If you do love Colorado, but for some reason or another there is not a perfect place for you in Colorado at the moment;
If you do love Colorado but you are living further downstream in the desert – not quite the Mojave and not quite the Sonoran – but the desert nonetheless;
If there is a heat wave and the temperatures are quite high;
It is very beneficial to go take a dip or a swim in the lake – Lake Powell.
After you have cooled yourself off by wading chin high into the water several times and then swimming back to shore, you might contemplate the following facts while you lie beneath a very blue sky on a beach towel on the hot sand:
This is the Colorado River
165 miles of the Colorado River
5,041,636,850,517 gallons of water stored to recreate, irrigate, and oh by the way, power seven states or more with electricity
Some of this is water you kayaked in on from Dominguez to Bridgeport
Some is leftover from your kayak trip from Palisade to Corn Lake
This is not your first swim in this water
Remember when you tipped the kayak and took on water somewhere between Dominguez and Bridgeport?
Some of this water melted from snow you hiked through in April of 2015 when you went through Lulu in your quest to reach the headwaters of the Colorado River, everything was frozen, the roads were closed. Still you hiked on
Some of this was snow you sank in up to your waist in Dillon that one winter
Some of this water came from your beloved Ouray, and from Telluride and Durango
Some of this water is snowmelt from 10,000 feet where your daughter works in the summertime – snowmelt that collected in Taylor Reservoir and then made its way gurgling and laughing right on down to Almont where it became the Gunnison River and cascaded noisily through the Black Canyon eventually joining with the Colorado
This water is dark and muddy like ditch water, ditch water you waded in as a single digit child; water diverted from the Colorado River somewhere in the neighborhood of the Roller Dam on the way to Debeque and channeled to the Highline Canal and then the concrete slip ditch that watered the 35 acres on which you cut your farming teeth. Do you think some of that very water is still present?
This is the water you wrote about in a college class on Colorado History; the water that evokes the cliché “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.”
This water is familiar; both a comfort and a lesson to you;
See? This is where you end up when you thaw out, melt, run merrily away from Colorado. Dammed or reclaimed? It’s all a matter of perspective.