2010-08-16-Cataract-1034

Mud Bugs, Chubs, and Citizen Scientists: how river guides give back to the canyon

By: Kate Savage No matter how magnificent they are, the rivers of the West are more or less made out of mud. Those Grand Canyon walls? Petrified mud. And the grounding base of life in this place is made up of wriggling mud-bugs. By ‘mud-bugs’ I mean the larval form of aquatic insects: mayflies, caddisflies, Read More

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Feathered Velociraptors on the River

Bird Day is Saturday, May 14th, and there’s bound to be a fun-and-feather-filled celebration near you! Here are some reasons to give a day to the fierce little dinosaurs who live on the river. We put cute birdies on bland Hallmark cards and ladies hats and Portland’s pillows, but here’s the scientific truth: Birds are Read More

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Sacrifice Zones and The Water of White Mesa

Some of us love the desert. Even the desert that gets called by an Atomic Energy Commission official a “damn good place to dump used razor blades.” Some of us love the people of the desert. Even the people who get called by the AEC a “low-use segment of the population.” Those are my people Read More

It's a Beaver

Saved by the Rodent: beavers build hope for the West

In the deserts of the West, the most precious resource is water, and that water has a guardian, and that guardian is a very big rodent. We see their wet fur in glimpses, or startle at their warning-slap on the water, recognizing that the danger they’re shouting is us. Or maybe we only see the Read More

2011-06-21-Deso-472

Fighting the Current: Deleted Words and Depleted Rivers

Over the past decade, Oxford Junior Dictionary has weeded nature out of its words. Acorn, Apricot, Blackberry, Dandelion — the plants have wilted straight out of the text, along with their animal kin Beaver, Heron, Cheetah. Their empty posts have been taken by Broadband, MP3 player, Chatroom (tellingly, Allergy, Drought, and Endangered have also made Read More

2010-07-19-Lodore-3228

Giving to Living Rivers: an interview with John Weisheit

  Book your Utah river trip between April 11-22 and get more than a Great Deal discount. In celebration of Earth Day, not only will you save 5% on your trip, Holiday will donate an additional 5% to Living Rivers, staunch protectors of the Colorado River Watershed. As a kid in church I belted out Read More

Laughter on the Yampa river

Health and Healing in the Natural World

Consider this a brief public health announcement: Staying inside is killing you. You feel it intuitively. You always have, even back when you were the kid in class, sighing as you stared out the window at the tree you wanted to climb. The adults said they knew what was good for you, and demanded your Read More

Rainbow in Cataract Canyon, Colorado River Rafting Trips

Seven River Songs

Aldo Leopold had a word to say about the Good Life (Note: Aldo, who wrote A Sand County Almanac, was a fellow who could hunt and trap and bro-out with the best of them but at the very base of his heart wanted most to cajole us into “thinking like a mountain,” instead of blustering Read More

Honey Bee

The University of Dee, Salt Lake City Campus

By Susan Munroe I am surrounded by books: eddied out among wobbly stacks of geology texts, river history, Edward Abbey, naturalist guides, bird books, water politics, meditative writings, John Wesley Powell, and the collected writings of the incomparable Dee Holladay. Most river guides spend their off-season skiing or traveling. I’m hanging out in the Holiday Read More

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Of Tasmanian Devils and Women

Happy International Women’s Day! I celebrated by having a conversation with a Holiday River Expeditions river running legend (and a warm and beautiful human), who’s known for helping to create a culture of respect — and wild-romping fun — in the rafting community. Tammy Besmehn’s her name, but on the river she’s known as Taz Read More