Backroller Benefit Association
Organized by: Jessica Corley
The Gold King Mine spill disaster in Southwestern Colorado contaminated the Animas River during a peak time for boating tourism, leaving 9 local companies with significant revenue loss. The Backroller Benefit Association was formed by a group of boaters and river-lovers to help support this vital component of our tourist economy.
The Animas River plays a central role in the lives of Durango, Colorado; and it hs been the home to tragedy long before the recent contamination. The river's full name, “El Río de las Ánimas Perdidas en Purgatorio,” means "The River of Lost Souls in Purgatory," and legends claim the name comes from a group of Coronado's conquistadors who died along the river's banks. Being too far from civilization to be read their last rights, Catholic belief holds their souls would be lost in Purgatory.
Legends perpetuate the idea that the river remains haunted by these lost souls; never having come to their final resting place. In recent weeks, the beautiful and serene river that winds through our town has been quietly eerie; as we mourn for the river in the wake of environmental disaster, we are reminded of the river's history and it's ability to rebound from tragedy.
In the words of A.A. Milne, "Rivers Know This: There Is No Hurry. We Shall Get There Someday."
We thank you for the support of our beloved Animas River!