One summer, nearly 3,000 years ago, monsoon rains caused Rillito Creek in Tucson, Ariz., to overflow its banks and swamp a family’s fields at the confluence of the creek and the Santa Cruz River. As the water receded, a layer of sand was deposited, burying the footprints left by nine adults, two children, and a dog. The flood ruined that year’s crop.
The Connecticut is a river that many take for granted. Nationwide, it may not have the notoriety of the Mississippi, the Rio Grande, or the Colorado. But it is the longest river in New England, etching a course more than 400 miles long from the Quebec border south through four U.S. states. Its watershed is vast, and it supplies 70 percent of Long Island Sound’s fresh water. It has more than 1,000 dams on its tributaries and 16 dams on its main stem, a dozen of which are hydropower projects.