Thursday, June 30, 2016


The Colorado River begins at La Poudre Pass in the Southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, at just under 2 miles above sea level. After a short run south, the river turns west below Grand Lake, the largest natural lake in Colorado. The 1,450-mile Colorado River drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states while providing water for upwards of 36 million people.The watershed of the Colorado River encompasses 246,000 square miles of southwestern North America, making it the seventh largest on the continent. About 238,600 square miles, or 97 percent of the watershed, is in the United States.The river and its tributaries drain most of western Colorado and New Mexico, southwestern Wyoming, eastern and southern Utah, southeastern Nevada and California, and nearly all of Arizona.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"Dirt Roads and Hippies"

Dennis and Debbi Jo have lived in Breckenridge since it was just, "dirt roads and hippies". They shared their stories about when the Blue River was burried under piles and piles of rock waste left from dredging.  They love that the river is now the visible artery of the town. "Breck has changed a lot over the years, the evolution of the town and its resiliency and the river are what we love."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pittsburgh to Breckenridge

From the home of Andy Warhol and the Penguins, to mining town gone ski town, Rachel up and transplanted herself. A proclaimed lover of the mountains and snowboarding, she shared her stories about water back home in the industrialized midwest and ditch water system her mother now uses in the western slope of Cedaridge, Colorado. Thanks for chatting about water rights and water taste.

My Your Our Water

Monday, June 27, 2016

Middle Fork

The Middle Fork South Platte River is a tributary of the South Platte River, approximately 50 miles long,located in central Colorado in the United States. The river provides part of the drainage of South Park, the intermontane grassland basin located between the Front Range and the Mosquito Range in the Rocky Mountains southwest of Denver. The river was a significant source of placer gold during the Colorado Gold Rush of 1859, leading to the first large influx of white settlers into South Platte, previously inhabited principally by the Ute people. The river bed near Fairplay continued to be a productive gold source for many decades and was the location of mining and milling operations up through the middle 20th century.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Water in Dillon isn't always Dillon's Water

The Blue River, the Snake and Ten Mile Creek all converge into what is known as the Dillon Reservoir. The water, once in Dillon Reservoir all belongs to Denver Water. This is Sherri, she lives in Dillon. She is not bothered that Dillon reservoir water all goes to Denver,-"they have more people and they jumped the claim on the water first. Dillon has its own smaller water reserve and it's beautiful."
For Sherri, water is spiritual and where ever she travels she has to go in the water if at all possible. She recently went to Vietnam and swam in Ha Long Bay.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Blue River Blue Skies

The MYOW trike  caught in action along the Blue River Recreation path. 


Friday, June 24, 2016


The MYOW trike was out along the Blue River when good fortune turned into good conversation. Randy and Sharon have lived in Breckenridge for afair amount of time. Sharon works at the Welcome Center and is a wealth of information. Our delightful conversation centered on the the idea of water as a part of the social landscape and history of the Town of Breckenridge. From mining to the ski economy to the international snow sculpture competition to the Breckcreate WAVE festival, water connects the community.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Breck Police Department

The MYOW trike was riding along the Blue River Recreation path and came upon this bench with water hose. The sign read " Water provided Beckenridge Police Department. Ride safely. Ride courteously."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Board vs Pie

Megan  and Chris are locals. They went to school together here in Summit county and are good friends that agree on all sorts of water issues: conservation, water rights, the use of rain barrels, if it's yellow let it mellow BUT they have one BIG frozen water split. Megan is a snowboarder and Chris is a skier. How these two have maintained a lasting civil friendship is beyond comprehension. MYOW was glad the snow melt could bring them both to the bank of the Blue River to chat and to thaw the feud until next season.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

