Big water. That is what I kept hearing as I told friends I was going on a rafting trip on the Arkansas River in early June. Thanks to the above average snow pack and cool rainy spring, the water literally is big – meaning it is pushing the limits of its banks, covering riverside bike paths and dunking some plants and trees. Big water also means some excellent rafting – but not for the faint of heart.
We headed out on a cool but sunny day with Dvorak Expeditions outside of Salida, Colorado for a half day trip on the Arkansas River that would take us through Browns Canyon. Owner Bill Dvorak suggested wetsuits and I am grateful given the water was a “balmy” 42 degrees. Our guide BL – Brother Love as he is known by his raft buddies – expertly steered us on a course on the river to maximize the rapids and regaled us with stories about the river and Browns Canyon.
I ended the trip, wet from head to toe, arms sore from paddling and a grin from ear to ear. If getting to know a Colorado river in person is on your bucket list- go soon to the Arkansas and experience the big water.
And if you want to protect our flowing rivers that are not only fun for you but provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife not to mention support a $9 billion a year recreational economy in our state – then take action to protect the big water.
Right now the State of Colorado is drafting the first ever state water plan. It is an opportunity for us – the river lovers and users – to voice our support for a comprehensive water plan that will ensure future water use is sustainable to serve urban, rural, business, agriculture while still prioritizing our rivers and our environment.
It is a simple action – Click Here and let the Governor and his Colorado Water Conservation Board know our important the rivers are to you.
~ Sue Brown