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Connecting to the Rio (plus photos!)

The Rio Grande’s presence and influence has only grown as we have navigated these past ~70 days. On our first trek in the mountains of Colorado we jumped over streams and crossed creeks that would flow down to form the mighty Rio.

The first time we actually saw the Rio Grande was so anticlimactic that it’s quite humorous looking back now. While crossing over the river on a bridge in Alamosa, CO a cop car came roaring up behind us with lights and sirens blaring. Assuming we were getting pulled over we nervously pulled into a nearby parking lot only to see the cop car go flying past us in pursuit of some other unlucky soul. With our hearts still beating a bit quicker than we’d like we took advantage of our unintentional stop to check out the river for the first time. Walking up to the bridge we saw a dried up, trash filled creek instead of the powerhouse Rio Grande we were expecting.

However, later that day at our beautiful house in South Fork we were able to sit in front of the Rio, restored to its full force.

At Freshies Farm we braved the November chills and plunged into the Rio Grande for the first time. Each day on the farm we’d work on the plants that were brought to life by the Rio.

In Los Poblanos we rode our bikes to the Rio Grande and listened to thought provoking guest speakers that make their livings off the Rio.

As our course comes to an end our grand finale has been our 3 day kayak float down the Rio. We spent the days hike slot canyons and kayaking through rapids and our nights were spent playing games, sitting around the fire and sleeping out under the stars. Thank you to our guides Kat and Tanner for teaching us about the river and keeping us safe.

Currently we find ourselves in the desert of Texas in what we call Transference. Transference is a time for reflection and celebration. These past 2.5 months have been beautiful and rewarding but also intense and thought provoking. Soon your son/daughter/friend/loved one will be returning home. Sit with them (from a distance/post COVID test) and help them process this experience. Ask them questions that go beyond the superficial. Watch the films/read the articles they were required to study this semester. But also give them space. And when it’s safe to do so, give them a big hug and tell them how proud you are of them for taking on this huge challenge.

Here are a few photos and videos of the river float from Isa and I.