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Swimming the Columbia River - lengthwise.
June 11, 2002 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Swimming the Columbia River - lengthwise. What have you been up to for the past week? How about the next 6 months? If you're Christopher Swain, the answer is "swimming - and lots of it". Swain plans swim the 1,243 miles of the Columbia River from headwaters to the Pacific over about 180 days. The further downriver he goes, the riskier it gets - aside from the rapids and ocean freighters that await him, he'll be in waters contaminated by atomic waste, PCBs and other toxins - which is the point of the swim, to raise awareness and support for river protection. "I learned that tasting every mile of a river is a great way to build the credibility to speak on its behalf"
posted by kokogiak (15 comments total)

 
"For my next trick, to protest SUVs, I will allow one to run over me, lengthwise. After that, I'm seriously considering swallowing some cesium to protest nuclear proliferation."
posted by rushmc at 2:19 PM on June 11, 2002


Should be interesting to see how he gets around all the dams. Of course, he'll wind up in beautiful Astoria, so he has that to look forward to.
posted by diddlegnome at 2:41 PM on June 11, 2002


Wha? Swimming downstream?

Pansy.
posted by NortonDC at 2:53 PM on June 11, 2002


Silly, silly man.
posted by vbfg at 3:15 PM on June 11, 2002


Tying these comments together - he'll walk, not drive around the 14 dams along the way. And those same dams create over 900 miles of slack water, so it's only ~300 miles of downstream paddlin'.

As far as 'silly'... well, at least he's doing it to raise river issue awareness this time around, as opposed to his 1996 swim - "...he swam the lower 210 miles of the Connecticut River in support of universal human rights".
posted by kokogiak at 3:19 PM on June 11, 2002


those same dams create over 900 miles of slack water

Hm. I lived near the Columbia for almost 20 years, and I didn't know that.
posted by diddlegnome at 4:27 PM on June 11, 2002


he swam the lower 210 miles of the Connecticut River

Has he swam across the Atlantic unsported? ie. pulling a boat with supplies while wearing 50 pounds of chain? We had it tough.
posted by stbalbach at 4:54 PM on June 11, 2002


Quite the challenge... my best so far is 3 miles, which in a 25-yard pool equals 210 lengths (105 laps).
posted by clevershark at 5:12 PM on June 11, 2002


This makes me wistful for watching Jack La Lanne towing boats to Catalina and what not.
posted by billder at 5:52 PM on June 11, 2002


wow. jack la lanne. That's a bit of nostalgia. i wonder if the youngsters here (I'm 34) have even heard of him.
posted by vacapinta at 6:14 PM on June 11, 2002


Mmm, atomic waste.
posted by jaden at 9:23 PM on June 11, 2002


Cleaning up the water, an environmental issue we can all sink our teeth into (metaphorically speaking). Who doesn't drink water? (cue 'I only drink [insert liquor here]')
Hope he makes it.
posted by darukaru at 9:49 PM on June 11, 2002


he'll be in waters contaminated by atomic waste, PCBs and other toxins

Ten bucks says he ends up with superpowers at the end of his swim.
posted by JDC8 at 3:47 AM on June 12, 2002


yeah, but it'd be something lame like Aquaman's talk-to-the-fish thing.
posted by tolkhan at 7:27 AM on June 12, 2002


vacapinta:

Yesh. (20 meself) But then I read many... odd... things.
posted by e^2 at 7:14 PM on June 12, 2002


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