For Love of Water

Meet Steve. He is originally from Michigan. Meet Jan. She is a Colorado native. These two shared a ski lift and have been married for 10 years. They live in Frisco and just returned from a trip rafting the Colorado River. They had a lot to share regarding water in Colorado and around the country. Steve and Jan turned MYOW onto a nonprofit organization out of Traverse City, Michigan that is working towards protecting the Great Lakes. As we all know, the Great Lakes hold 20% of the world's surface fresh water. That translates to 84% of the surface fresh water in the U.S.  The organization FLOW:for the love of water, is a Great Lakes water law and policy nonprofit dedicated to protecting the common waters of the Great Lakes Basin through public trust solutions and works towards resolving issues like oil pipe line #5 that runs through Lake Michigan.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Gore Creek

Gore Creek is a 18.5 mile long tributary of the Eagle River (which in turn is a tributary of the Colorado River) in Eagle County in central Colorado. It drains an area of the Rocky Mountains at the south end of the Gore Range through Gore Valley. It rises on the Eagle County-Summit County border along the high crest of the Gore Range, in the White River National Forest, approximately 4 miles north of Vail Pass, descending to the west through a narrow gorge, receiving Black Gore Creek from the south. Downstream of this confluence, it runs alongside U.S. Highway 6  and Interstate 70. It flows through Vail and joins the Eagle River from the east, approximately 3 miles west of Vail.
While the downstream portions of Gore Creek remain a Gold Medal Brown Trout fishery, the health of aquatic life in the creek has come into question. Due to low counts of aquatic macroinvertebrates, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment placed Gore Creek on a state list of impaired waterways in 2011.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Rockaway to Breck

The trike was heading uphill when hailed by  this lovely couple, "keep up the good work!" The trike happily took a pedaling break to chat. Vicky and Dennis had read the article in the Summit Daily about My Your Our Water and were excited to see it in action. The two are from Rockaway, Illinois and gladly shared stories of water from a Great Lake state. Let's just say,in his younger days Dennis was camping and bathed in what he believed to be a secluded natural waterfall lake area only to discover it wasn't secluded at all!  Thanks for conserving water on the Great Lakes!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Eagle River

The Eagle River is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 60.5 miles long, in west central Colorado in the United States. It rises in southeastern Eagle County, at the continental divide, and flows northwest past Gilman, Minturn, Avon. Near Wolcott, it turns west, flowing past Eagle and Gypsum, and joins the Colorado at Dotsero, in western Eagle County. The Eagle is the lesser-known gem of central Colorado running through much sought after ranch land while providing water for east Vail to Wolcott.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Maya and Christy encountered the MYOW  by the Riverwalk Center while crossing a bridge over the Blue River. These two friends drove from Boulder to check out the WAVE festival in Breckenridge. Maya is from Pittsburgh, Christy is from Boulder but they met while in school at Oberlin College in Ohio.They shared their stories about living by the Great Lakes, poor tasting water and continual water boil alerts  often dubbed "watergate 2k15" as a result of an aging water infrastructure in Oberlin that is prone to main breaks. (Maya was auditioning to become a member of an aerial dance company in Boulder... happy flying!)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

 Shadow Mountain Lake and Dam

"Shadow Mountain Dam is a zoned earth-fill dam on the Colorado River in Grand County, Colorado. Constructed between 1944 and 1946, the Shadow Mountain Dam creates the Shadow Mountain Lake, with a structural height of 63 feet and a drainage area of 187 square miles. Shadow Mountain Lake is a holding reservoir for water pumped up from Lake Granby just to the south through the Granby Pumping Plant and Canal. Shadow Mountain Lake is connected by a short channel to the natural Grand Lake. The east portal of the Alva B. Adams Tunnel is located on Grand Lake. The Adams Tunnel diverts west slope water to the east slope of the Rocky Mountains for use in agriculture and to serve the populated areas of Colorado, including Denver."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Stable Isotope Lab

This is Valerie. She works in the Stable Isotope Laboratory at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at Colorado University, Boulder. In the lab, Valerie studies the climate of the past by measuring stable isotopes of water in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica.  The research is also about precipitation isotopes , "The hydrologic cycle plays in important role in ice core research. Many of the discoveries made from polar ice cores have deepened our understanding of long term climate signals in both temperature and precipitation; likewise, understanding isotopes in precipitation today are essential to understanding the ice core record. Stable Isotopes are a unique tracer that can reveal volumes about the origin and distribution of precipitation on our planet."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Three Little Water Drinkers

