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2020 Fall Gap

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Rio Grande Semester

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Thank you <3

Cameron Kuck, Participant

Sorry for my lack of yaks throughout the course, I’ve been busy hiking and farming and being too lazy to write. I thought that maybe I should write something sweet before this is all over. This has been one hell of a trip… We’ve hiked more......Read More

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Students on their way

Instructor Team, Participant

We just dropped off Mare, Rachel, David, Charlotte, Sage, Lorelei and Cam off at the Dallas Ft Worth International Airport and then Isa at her house in Ft Worth. Mateo will make the long drive with us over to Albuquerque. The students all have their......Read More

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Connecting to the Rio (plus photos!)

Zack Siddall, Instructor

Yak of the Week

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… Read More

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An Afternoon in “International” Waters

Aaron, Dragons Admin

Photos from a beautiful day on the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park, looking across the water to Coahuila, Mexico. We’re excited to head out for three days on the water starting today floating through the Santa Elena Canyon! Beginning our......Read More

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Building relationships in the time of Covid

Kevin, Participant

Dear Readers, Greetings from Big Bend! As the course comes to a close, I wanted to get my voice up here on the Yak board and share a bit from my experience of this program to the readers frequenting this space. Yak boards are meant for reflection,......Read More

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The Chisos Mountains

Mare, Participant

Yak of the Week

I believe today is Day 63, but I could be wrong. We’re an hour outside of Big Bend National Park and two and a half hours away from any real town. There is nothing but desert around us. Well, not just desert. After an hour’s drive and a......Read More

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Bookin’ it to Big Bend

RGS Crew, Participant

We’re Texas bound! For these final two weeks we’ll spend our time in the Big Bend National and State Parks. The students are taking the lead on the planning of our time here. They’ve got some great hikes and lessons/guest speakers lined up for......Read More

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Be Safe, Go Slow.

Aaron, Dragons Admin

We often say that a common disconnect in returning home is that the traveler can feel so different inside, filled with new experiences and perspectives, but their old surroundings still seem the same. You may find that just as you have changed, so......Read More

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Final Thoughts From The Group

Instructor Team, Participant

Yak of the Week

Dear friends and family of the Colorado River Basin Semester, As we prepare to depart from Arizona, we’ve been telling stories, and figuring out how to tell the story of this journey. In all of our stories, one hero emerged as central, hero......Read More

Colorado River Basin Semester

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Land Ethic: Thoughts on Unity and Oneness

Grace McGinley, Participant

The path of a river flowing across a landscape almost perfectly resembles our bronchial tubes that fill our bloodstream with oxygen and our veins that pump it through us. Similar to the vast ecosystems that sprawl out across our planet, the human......Read More

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The group has parted ways.

Instructor Team, Participant

  Dear friends and family, After a wonderful 10 weeks traveling the length of the great Colorado River, our semester has parted ways at the airport in Phoenix. These ten weeks together have been a powerful time for all of us. As you prepare to......Read More

Colorado River Basin Semester

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A (small) glimpse into what the students have...

The Instructors, Participant

As instructors, we have lots of hope as a semester begins. We set out with high expectations of what students can learn from their environment – and we carefully craft a holistic curriculum and itinerary that allow for students to engage......Read More

Colorado River Basin Semester

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Final Reflections on Hope

Audrey Smallman, Participant

Yak of the Week

A few weeks ago in the canyons, Jeff and Kesh received news on their sat phone that the North Inlet of Rocky Mountain National Park was burning in a wildfire. I tried to picture it, the ash and decimation, but the only thing I could conjure up were......Read More

Colorado River Basin Semester

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Migrating Home

Sam Bateman, Participant

From what we’ve gleaned from ruins and artifacts and other traces of people past scattered across the American southwest, the Ancestral Puebloans once roamed through this landscape guided by cyclical shifts of drought and flood, cultural chaos......Read More

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Selected Drawings From This Semester

Kate Salke, Participant

Picture of the Week

I love painting and drawing— it’s how I synthesize a lot of my experiences and reflect on lessons learned. These are a small selection of some of the pieces I’ve made along this wonderful journey, each tied to a special place and usually many special people. First is Redemption. It’s based on a  conversation I had with Gabe Crawford, a wild seed tender who we spent a few days with. It seems to me that so much of this country is deprived of certain truths… especially the idea that we and the land we live upon are one system, one… Read More

Colorado River Basin Semester

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Last Round of Thoughts

Lucas Sirovich, Participant

While I’m sad that this course is nearing its end, I could have never learned so much about the systems of water, food, and land management in this country in only 10 weeks. I have developed a critical lens with which I now see the many ways......Read More