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Green New Deal Rolls On – From The San Juans To The Tetons

Slate retire alley - Mt. Baldy

Slate river valley – Mt. Baldy – just outside Crested Butte Colorado

The Pelosi-Schumer corporate Democrats and the media may be running away from The Green New Deal, but, we assure our readers that we are rolling along (BTW, the favorable thumbs up, waves, and horn honks as we ride the western backroads are running about 100 – 1! This is in the so called “Red State” fossil energy dependent west.).

As its been over a month since I last posted about our journey (from Ophir, Colorado), I thought I’d update folks on our recent exploits, from the San Juans to the Tetons (camping in national forests, with no Internets connections).

Given recent events, we will post policy pieces on the following issues in the upcoming days:

  • Gov. Murphy’s Global Warming Response Act amendments actually weaken current law
  • DEP helping to build a massive new fossil Petro-chemical Fortress on the Delaware
  • DEP Cleanup Plan (TMDL) for Lake Hopatcong Ignored Toxic Algae Blooms
  • RGGI derailed – Is there an exit ramp down the RGGI road coming soon?
  • I am not a “Distributed Energy Resource” (DER) – “raw material” Mario Savio Lives!

Now, getting back to the journey – We arrived in Ophir following a spectacular route from northwestern New Mexico (Sante Fe, to Taos, to Bandolier) northward across southwestern Colorado (Pagosa Springs, Durango, Dolores), where we saw historic river flows from the snow capped San Juan mountain range.

Rio Grande gorge, just west of Taos, NM

Rio Grande gorge, just west of Taos, NM

We saw record river flows on the following rivers as we crossed southwestern Colorado (hit links for USGS flow data):

Thankfully, Ophir was our last experience with wicked hailstorms, as we headed north and northwest Рincluding a return to Rico, Lizard Head Pass, Toxic Telluride, Ridgway (where I got bitten by a dog) and Montrose (where I got treated for the dog bite in the emergency room).

Lizard Head Pass - snow and sleet on June 15, 2019

Lizard Head Pass – snow and sleet on June 15, 2019

By the time we arrived in Crested Butte, the Gunnison County Sheriff had closed all the rivers to all watercraft due to hazards conditions, including the Slate, East and Gunnison Rivers.

We spoke with a federal law enforcement officer who told us that there had been 2 fatalities in a week, leading to the closure. The melt of deep winter snowpack was delayed due to a cold spring, and now the rivers were raging as the summer temperatures hit and drove snowmelt runoff (another sign of more climate chaos).

We hiked up the Slate river valley road, which was closed, and came to the top, where a wall of snow formed a bowl at the base of the mountains (a cirque?) of Baldy. We managed to walk about a mile on that mini-glacier before turning back in exhaustion.

After getting tired of being dusted out of our campsite by the July 4 crowds of tourists, we drove over the mountains towards Aspen on a “shortcut” US Forest Service Road – my bones are still vibrating – where we stopped at high mountains lakes for gorgeous day hikes and dog swims.

We watched the US Women’s World Cup victory in Basalt Colorado, and upscale suburb of Aspen.

We then headed northwest, through Rifle, Colorado (home of Trump’s Secretary of Interior), north to the White River National Forest, past Dinosaur National monument and the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and on to the Star Valley in Wyoming (just south of Grand Teton National park – those photos there in a subsequent post).

Some pics:

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National Recreation Area

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

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