This sunny mountain afternoon, the MYOW trike at the good fortune to meet  Maribella, Lily, and Alexandria. While snacking on healthy apples and red bell peppers, these girls chatted with MYOW about their water. "Where does it come from ?"  Not just from the tap but from the Blue River. The girls walked over to stand by their river that flows through town and into the Dillion Reservoir. All three were super excited to share that the snow melt makes the water run fast in the spring and into summer. The mention of summer brought smiles from ear to ear. Who isn't ready for vacation?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Colorado River Beginnings

The 1,450-mile Colorado River drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. It provides water for over 36 million people. This critical and majestic river begins high in the central Rocky Mountains in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The river is repeatedly diverted and dammed through out its course as it flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado approaches the large Colorado River Delta at the tip of the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora. *** currently, due to water claims on the river, the Colorado River does not reach the Colorado River Delta or the Gulf .

Sunday, June 12, 2016

On the Trail 

The My Your Our Water trike was making its way up hill on the Blue River Recreation Path when this red two wheeler rolled up along side. This is Tony. Tony has worked for the Town of Breckenridge since 2004 and assumed the role of Open Space and Trails Specialist in 2015. He supervises the Town’s seasonal trail crew and implements year-round open space operations,  including trails, forest health, noxious weeds and other projects.  Tony had lots of questions about the Trike and MYOW. We chatted and pedaled Tony back to work. Thanks for the trail info and for wearing your blue sweatshirt to work!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Blue River Trike Path

The Blue River Watershed includes all of Summit County, which encompasses approximately 619 square miles. An additional 61 square miles of the Lower Blue lie within Grand County, and the very top of the Tenmile Basin lies within Lake County.  Most of the total annual stream flow results from snow melt during the spring and early summer. The majority of snowfall typically occurs January through April. Thunderstorm activity produces significant, though short-lived, rainfall events in July and August. Impacts from mining, large water storage projects of Dillon and Green Mountain Reservoir and Interstate 70 play a large role in the water and habitat quality throughout the watershed.

Dredge Pond Breckenridge

My Your Our Water floating in the dredge pond in the center of town at sunset. The Blue River flows through this pond on its way to the Dillion Reservoir. This dredge replica was built in 1993 and serves a marker to the long and complex history of gold mining in Breckenridge.

Friday, June 10, 2016

 Taking Moose for a Walk

The Breck Recreation Path is a ideal for triking and for walking a dog. This paved path along the Blue River is where MYOW met Lindsay, Kathy and Moose. This trio engaged in a great conversation about water connectedness, the need for greater awareness on all water fronts, individual participation, as well as corporate and government responsibility. Lindsay, a past Peace Corps member in Africa, currently works as a grant writer for the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver, believes in grass roots movements as a means of creating change. An engaged individual and an engaged community can provide solutions to problems and bring about positive change. Thanks for your thoughtful insights ladies!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Blue River Recreation Path

The Town of Breckenridge contains a 7 mile section of the 50+ miles of the paved Summit County Recreational Pathway system. This section is known as the “Blue River Rec Path,” as connects the center of town with the rest of Summit County, including Eagle County via Vail Pass. The Blue River Recreational Path, aptly named, parallels the Blue River, directly connecting Breckenridge and Frisco, just like the river does.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Water Heater Escapade

This charming couple were on their annual vacation to Breckenridge. They spend about a week in Breck either in Spring or Fall depending on their schedule. This dynamic duo, Dick and Flo have lived in Colorado Springs for over 27 years. They've watched the city grow and change and with it the city's water needs have shifted. As a result, there is a good deal of monitoring of water usage. On a side note, the growing of certain medicinal plants uses a fair amount of water. which is often a tip off to authorities. As mentioned, Dick and Flo, like to travel. While away on one extended trip their water heater busted and continued to leak water for the duration of their absence. To their shock, not only did they return to a watery mess but to an inquiry from the water authorities as to their sudden "increased water usage". The running joke, is that these two are now on a secret water watch list for possible "growers". It was an absolute delight to swap stories with this couple and to serendipity to run into them for a second time outside of the Welcome Center along the Blue River.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Breckenridge Heritage Alliance

