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Mid-course and Moving forward to the Desert

Dear family and friends,

Hello from Mancos, Colorado where we have been spending the last few days to slow down and reflect. We are currently at the half-way point in our course – and the students are processing quite a lot of (un)learning from the last 5 weeks in Colorado. From the Headwaters of the Colorado River, to now, an ecological transition zone from mountains to desert, we find ourselves thinking deeply about how traveling and understanding the river has transformed in just a short period of time.

The students have also found time to work on their Independent Study Projects! This looks like anything from natural basket weaving, to wool weaving, and clay projects with the harvested clay deposited in the Paonia Reservoir (see pictures in the following yak).

We would like to update ya’ll on our time to come. Tomorrow we head to Bluff, Utah where we will meet our river guides for the San Juan. The following day we will launch and start our 6 day float along the San Juan River – which will then be followed by a 12 day walk through Grand Gulch. This time has been prefaced with quite a lot of awareness and discussion around water, Indigenous sovereignty, and respect for a land that we are most definitely guests of.

Following our expedition in Southeastern Utah we will continue in our journey south along the Colorado River. Exploring topics similar to our entire course, but focused more in the lower basin and food issues that exist down river. We will see what used to be Glen Canyon, stop through Sedona to meet with a local seed alliance, and explore migrant labor issues in the Yuma region. Dave will be sending updates about our time in Grand Gulch along the way so look out for messages here on the Yak Board. The students will be out of communication until October 26th.

With gratitude,

Keshet and Jeff