A wellwater conspiracy .... 

A wellwater conspiracy ....

Swimmer finishes Columbia River Swim (Seattle Times)

One Christopher Swain of Portland, Oregon, has completed a year-long, 1,200+ mile swim down the length of the Columbia River, apparently to protest water pollution.

And while I congratulate the man on a titanic effort, I have to wonder, "Why?"

Certes, he has touched the lives of most, if not all of the 13,000 or so people he met along the way, including the "thousands of schoolchildren". But I vaguely remember hearing a story that some nut case was going to swim the length of the Columbia, and this is the first I've heard of it since.

But he could have touched 13,000 people serving his karaoke favorites over a website: Swain Sings The Seeds, or something like that.

I do not wish to object to any internal sense of accomplishment--no doubt this was a mammoth effort fraught with danger and unpleasntries, but it would have served his needs better, I think, if there was more media exposure. Of course, one guy swimming nearly 1,250 miles isn't nearly as exciting as war, missing WMD, sexed-up dossiers, or Biblically-derived rebels running sex slaves in Uganda. But ... seriously ... the article I found at the Seattle Times webiste is the first time I've come across the story since I heard that first vague mention of it.

As I write this, wondering if Mr. Swain bothered to get a website for his journey (I haven't found it yet), I did find an article from before he began:

For the Love of a River (About.com)

At any rate, congratulations Mr. Swain. I hope I'm underestimating the impact of your efforts. I hope you've actually made a big splash and I just missed it.

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