Ride down Colorado without getting wet | PostIndependent.com

Ride down Colorado without getting wet

Calling all river rafters, kayakers, fishermen, hikers and anyone who enjoys our “little Grand Canyon” and the Colorado River. Never mind the snow still covering the ground, it’s the perfect time to jump into the Colorado River without getting your feet wet.

The Colorado River is part of the identity of residents of western Colorado. We play in it, work in it, drink and eat from it; it sustains our abundant wildlife, inspires artists. It gives life and sometimes takes it away. It’s part of our landscape and who we are.

On Wednesday, March 20, Richard Fleck will present the second of a three-part lecture series at the Glenwood Springs Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. about the Colorado River. Fleck is the editor of A Colorado River Reader, an anthology of 17 works that according to Reg Saner, author of Reaching Keet Seel, offer “the adrenaline addict walloping good rides down Cataract Canyon, as well as craftily informative nature writing on canyon rattlers, cottonwoods, otters and datura blossoms.” He is a retired dean of arts and humanities at the Community College of Denver.

Fleck will introduce the Colorado River with a slide-show presentation beginning in Rocky Mountain National Park, where the river originates and Fleck was once a ranger. It will follow the course of the river and explore some of its major tributaries with stops at major attractions like the Grand Canyon. A 45-minute lecture will follow, exploring the river’s mythological value and its power to inspire the imagination. Fleck hopes the book and lecture series will inspire attendees to further explore the mythology, history, sport, philosophy, ecology, geology and biology of the Colorado River.

Over the course of his life Fleck has developed on ongoing relationship with the Colorado River. “One of the most memorable moments was in the Grand Canyon as a young man – young and foolish, more like it. I didn’t realize the need for more water and canteens. I filled my canteen at Ribbon Falls, but I quickly burned up all my water. I started to experience heat exhaustion and I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to make it out.

“Fortunately the Kachina spirits were kind that day; a thunder and hail storm broke loose over my head and saved me. I ate the hailstones, rehydrated, and was able to spring out of the canyon. The might and magic of the river were revealed to me that day,” says Fleck.

Fleck’s lecture is part of CMC’s “Moving Waters: The Colorado River and the West” exhibit, a seven-state traveling exhibit that includes gallery shows, radio and book lectures, a water rights panel discussion and a geology walk. He will present the final Colorado River Reader lecture next Wednesday, March 27 at the Glenwood Springs Public Library from 6-8 p.m.

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