Strainer things

As the Animas River once again roars to life, the features that define its rushing waters follow suit. Common along its boulder- strewn banks are piles of debris and detritus that create what is effectively known as a strainer. As water passes through these log-laden walls, all manner of objects are captured and held. From paddles to full beers to flip flops, strainers are home to untold amounts of lost gear as well as beautifully sculpted driftwood. And while creating crucial subaqueous habitat, they are a formidable hazard to boaters. Here’s a look:

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A riverside view of one of the lower Animas' most notorious strainers. This one has been in place for years behind the Durango Mall. 
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Rule No. 1: hang onto your paddle 
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Strainers are a great place to look for gear sacrificed to the river gods. Like entire rafts.
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One is sure to find tennis balls in 90 percent of strainers along the town run.