An essay called River home by Eduardo Rey Brummel was published in the latest edition of High Country News. Brummel captures the gorgeous cleansing experience that the Arkansas River has provided him since moving to Colorado. Find an excerpt here, but we’d recommend a full read– it’s refreshing.
I went in to get clean, uniform and all, night after night. As a vegetarian who’d just spent seven years working at Wild Oats, I felt it was more than my outsides that needed cleansing. When summer came, I began downriver floats — no raft, just a life jacket. I’d step in sweaty and smoldering, but when I climbed out half an hour later, all the ick had been washed away. The local kayakers started to notice me emerging from the river; now, I wasn’t just cleaner but cooler, in both meanings of the word.
I went into the river to become clean and to be part of my community’s culture, but mostly because it seemed the right and natural thing to do. The Arkansas was less than 50 yards from my backdoor. What else was I to do — stay on shore watching it flow by, just listening to it bubble and chortle?
Do you love the Arkansas? Attend the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum in Walsenburg, April 24-25. Check out their ‘Most Interesting Man in the Basin’ video, or if you’re just a lover of rivers, share your experiences here.