The Glens

Colorado River (Map)

FeaturedMy husband and I fished the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam this week alongside red colored gorges with green, blue, and black hues. The dam was built to control water flow from the upper Colorado River Basin as well as provide hydroelectricity. When John Wesley Powell made his epic journey down the Colorado, the area around Glen Canyon was so green and fertile that it reminded Powell of the glens in Scotland, and so it got its name. This is the story I was told and I’m sticking to it!

Construction on the dam was started in 1956 and took ten years to build. It was actually at Lee’s Ferry where the Bureau of Reclamation measured water flow to determine how much water would go to the Upper and Lower Basin states as decided by the 1922 Colorado River Compact. This is a complicated and fascinating topic that has strong implications for the western states and the future of water.

Glen Canyon DamThe dam has an exciting history. In 1983 due to an unusually high amount of snowpack and rains, the dam barely averted a collapse. Will Hobbs writes about this in his book River ThunderWill’s brother is the Honorable Greg Hobbs, former water attorney, now Colorado Supreme Court Justice. He was involved with a collaboration with Colorado libraries and water awareness last year with Water 2012.

FishAll these details add to the richness of my journey this year as I travel to each of these amazing locations. As always, the highlight of these visits is the people I am meeting – like Terry Gunn and Nat Jensen this week. OK, yes it was amazing to catch literally dozens of fish on Tuesday when the first spring midge hatch occurred but the people and the natural beauty is what this is really all about.

Fish happen to live in nice places.

 

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