Now the whole enormous drainage basin was floating them,
melted snow from the high Wind River peaks, and from Wasatch,
and from the Uintas with their hundred cold streams, Black's Fork,
Henry's Fork, Ham's Fork, Kingfisher Creek, Brush Creek, and the Uinta;
the western slopes of the Colorado Rockies whose creeks poured into the
Yampa and the White; the waters all the way from Grand Lake under the
shadow of Long's Peak, and the tributary springs and creeks and runoff
gulches that fed the Grand all the way to modern Grand Junction and
Moab; and finally the San Juan, muddy from recent rains, its headwaters
tangled with those of the Rio Grande in the Five Rivers country of
southwest Colorado, its gathering waters coming down from the San Juan
Mountains through New Mexico and what would sometime be Arizona
and across the southeastern corner of Utah through the country of the
Navajo. It was a big river by now, a tremendous surge . . .

WALLACE STEGNER  [about the Powell party, 1869]           



[Photograph: Colorado River]