What's the best way to discover the hidden history gems in Breckenridge ? Hang out with the Executive Director of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. Larissa O'Neil, was not only cool enough to answer my endless questions about Breck's history of gold mining but she brought me out the sunken Reiling Dredge boat off of French Gulch. In return for her wealth of knowledge MYOW shared some water information about Arizona where she had just vacationed. Thanks for helping MYOW understand the fabled Golden Horseshoe and the not so cool ways of dredging.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Pumps n' More

Snow season or mud season, Breckenridge is the destination for Colorado. This couple, Karen and Ed make it regular visits from Pueblo, Colorado where they own and operate a company called Pumps N' More. Basically, this duo have been in the well business for a long time. Being in the water business, they know that, "when you suddenly don't have water, EVERYTHING becomes about getting water." Karen and Ed had to make it back to Pueblo to work but will be back in Breckenridge for the annual Colorado Water Well Contractors Conference at Beaver Run in July.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Goose Pasture Tarn 

Goose Pasture Tarn, a 771-acre-foot reservoir in Summit County, Colorado. It is the principal domestic water-storage facility for the Town of Breckenridge and collects runoff from approximately 42 square miles of the upper Blue River watershed. In 2005, a geological study of the sedimentation deposit in the tarn was conducted by the US Geological Survey. Since 1965 the surface area and the reservoir capacity have lessened. In 2005 he surface area of Goose Pasture Tarn  was 66.4 acres, and the reservoir capacity was 771.1 acre-feet at a full-pool elevation of 9,886.4 feet.
My Your Our Water


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Almost Summer

The trike was making it's way along the Blue River Bike Path when MYOW met Jace. A young competitive snowboarder who loves red apples and is excited to be finishing up 6th grade. Jace told us about how his class had a month segment on water and what he found to be most interesting is the "use it or lose it policy, it doesn't inspiration conservation at all."

Thanks for caring about water Jace and have an awesome summer vacation!


Friday, June 3, 2016

MYOW in a Dredge Pond

My Your Our Water has been in residence in Breckenridge, Colorado in collaboration with Breckcreate since early May. The tricycle has been spotted on the bike path along the restored Blue River which was upturned by years of dredging. The MYOW sign was recently floated in the remaining dredge pond that is located in the center of town. The working dredge, that operated between 1933-1935, sank in this 90 foot pond. In its place floats this replica dredge that operates as a restaurant. The community of Breckenridge and Breckcreate came out to help install the sign in the dredge pond. Many many thanks!

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Ben Stanley Revett introduced dredging to Summit County in 1898. It was a terribly destructive gold mining process that left a wake of waste behind. The dredge boat would float on a man made pond while a continuous line of digging buckets at the front of the dredge excavated sediments to bedrock, bringing the gold laden gravel to the surface. The gold was separated from the rock on board the dredge using mercury and other processes. All the waste rock material was dumped out the back of the dredge boat leaving miles of piles of rock waste. The dredge boats made their way up and down the rivers and creeks in Summit county literally upturning the waterways and burying them under gravel. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Bit of Naturalist History 

In an attempt to learn more about the history of the Town of Breckenridge, MYOW made a stop at the Edwin Carter Museum. It was here that MYOW not only learned about the famed naturalist/ taxidermist who sought to point out the dangers of mining and the effects it was having on the wildlife but MYOW had the chance to talk with Sherrie. Once upon a time she lived south of Breckenridge in Blue River where she had her own well. The quality of water was delightful. "You never know how good your water is until you travel somewhere and you can taste the water. Our water is so good it doesn't have a taste." Now, Sherrie lives in the Town of Breckenridge, and her water comes through the water treatment plant. She says, "the water is still fabulous". 
(Sorry about the way the water tasted during your last visit to Arizona. Thanks for the history lesson!)