RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas — The Rio Grande River stretches nearly 1,900 miles, and one man has made it his mission to travel the entire distance.
But what is the meaning behind the journey he calls, “Disappearing Rio Grande Expedition“?
Colin McDonald, Journalist, “The point is to travel the length of the river and to talk to people that live along it about how changes to it have impacted them.”
Colin McDonald began this journey June 20 in Colorado, and is finally nearing the end. He’s been traveling up to 8 hours a day, taking water samples and documenting the wildlife along the way.
McDonald, “I’m asking environmental questions. I’m asking how has the river changed? What’s the impact of the raw sewage being dumped in Laredo? What’s the impact of the evaporation rates in Amistad and Falcon. How does bank control impact the river? What’s the shape of it? What do the levee’s do?”
Overall, Colin says his tests have turned up clean, but one problem is overfishing which is leading to less birds and other wildlife. But what about the violence along the border?
McDonald, “It’s very easy to get worked up and see this place as a dangerous place. But, that’s it.”
Colin says he was warned many times before starting this expedition about the dangers of traveling the Rio Grande Valley.
He says he has seen some border crossers come across the water, and even been stopped by Border Patrol, but that all of those dangers for the most part, are just a stereotype.
Man yells, “How you doing?”
McDonald, “Bueos dias.”
Man, “Everything alright?”
McDonald, “Yeah! That happens a lot.”
Some friends have joined for the final stretch and he’s expecting even more to be here to complete the last 12 miles, scheduled for this Friday.
If you would like to see more from the entire journey, click here.