"Keena Kimmel's bookshop occupies a cozy curve along the Animas River, a place of wild sunflowers and lilacs where fisherman try their luck and kayakers glide under iron bridges. But this weekend the river was empty and Kimmel's heart broken.
'Years ago I was passing through on the way to Oregon and ended up staying because it was so beautiful,' she said, gazing over the vacant waters. 'I can't believe what's happened. I guess I'm still kind of in shock.'
Shock, sadness and anger have gripped this pretty college town in southwestern Colorado as residents struggle to understand the slow-moving environmental disaster that has transformed their crystal clear Animas River — or the River of Souls, translated from its Spanish name — into a ribbon of mustard yellow sludge."