The Colorado lives up to its name | PostIndependent.com

The Colorado lives up to its name

Amanda Holt MillerWestern Garfield County Staff
Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox The Colorado River runs a deep muddy red through Glenwood Canyon after heavy rainstorms over the weekend.
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Louise Marsh is visiting Colorado from Indiana. She didn’t know the Colorado River isn’t normally a bright red color through Glenwood Canyon.”Someone told me today,” Marsh said, as she prepared to go for her first-ever white water (or red water) rafting trip. “I think it’ll make the trip more exciting. I’m sure the picture will be better.”The Colorado River started to take on a rosy hue Sunday afternoon. A flash flood at Sweetwater, near Dotsero, late Saturday night or early Sunday morning flushed red soil, rich with iron, into the river, said Roger Yost, a river ranger with the National Forest Service.

“It’s a neat phenomenon,” Yost said. “It’s cool to see the red water splash up over the rafters.”The water doesn’t splash as high or as big when its weighed down with silt and mud, said Bob Bale, who works for Rock Garden Rafting and has been a river guide for more than 16 years.”It really hides the features,” Bale said. “It’s like shadows on the ski hill at 3:30 in the afternoon – it’s flatter-looking, and the water doesn’t splash as much.”Neil Hajlov and Fritz Nenninger, from Summit County, kayak regularly in Glenwood Canyon.

“It’s dirty, the red water,” said Hajlov. “And you have to be careful because you can’t see the rocks. We’d rather see them, but it’s not bad.”Nenninger pointed to his red kayak covered in mud and said all the dirt was from his Sunday on the river. The boat had never been in the water before.”This is the best,” Hajlov said, holding up his blue helmet covered in red mud spatters and his sunglasses, so speckled he would have to squint through the spaces between the mud dots. “You have to wear glasses,” Nenninger said. “Unless you want to get sand your eyes.”

Yost said the river will probably take about three days to return to its regular color.Contact Amanda Holt Miller: 625-3245, ext. 103ahmiller@postindependent.com


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