Tomorrow we will hike to the source and begin our journey down the Colorado River. It seems amazing that we are already leaving. I returned to Colorado on Tuesday and a few things have struck me so far.

First, it is amazing how many little details of planning remain in the last two days before the trip. Will, Carson, and I have working non stop on the front range as we prepare our media equipment. Zach, who has been in Durango, has also been preparing gear and focusing on logistics. We must buy the right amount of food.  Yesterday, two boxes of equipment arrived from Northwest River Supply (NRS). How much can we actually stuff into our brand new NRS dry bags as we prepare for the initial leg of our trip? But things are coming together all the same. Soon, all of the compacted logistics and the details of planning will be over and our lives will become simple. Day after day, our only objective will be to follow the river’s course towards the sea.


Staying at the best hotel in town as we finish planning.

Second, the distinctly hazy look of the sky in Denver immediately reminded me of the dire situation presented by this year’s drought. The unprecedented size of the fire in Fort Collins has filled the front range with a smokey haze. It is proof of the drought’s consequences. The drought will affect our trip as we must scrape through low water sections of river that should be bursting at their banks this time of year. In a year like this, everyone is screaming for water that just isn’t there.


A beautiful sunset created by the smokey atmosphere.

Finally, I am now realizing how excited I am to embark on the journey. There is no place I would rather be than floating down a river with good friends. On top of this, I truly hope that our effort can inspire others with passion for the river and a more nuanced approach to its issues.

David Spiegel