Tomorrow, we set off on the river. We’ll be floating on the Green River for three days, doing some service projects involving plants and seeing the site at Echo Park where the Bureau of Reclamation proposed a dam in the 1950s. Conservationists, led by David Brower of the Sierra Club, were successful in mountain widespread public opposition to the proposal, largely based on the fact that there was explicit legislation in place prohibiting a dam or reservoir from encroaching on a national park or monument. This issue came up again with Glen Canyon Dam, which was agreed to under the assurance that Rainbow Bridge National Monument would be protected from the waters of Lake Powell. In spite of its status as a national monument, no measures were taken to prevent the lake from encroaching on it, in part because some conservationists reluctantly admitted that another dam would be required to protect the monument. Building a dam near Rainbow Bridge would have required roads, machinery and many other things which would have disrupted the natural beauty of the place. So today, Rainbow Bridge can be reached by boat on Lake Powell.
Anyway, I’m slightly apprehensive about this trip. I’ve never been on a river trip, with the exception of about two hours of rafting in Costa Rica, and there it was incredibly hot and sunny. We’re spending nights on the river, and while I’m used to being in remote areas, something about putting water in the mix seems like tempting fate. Not that I’m not excited—this is going to be incredibly fun and probably very educational. And when I think of John Wesley Powell setting off on the virgin Colorado in the 1870s with a raft and no idea of what lay ahead, the idea of worrying seems ridiculous. So hopefully, I won’t die and I’ll report back in three days.