We left Moab, Utah today, headed for Grand Junction, Colorado. The easy way would have been to drive north to I-70… all highway miles. Instead, we took the road less traveled, driving for 45 miles alongside the Colorado River. While we had seen the River from a distance at the Grand Canyon and Canyonlands Parks, today we were up close and personal. We saw roadside canyons carved by this body of water, which of course demanded that we stop for pics. So I’m photographing and listening to the river when I hear a voice asking me if I liked what I was seeing???
Colorado River: What do you think??
BRB: This is fantastic… I love the walls of your canyons.
CR: Yeah, well, I was practicing my craft up in these northern canyons. I perfected the skill in the Grand Canyon. But up here, I did it all by myself. No Green or San Juan Rivers to help or join along with me, so I consider this among my finest work. Look up at my 500 foot walls !!
BRB: How long did all this take???
CR: Time is relative. To me, it seems like just a little while. But you humans tell me it was something like 10 million years in your measurement standards.
BRB: Whatever. You do nice work.
CR: I have a question… Why do you humans underappreciate me???
BRB: What do you mean??
CR: I’m underappreciated!! I don’t get called ” Mighty,” like the Mississippi. I don’t get songs written about me like the Ohio or the Missouri !! I don’t even have people searching my water for gold, like the Sacramento!! I’m underappreciated !!
BRB: I never really thought about it. And I don’t think I ever compared American Rivers. I guess the others got a rep by their place in history. People and their belongings traveled west along the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi. The pioneers made up and sung songs along the way. Same with the California rivers and the gold rush.
CR: Whatever !! I was too far west for most of Eminent Domain, but I flow for almost 1500 miles, I relieve the thirst of 40,000,000 people, I grow your tomatoes and avocados, I flow through eleven national parks and monuments, I filled up the two largest man made lakes in this country, and I was building this nation geologically when those other rivers were puddles.
BRB: I totally agree. Can I ask you what you think of all the water authorities, farmers, and cities that fight over your water ??
CR: I don’t really think about it much. What I do believe is that I’ll probably still be here, cutting canyons, when you all implode somehow and go extinct. I waived goodbye to the Dinosaurs and Mammoths… You all don’t seem that smart to me… Too much fighting and short-sightedness. Not enough long range planning. Everything I do is long range planning. Heck, I’m planning my next five national parks right now.
BRB: I got to be getting back to my car before Mrs Bear thinks I’ve got a girlfriend !! I loved talking to you. I for one, will say that you are, hands down, my favorite river. I wish I could have been with John Wesley Powell when his group somehow navigated your rapids in the 1800s…Must have been quite a ride and something to see!!
CR: “Field Of Dreams,” one of my favorite nonriver movies. Enjoyed talking to you too… If you believe in reincarnation, come back and see me in a few thousand years and we’ll check each other’s progress.