Downstream: Encounters with the Colorado River by Karen Halverson
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“Downstream” is an arresting vision of the Colorado River by renowned landscape photographer Karen Halverson. The Colorado, crucial to development in the West, is at once wilderness, natural resource, recreation area, and wasteland. In seventy large-format color photographs, Halverson captures the river's natural majesty as well as the strange and unexpected beauty of its altered state. The images take us on an intimate exploration of the Colorado's entire length—from its rugged upstream canyons, to its dams and reservoirs, to where it disappears into the desert, entirely consumed. In an insightful, personal introduction to the photographs, Halverson tells how she explored the Colorado—accessing it by car, on foot, and by raft—while learning about its transformation into a complex water delivery system. In a lyrical foreword, historian William Deverell sets the photographs in the illuminating context of Colorado River history and discovery. In both images and prose, the book gives an extraordinary view of the Colorado's great and enduring splendor and a clear-eyed look at the many ironies contained in its waters.