Floating on the Gunnison River

Even though the grand tour of Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota has come to a final destination in Colorado, that doesn’t mean I’m ready to stop looking for National Park Stamps.  Although I used to live in Denver, Colorado for several years and found any opportunity I could to get more stamps, I missed out on a few in Western Colorado.  So, to make up for lost time, I join my mom and dad on a boat tour of Curecanti National Recreation Area.  Although I’m apprehensive about getting motion sickness along the Gunnison River, I’m determined to enjoy this trip and experience more of Colorado’s beauty and some unexpected controversy.  Want to see what I mean?  Then join me as I follow the Gunnison River to discover some of nature’s spectacular scenery:

Curecanti National Recreational AreaOur trip begins and already I soak in the majestic mountain greenery Colorado is known for along the cliffsides of Curecanti National Recreation Area.  Luckily, the river is calm and flows steadily through without too much rocking, but that’s not what’s keeping my attention.  The orange desert rocks, green pine trees, and large cliffs is what has caught my eye.  It seems the shift from desert to mountain is not only along the popular hiking sites of Colorado, but the rivers as well.  It’s hard to think about anything but the steep hills covered with greenery and blue sky I recall seeing all over the state.

Waterfall (L)Approaching a waterfall, my mom begins to discuss the Gunnison River with a park ranger taking notes behind her.  The conversation quickly turns to the waterfall as the ranger mentions that because of the dam, the water rose and now only 50 feet of a 200 foot waterfall is visible.  She begins to talk with my mom about the controversy of dams as they bring up issues of conservation versus bringing necessary water to people.  What exactly can be done to remedy both situations?  Can an answer be reached to satisfy both conservation and development needs?

Landscape (L)But it’s not just the environment when it comes to conservation, it’s also about cultural preservation too.  A later brief visit to the Glen Canyon Dam and National Recreation Area in Arizona on our way home brings up another controversy surrounding dams.  My mom recalls colleagues who studied and criticized the build of the dam because of environmentalist reasons and because it flooded Native American sacred sites.  One area of concern in particular is Rainbow Bridge, a natural sandstone arc 290 feet tall and 275 feet across (CLICK HERE to read more about the pros and cons of Glen Canyon Dam).  Upon learning this, another question pops into my mind.  Is there a way to respect our past with modern advancements?  A famous painting by Norman Rockwell of the Glen Canyon Dam hanging in the gift shop with a Native American family looking down below at the developments on the natural land leaves me with questions.

Landscape 2 (L)Although the last leg of my trip in National Parks leaves me with unanswered inquiries, I look to the future hoping there will be a compromise or an innovation soon.  It will not be an easy path, but I never give up hope or stop pursuing possibilities.  After all, if Mother Nature can agree to take me peacefully down the river without motion sickness, I and others can agree there must be a way to repay her.

Do you think we can make modern developments and advancements without harming the environment or indigenous culture?  Are you in support of building dams?

This post is featured on #wednesdaywanderlust hosted by My Brown Paper PackagesOur World Tuesday, and Travel Photo Thursday hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox, Tanama Tales, Budget Travel Talk, and Rachel’s Ruminations.

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  1. myracaballero

    The Glen Canyon Dam story always breaks my heart. I am most definitely NOT in favor of dams for many reasons, social and environmental. However, I think there are ways to make modern advancements without harming cultures or the environment. Thanks for sharing your travels & your beautiful photos! I’ve enjoyed following on Instagram as well. xx

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Myra. I’m looking forward to more innovations that will enable modern advancements that don’t harm the environment. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my Instagram posts, it’s been great to connect there!

  2. The Bandwagon Chic

    That waterfall is amazing
    I love this adventure

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and my journey along it. I always love the water, even if I do worry about motion sickness! The waterfall is gorgeous in person.

  3. banglesandbungalows

    Colorado looks beautiful! These photos capture its physical beauty so well. I bet the experience was marvelous 🙂

    xx Yasmin

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Colorado is a very beautiful state and I can see why it’s a popular place to move. The river trip was a great experience and I saw another part of Colorado I hadn’t seen yet.

  4. hollydaysuk

    Beautiful photos and a great insight…. Makes me want to travel!


    • brooklyntvlasich

      Colorado is definitely a beautiful state to travel to and I highly recommend you visit it someday.

  5. My Brown Paper Packages

    I truly hope that we are moving towards more environmentally stable ideas, a shame to lose such gorgeous lands. Thanks for linking up with #wednesdaywanderlust

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I agree with you. There has to be an answer somewhere to protect these lands. Also, thank you for hosting #wednesdaywanderlust. I’m excited to join next week!

  6. Ruth

    I love National Parks! Not sure how to answer the question about conservation and development. Some parks are developed to accommodate visitors but then the visitors end up flooding the park and affecting the natural areas. Therefore, the question is important but a challenge. #TPThursday

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Yes, I definitely agree. Balancing both is very tricky. I think it’s possible, but we have to consider the affects any kind of technology has on our environments before we implement it.

  7. budget jan

    I would love to do this trip. Re the issue of dams, I think each dam should be individually assessed before building it. If possible things of cultural importance should be shifted to above the new waterline.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope you get the opportunity to make this visit! I appreciate your thoughts on dams. It’s hard finding that balance of technology and protecting the environment, but we all benefit when it works out.

Give us your thoughts, comments, and opinions here!