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Topic: Water     Department: Letters

Let's set the record straight

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Letter - From the May 16, 2011 issue by Katie Lee

Never have I ever said the river was dead -- sleeping, maybe, resting, but never dead. Neither am I, yet -- that's why you're getting my rebuttal to Craig Childs' very fine story, "Unstoppable River" (HCN, 4/18/11). I think Childs must have gotten his notes scrambled and turned his pages to Floyd Dominy instead. He is dead, but not the river he wished so. In my book Glen Canyon Betrayed, my friend Slim fairly well explains why Ye Old Colorado isn't dead and won't ever be; also, the last chapter, "The River Knows the Way," pretty much says it.

Childs' story had me looking over my own journals of San Juan River trips, and I pulled some old slides of the 1950s San Juan: Piute Farms (mile 57), Piute Rapid (21.5), Syncline (14.9), 13 Foot Rapid (11.5), and the mile-long Express Train Rapid. There never was a rapid named Boxcar on the Lower San Juan in my day -- someone probably recalled something about a railroad and slid Boxcar in its place.

Right now, I'm looking at my photo board and I see two photos with notations beneath: "You can't kill a River" and "The River Always Wins." So that proves my philosophy, right?

Katie Lee
Jerome, Arizona

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