Remembering Katie Lee

Katie Klingsporn

In late October, river runners, desert rats and lovers of the West’s harsh landscape were saddened by the news that Katie Lee had died. I wrote a story about her long and colorful life for The Eddy, the blog of O.A.R.S.  

The river community is mourning the loss of Katie Lee, the spitfire poet, folk-singer, rabble rouser, river runner and iconic desert activist best known for her fierce and decades-long battle against the Glen Canyon Dam. Lee passed away at her home in Jerome, Ariz., on Nov. 1. She was 98.

Hers was a long and colorful life filled with desert exploration, songs, river trips, writing and activism. Petite, luminous and possessing of a mellifluous voice, she swore like a sailor, was known to bike naked through Jerome and was never one to repress an opinion, no matter how incendiary. She was outrageous, mischievous, feisty, graceful, fearless and…

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