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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 23.5, 23.5-Mile Rapid, Downstream View from River Left (Stake 2307)

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Stake 2307, 13 July 1889 View Larger Image
13 July 1889
The Brown-Stanton expedition, demoralized by the drowning of President Frank Brown upstream at Salt Water Wash, paused here midday to avoid the heat of summer. Harry McDonald, a boatman, carved his initials in a small juniper tree behind this camera station. When Nims took this image at 23.5-Mile Rapid, the debris fan in the foreground was devoid of vegetation, but considerable amounts of driftwood collected here within the sand and rocks on the downstream side of a large debris fan. Apache plume are growing along the high-water line at left center.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-304, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 2307, 2 February 1991 View Larger Image
2 February 1991
With the passage of 102 years, the debris fan has become vegetated with scattered Mormon tea, seepwillow, Apache plume, and perennial grasses. Only small amounts of driftwood remain in the foreground, but the eddy at center continues to collect driftwood, a resource depleted in the regulated Colorado River. A rockfall on river left has contributed numerous boulders, which appear white in this view, and moved others. Tamarisk is visible in the center of the image.
Photo credit: Ted Melis

Stake 2307, 16 September 2010 View Larger Image
16 September 2010
Vegetation in the foreground continues to increase, with the addition of many new plants, including a Mormon tea at front center; others present in 1991 have died. Many of these plants are short-lived species, including snakeweed. The driftwood has been rearranged, likely by river runners who frequently camp on the sandbar at midground. The beach is much larger than they were 19 years previously, but the stands of tamarisk growing upon them have greatly increased, probably decreasing the area of the camp but possibly trapping sand higher on the banks. This appears to be the case at right center, where the amount of sand upslope from tamarisk trees appears to have increased.
Photo credit: Bill Lemke

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