Originally Posted by peak
wow...thanks for all the well thought out, insightful replies. its really great to be part of such a well informed and intellectual on-line community...keep the great ideas coming!
I really hope your comment above is tongue in cheek. Free forum equals freedom to post any replies you want. But I am assuming that i just missed your joking tone.
As to your question: Weather patterns operate on their own schedule - you could have made the same comments during the dust bowl years that the big water era was over. You would have been wrong of course. And you might be wrong now - but the latest IPCC reports says that on average we will see smaller summer flows and more winter flooding in the mountain west.
Global warming does equate to overall warming of the earth, but it also means that there will be variability on which areas are warmed the most. It also means that some areas will get more snow and rain, while others get less. It is also though to increase the overall levels of variation in weather patterns. But in general these patterns are probably bad for western rivers and for our snow pack.
We might still get an occasional big water year here and there. Also remember that because we have so many dams that if the precip falls as rain it will still get caught in the dams and be available for dam controlled river flows. It might also make for a scenario in Colorado where non dammed rivers flow based more on rain and not on snow melt - much like many places in the eastern US and lower elevation Pac NW. Except that we get lass precip overall than those places.
For a Dory the reality is that most of the rivers you will want to run are higher flow and more likely to be dam controlled. So you will probably be fine for the considerable future. To hedge your bets; instead of making a dory out of wood you could buy one made of the same plastic that kayaks are made of. Then hitting rocks isn't a big deal. Check out Boulder Boat Works, their dories are primo.