Monday, July 16, 2007

Day 21: Tucson - Monster Monsoon Mondays!

Last night’s summer thunderstorm, a common occurrence this time of year in the southwest, gave the Extinction Stops Here salmon road show a taste of home and a way to beat the heat. Fin was indeed in her element.

Monday could have been a horrible day. In the morning we woke to a flat tire, only to discover that in total, four new tires were needed. Guillermo at Purcell’s Tires was a champ, fixing us up at lightening speed and getting us back on the road for one heck of a day!

Our first stop: Dry Creek Outfitters

Our first stop was Dry Creek Outfitters in Tucson, an independently-owned fly shop dedicated to bringing together the best products the fly fishing industry has to offer in one great store. It was nice to get back into a fly shop, our first in a few days, and spend time with someone whose passion and livelihood is dependent on the streams and rivers of the West.

Eric Loeffler has owned Dry Creek Outfitters for the last eight years. Talking with him, the strong connection between healthy rivers and the vitality of his industry was really clear. Time and time again, on the road show and within our coalition, we've seen that the angling community is just that – a community of shared interest with shared goals: clean rivers, healthy runs of fish, and plenty of recreational opportunities. Fly-shops have a way of becoming gathering spots to talk about all things in the river and out. We appreciate the places like Dry Creek that can foster dialogue among community members about their watersheds.

Our next stop: Congressman Grijalva’s Office

This part of Arizona is represented in Congress by Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a champion of smart conservation and a friend of wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia & Snake Rivers. If today is any indication, his staff is too!

Grijalva’s Tucson staff welcomed the Road Show with open arms and fell in love with us…okay maybe just Fin.

Thanks to Grijalva’s staff for making it a great visit and we thank you for your support!

Our final Monday stop: Tucson Children’s Museum

Up in the Pacific Northwest, we like to think of ourselves as tough troopers when it comes rain. Well, we might have some competition from kids in Tucson that didn’t let a little drizzle get in their way of enjoying a giant salmon. Thanks to Tad Beckwith, museum founder Evelyn Carswell, and everyone at the Tucson Children’s Museum.

Things we learned:
  • The Gila River in Arizona used to mark the US / Mexico border
  • There are 13 forest animals painted on the mural inside of Fin
  • Fin’s inside also makes a great den for two bobcat warriors (please contact Micah and his buddy for more on this evolving story as it unfolds in their backyards)

All in all a great Monsoon Monday in Tucson! Stay tuned as we beat the heat in Phoenix!

-Bobby and Jeremy

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