First the Maranon - Some call it the "Grand Canyon of South America" it is the headwaters of the Amazon flowing down the Andes mountains in Peru. I'm jazzed to be headed there in a couple weeks to run it with Sierrarios
, a 30 day trip. Spots just opened up, especially for kayakers, if anyone wants to come - we launch October 29!! The reason there are extra spots is because some of my friends had to bail in the last couple of weeks, in order to try and save the Gila.
The Gila is a river in Southwest New Mexico with one of the most amazing wilderness runs in the world if you can catch the rare runnable flow. In New Mexico it is still free flowing, most of the year it runs under 100 CFS, but it drains an enormous wilderness area so it can flood at over 30,000 CFS or more. I found a window last year to
. There are no Tamarisk, the riparian area has willows and beautiful sycamore trees - it's just an amazing place!
Sadly, the Gila is now threatened with a ridiculous billion dollar diversion to be placed between Turkey Creek and Mogollon creek complete with aqueducts adhered to the cliffs to divert water to arroyos in order to attempt to divert at most 10,000 acre feet a year (but since there's no divertable flow over 45% of years on record it'd average closer to 5,000 acre feet per year, which would not be storable because it would just seep into the ground).
I digress, there's plenty of info out there about the misguided Gila diversion scheme
. I'll skip to why this opened spots on the Maranon trip. My friend Norm Gaume, who is a retired water engineer and former head of the NM Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) has now filed a lawsuit against the current ISC regarding their conduct in not allowing public access to their meetings regarding the Gila diversion matter.
His friends Peter and Jim are also working with Norm to help prevent the Gila diversion (decision by the NM ISC is due by the end of 2014) and so now there's open spots on my Maranon trip!
If you're interested in the Maranon look up SierraRios: Kayak, Raft, and Protect Rivers in Mexico and Peru
and you will quickly learn that Rocky Contos, who created SierraRios, is running the Maranon trips to try to save that river as well. I support that effort. Not just for the loss of such an amazing canyon and soon to be submerged villages in Peru, but also because the extent of the dams currently proposed for the Andean headwaters of the Amazon are such that if they were all actually built, the complete collapse of the river ecosystem of the Amazon would be inevitable.
Sadly it seems there are rivers threatened everywhere and constantly.
All I have to say to all that is, fuck it - let's go rafting!! Come play on the Maranon if you can!!!