Swimming the rapids

While rafting and swimming in the river, the SLLP participants learn about conservation.

Credit: Brilang

Alkali to the Cathedrals, August 19

This morning Doug spoke to us about round houses. The circular house has the most space for the amount of materials to build a wall around the perimeter. Shane toured us around the camp. You could see the old impressions where a circle of vegetation would be just a little more lush than the sage and brush grass surroundings. There were trails that you could see going over the hills. They have been there for thousands of years, made by feet of man and animal treading across the land. Our movement cutting lines across the land, staying for generations, like the water cutting a rivers edge. The markings of moving life across the earth.

It was really hot on the raft. I had a long chat with Fin about power projects. His biggest concern, like Sue’s a few days earlier, is the power generation needed? He felt like the size of the projects were not small, definitely not “micro” hydro. That the footprint was too much. Sue had mentioned the precautionary principle and that she did not put a lot of faith in man’s ability to understand all that is happening in a watershed. She has seen too many both well meaning and irresponsible short sighted screw ups. While we were back at Mt Robson, there was a discussion of having the watershed as the governing political boundary and decision making structures work with in as a network of this natural boundary. People seem to be unaware of markings that we are making in our consumption and delivery of goods. Transmission lines, roads, CO2 emissions… Wouldn’t it be great if close to all of the resources you consumed, power, food, building materials came from within your own watershed? How would you apply this to a huge urban population that almost admittedly consumes too much? Where do you get the power to supply existing huge urban centers? How do you get people to conserve? The balance of generation, consumption, transmission and conservation is poorly understood. We need to discuss the questions relating to the imbalances.

Lunch was hot. The sand hurt my feet to walk across it and we all ate in the shade. We spat watermelon seeds as far as we could. Mine went the farthest but everyone laughed at the sound I made. Fin, Allison, Darcy, and I, later Kareen and Glenda, got in and swam down the river after lunch. The rapids were exciting to swim through, although not big enough to splash much water onto the raft as it went through. I talked to Fin for a long while about his swimming the Fraser. I’m inspired for another adventure. I was cold after swimming for 20 minutes or so. The sun was getting lower and it cooled down enough that it was difficult of warm. Could I make the length of the Fraser? Would I be able to handle the cold? We talked about a relay and the gear that is required.

The Cathedrals are a group of hoodoos. The Rock faces and hoodoos are amazing. Majestic. The sun was gone from our campsite when we arrived. Most of our group slept on a tarp under the stars.