Colorado River, USA - Rajeshwari Sriram

My Watermark is the Colorado River in Arizona.

I am an Indian that was born in Kenya and living in Canada. In the summer of 2007, my family and I went on a trip to Arizona, specifically Grand Canyon National Park. We trekked to the base of the canyon and camped at Phantom Ranch, however the journey to the camp grounds was very difficult. As you may know, the trek down takes at least eight hours, the sun is constantly glaring down at you as there is limited shade, and the climate is very hot and very dry. A combination of these factors can lead to severe dehydration. The first few hours of the trek was alright, as it was early in the morning and wasn't very hot. We didn't have to take constant water breaks - also there was a water station an hour or so from the rim of the canyon. As the day progressed, and it got hotter, we had to constantly take water breaks.

At one point there was a stream of water (most likely a tributary of the Colorado River), and we were able to cool ourselves by playing it in. However towards the end of the trip (maybe a couple of hours away from our destination), our water and gatorade “reserves” finished. As we reached the base of the canyon (but not the campground), my friend and I rushed ahead, although we were tired and slightly dehydrated, to find a water station since my friend’s father was on the verge of passing out from dehydration. Luckily, we were able to find an old man and he generously let us use his water pump. The water tasted like the sweetest and most refreshing thing I’ve ever had - partially because my body desperately needed water.

We were able to give my friend’s father water and he was alright. My trek down the Grand Canyon not only taught me to appreciate nature and life but also the importance of water for the human body, and how important it is to preserve it.

Yuxin Zhang
Rajeshwari Sriram

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