The Coffee Shop – Salween Spring: the Tao of fighting a losing battle

The Coffee Shop is an open thread-style discussion forum for human interest news of the day.

From NRS Films

An American outfitter in China and the Tao of fighting a losing battle.

Meet Travis Winn, an American who traveled to China for the first time 15 years ago to join his dad on a first descent of the Headwaters of the Salween River in Tibet. On that first trip Travis realized that most Chinese citizens had no way to get out and experience free-flowing rivers. And later he learned that at the rate these rivers were being dammed, very few people would ever have a chance to see the rivers in their pristine and natural state. Risking his mental and physical health, Travis continues to strive toward his personal goal to bring the Chinese people closer to their rivers.



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4 Responses to The Coffee Shop – Salween Spring: the Tao of fighting a losing battle

  1. A lot of people think the next big environmental crisis will be when the oil and other fossil fuels start to run out. I disagree, and so do a lot of other scientists. It is water, not oil, and it’s already happening. The water is already running out, especially in the Southwest USA and the west coast. Here in the southern Appalachians, you cannot start a forest fire with Napalm most years. However, the unusual warm winters and long dry spells are nothing but trouble. There has already been a major forest fire just a few miles east of my house. Firefighters were not able to extinguish it, or even contain it very much until we had a couple of days of rain.

    Many people have built beautiful….and expensive…vacation homes in heavily wooded areas of the mountains. Methinks they are looking for trouble.

    At this point in time, we still have a LOT of running water, and in the hills one can’t drive five minutes in any direction without coming to a trout stream. The streams are fed by a combination of springs and runoff water when it does rain. Roan Mountain is 6,285 feet high and has a 150 square mile footprint. A rainstorm on that massif results in flash flooding and dramatic increase in the amount of water in the streams, many of which already have enough serious white water to challenge the most experienced kayaker.

    The Watauga River (video below) is only five minutes from my house. The Nolichucky River is famous in song and story. It is a 35 minute drive. About three hours south of where I live is the Ocoee River. That is where the Atlanta Olympics had their white water kayak contests. The movie Deliverance was also filmed along the Ocoee.

    During the Atlanta Olympics, southern comic Jeff Foxworthy cracked,

    “If Ned Beatty couldn’t make it down the Ocoee, what makes you think a Frenchman in bicycle shorts can?”

    Watauga in the Cherokee language means “Beautiful Water.” It is indeed beautiful….in a terrifying kind of way.

  2. Good morning, Chuck! You taught me a new word – massif, and I had a most enjoyable excursion into googleland. Even saw what I think is a lennie, another word I leanred from you –

    I agree, water is a predominant issue, considering impending collapse of water tables accompanied with fracking …

  3. Yes indeed, that photo is of a very impressive lenticular cloud.

    With the wind we had yesterday, there were lenticular clouds in all quadrants, and here I am stuck on the ground with no glider. It would have been extremely rough and bumpy, which is characteristic of atmospherics when the standing mountain waves are working.

  4. wordcloud9 says:

    Thank you Joy — Happy Mother’s Day

    Quite a story — brought back great memories of Arizona summers ‘tubing’ down the Salt and Verde rivers — blistering sun and cold water. But the rapids on those rivers were babies compared to the Salween. BIG rapids are pretty scary!

    I’m a city girl at heart, but everyone should have some wilderness experience. We all need to see for ourselves what planet Earth really is.

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