Two kayakers got close to breaking Kenton Grua, et al., speed record thru the Grand Canyon #ColoradoRiver

Map of Grand Canyon National Park via the NPS
Map of Grand Canyon National Park via the NPS

From the Spokane Spokesman-Review (Rich Landers):

Ben Orkin of Portland and Harrison Rea of Georgia, paddling separately, launched on the Colorado River on Jan. 7 for an attempt at setting a record: The seasoned Colorado River guides wanted to be the fastest non-motorized boaters to traverse the Grand Canyon 277 miles from Lee’s Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs.

The record was set by a dory in 1983 during much faster flood-stage flows, but January was the only time the pair could score a coveted permit. They’d hoped to make up for slower river flows with their high-performance — but fragile — kayaks.

The time to beat was 36 hours and 38 minutes. Orkin and Rea were on track to finish in about 36 hours, until notorious Crystal Rapid had its way with Rea’s boat.

Crystal Rapid via
Crystal Rapid via

They self-rescued after Rea’s collision with a rock and subsequent capsize, repaired the boat, continued paddling — and still nearly broke the overall record.

Orkin arrived exhausted at Grand Wash Cliffs in 37 hours and 48 minutes after launching, one hour and 10 minutes slower than The Emerald Mile’s flood-assisted run.

A wrap-up story by Canoe & Kayak online says that despite failing to beat the non-motorized record, Orkin, who paddled ahead of Rea after the boat repair, became the fastest kayaker to complete the canyon, “taking the lead in a category legendary whitewater pioneer Fletcher Anderson started in the late ‘70s when he completed a solo kayak descent of the canyon in 49 hours.”

Rio Grande Basin: Second water sub-district progresses — the Valley Courier

San Luis Valley Groundwater
San Luis Valley Groundwater

From the Valley Courier:

The proposed Rio Grande Alluvium (aka sub-district #2) is proceeding .

The State of Colorado has assigned or grouped nonexempted wells together to form Response Areas that will become sub-districts . Wells in the Rio Grande Alluvium Response Area are known as Sub-district #2. These are unconfined aquifer wells in close proximity to the Rio Grande River in the general area between Del Norte and Alamosa.

“The work group which is comprised of local land and well owners in the proposed area has been meeting for several years,” said Karla Shriver a work group member . “We have had numerous meetings among ourselves trying to hash out the details of the proposed sub-district formation, and having numerous public meetings trying to get input from those who will be impacted by it.”

The Colorado Division of Water Resources will be submitting Rules Governing the Withdrawal of Ground Water in Water Division #3 for non-exempt wells. Once the rules have been adopted, well owners will have only three options, which include:

1. Be a part of a subdistrict ;

2. Prepare and submit their own augmentation plan;

3. Cease using nonexempt wells on their property .

Proposed Sub-district #2 is a voluntary sub-district , and participation is the well owner’s choice.

“For those in proposed Sub-district #2 if you are wanting to join the subdistrict and have visited with Deb Sarason from Davis Engineering about your farm plan, please contact me at 719-589-6301 to pick up your petition,” said Cleave Simpson, Rio Grande Water Conservation District program manager.

“If you own non-exempt well(s) in proposed Subdistrict #2 and have not completed your farm plan, you will first need to have a meeting with Deb Sarason from Davis Engineering at 719-589-3004 to verify the wells on your lands that you want included in the District” said Simpson. “The goal is to have all the petitions signed by January 31 and then let staff review the petitions for completion and correctness, and then go before the RG Conservation District Board in March.”

The work group is hosting another public meeting so that those interested may come ask questions January 20 at 6 p.m. at the Monte Vista Co-op Community Room.

More San Luis Valley groundwater coverage here.