesen
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…„Day 84. Paddling along the US-Mexican border“ weiterlesen
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.„Day 83. A river in conflict“ weiterlesen
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.„Day 82. Resting“ weiterlesen
I am tired. Not physically, but mentally. I am sitting in a cheap motel room in Yuma, it is 6 am and I did not sleep very well. I want to go home. But then, no. I don’t want to go home, I would feel as out of place there right now as I feel out of place here. „Day 80 and Day 81. Dead End“ weiterlesen
I suddenly start sobbing. „No way, this can’t be… is this? Really? No way!“ I keep repeating words like that over and over again. I am sitting in my packraft, looking down past the crest of Imperial Dam. Below, there is a little green lake, and then a small creek exiting it shyly in between some high reeds. The Colorado River? Really? The same river that has washed me through raging rapids in Grand Canyon only a few weeks ago?
I know, my blogposts these days serve as nothing but a logbook. But that’s all I can gather the energy to do these days. Bear with me, there will be other entries again, I am sure. My days are challenging currently, especially with regards to the intellectual depression I go through down here. Some of the images below (all from Fishers Landing) may tell you more.