The Visual West - Image 10


As temperatures climb in late March, the heavy snowpack on Colorado's Western Slope start its inexorable journey  to the sea, carrying with it a heavy load of silt. This shot of the aptly named  Muddy Creek was taken just above Paonia Reservoir. Just below the dam, these waters join the much clearer flows of Anthracite Creek to form the North Fork of the Gunnison River. Why are they so different? The Muddy drains some very erosive country, while the Anthracite tumbles through a land of hard rock.


To view more images of the diverse West, or to post your own, visit our Flickr group

 Paul Larmer is the Executive Director of High Country News, based in Paonia, Colorado.

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