The film, “The Colorado,” was a real treat. Thanks to Patty Rettig for bringing it to Colorado.
The filmmakers present frame after frame of images from the Colorado River Basin. The aerials from the Colorado River Delta are stunning. You get to see some of the restoration work and how the Delta responds to reintroduction of water.
A particular treat was video from Carl Brower when he made his first visit to Glen Canyon after it had been sacrificed to the dam builders. Folks in the audience that know the canyon country were moved by the beauty revealed as they felt the loss. In my case I had not had the opportunity to see the pre-dam Glen Canyon.
You get a sense of the scale of the construction projects that produced the Glen Canyon and Hoover (Boulder) dams from the video clips showing the blasting, construction operations, and rock climbing prowess of some of the workers.
The Salton Sea is also featured, its accidental creation, the importance of the sea for migrating birds, its steady decline to a salty brine and air pollution hazard, along with the miracle of the Imperial Valley. One nice touch was the the addition of video excerpts from a silent Western film centered around the flood that filled much of the Salton Sink to create the Salton Sea. Spoiler: The hero in the white hat gets the girl.
I liked the historical look at the Grand Canyon and how John Wesley Powell the others with him filled in a blank space on the existing maps of the region. Segments showing the rapids in the Grand Canyon connect you with the power of the Colorado River.
Go see the film if you get a chance. Here’s the trailer: