“I wish we could, but it’s closed. closed for renovations,” Uncle Weed answered slowly.
“How can they close a river? You’re teasing again,” the boys stuttered in confusion.
“Well, I’ll tell more of the story. Shortly after we finished our adventure, a bunch of government types came and said, ‘Wow, sure is nice out here but all canyons look the same and there’s plenty of them anyhow. This one would be ideal for our purposes. Barely anyone comes here anyhow, we could probably score us high-paying office jobs, heck maybe even some medals, for improving and developing this place.’”
Uncle Weed continued, “So they built a huge concrete plug of a hydro-electric dam, proudly proclaiming it ‘One of the biggest in the world’ without any acknowledgement of the nature and history they covered up, the evidence of ancient civilizations were just flooded over without so much as a eulogy.”
“They went on to build a matching visitor’s center, highways and byways, hotels, marinas, liquor stores, bridges, convenience stores, government offices, fast food chains, trailer parks, and eventually, a whole town. They called it a National Recreation Area and received their shiny medals and increases in their pay packets I suppose.”
He continued, rather excitedly, “But I call it a National Recreation Slum, a filthy, bathtub playground for the inconsiderate and wealthy to play with expensive, polluting toys.”
Standing up now, he continued, “These politicians felt it was more important to create electricity to light giant clowns and waving cowboys in Las Vegas and keep the malls in Phoenix air-conditioned then it is to preserve a natural wonder filled with life and history. All in the name of progress, ‘can’t let technology pass you by, it ain’t worth anything unless it shows a profit,’ they said, so they abused it until it did.
“Now, bus-loads of people go down and gaze with wonder at this glorious piece of cement and steel, buy postcards and motor on to their next stop. I don’t know about you guys, but I find it hard to love concrete.”