The last two nights we have slept more than 2000 m above sea level. And how we have been amazed of how landscape and climate has changed as we travelled from the Pacific to the Rockies!
Two days ago we saw the firste clouds in the sky, and yesterday, after two and a half weeks of travel, we had the first raindrop. It not only rained, this morning all the mountainslopes were white. We have had days of 33 degrees C, days with snow on the carwindows and nights with frozen windows. We have moved from sea level at the city by the bay up to 2800 m in the Sangre de Christi-mountains.
We have been in the driest Arizona desert where nothing but rocks and cactuses survive, and we have seen elks, deer, mountain goats, prarie dogs, antilopes and bison in their natural habitat. We have viewed the great Grand Canyon, the fascinating Rio Grande gorge and traveled on horse back through the desert where rattlesnakes are the most frequent inhabitants.
But climate change is more than natural variations in this enormous and diverse landscape. From California in the west till the Rocky Mountain region there is a constant worry about the several year long draught. ‘We try to use as little water as we can,’ they told us in New Mexico. The lack of water in central California is more than extraordinary, it is extreme. Some prophets are afraid the water basins are absolutely empty in one year.
Maybe the white man need help from the native cultures on how to live on this land and protect it from extinction?