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Rafting the Length of the Colorado River

Powell 150, from filmmakers Benjamin Kraushaar and Cody Perry, documents a thousand-mile rafting trip along the Colorado River Basin from Wyoming to Nevada. The journey replicates John Wesley Powell’s 1869 voyage and examines the current threats facing the river today.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] JESSICA FLOCK: The adrenaline high you get is unexplainable. And then it sticks with you for days.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

BEN KRAUSHAAR: Being that close to the power of the river, we'll be riding that high for, like, years.

JOHN WEISHEIT: I'm not going to quit. I guess that's a character thing that maybe river running taught me. Activism is the same thing. You don't give up.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

NARRATOR: 150 years ago, John Wesley Powell floated through the last unmapped region of a young, expanding United States. Since then, much has changed.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

WILL WILSON: Native people are resilient. We've been through this before and survived it, you know, for generations.

TOM MINCKLEY: Silent acknowledgment that there is a problem, but the public determination that there isn't. That's the enemy.

PAT KIKUT: I'm hoping that, you know, the collection of my work will be able to kind of reflect or mirror thoughts in science as well as the history of this river, and also thinking for the future.

AMORINA LEE MARTINEZ: I hope to be a young multicultural woman representing water that has historically been managed and represented by white and older men.

NARRATOR: Following in Powell's footsteps, we are rafting 1,000 miles from Wyoming to Nevada. Our goal-- re-evaluate Powell's legacy, absorb the unquantifiable power of place, and articulate what the future may hold for water in the west.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[RUSHING WATER]

[WATER LAPPING]

SUBJECT: I love river trips. You go out and see what happens, and deal with it.

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