April 8th, 2008

marci

A Snowshoe Bear

I'm typing this from a hotel room in Alamosa, CO. There will be a meeting tomorrow where a whole big group will be discussing what this year's snow will lead to in terms of runoff. There will be representatives from every government agency that has anything to do with snow and water. Today, as sort of a kickoff, was a tour of a snow measuring site at Wolf Creek Pass, one of the sites that regularly has one of the deepest snowpacks. We were told that snowshoes would probably be required, so I rented some at REI. There was one small problem with today's tour, no one was really sure where the site was. Leave it to a bear with a sometimes photographic memory for locations to save the day. I had been to the site once before about 3 years ago. I managed to get the group right to the site on my first try. Woohoo! The snow at the site was 10' deep. Hopefully all of that snow will be melting into water which will make its way down the Rio Grande in about 2 months.

Speaking of water, Alamosa has no water. Bacteria was found in the city's water system a few weeks ago and it STILL hasn't been cleaned up. It's weird going into a McDonald's and being served cans of Coke. Bottled water is being passed out for free in the hotel. We're really not even supposed to use the water for bathing, but screw that. I'm taking a shower tomorrow. I'm not a hydrology fanboy!