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Old 07-25-2005   #31
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112

I think it's ugly.... I don't have a art background but I don't see how it serves and srtistic purpose.

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Old 07-25-2005   #32
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 586
Yes, I am worried about the Bighorn sheep.
I am worried about the flies, the insect life and the trout.
I am worried about a piece of the cable they say they plan to use becoming a strainer.

Have you ever seen a construction sight anywhere where NOTHING was left behind? - that was perfectly and completely cleaned up?
Of course not - shit gets missed. And some cable or something will end up in an eddy or between a couple of rocks and it could be a real hazard on a heavily-kayaked stretch of water.

No, that stretch of river is not pristine, but it is beautiful anyway. That's a great canyon. The steep canyon walls, the red rock, the blue sky. I appreciate it.
And just because it's been mucked with before is not good reason for us to stand aside and say "Let em do whatever they want to it."

And it's a fun stretch of river, with some good play at lower water and some decent play at middle flows.
I go there a lot, as do a bunch of my friends, and this artist doesn't have the right to muck with it.

Sure, some people in the Ark Valley will be excited about the prospects of drawing more tourists (MONEY IN OUR WALLETS!!!).
But this is not FIBArk (which I love).
This is not about boaters and loving the river.
It's a damn stunt, some BS novelty that doesn't serve a damn (except possibly bring more tourist $).
It's not good enough that "it might be cool to float under it." That does not justify a project that will have such an impact on the river and its users.
I like art.
But that's not Christo's river and it's not yours, and when you want to make "art" that affects something that I have as much right to as you do, in a way that I do not welcome, you had better justify it to me.
"It might be cool to float under" and "It might mean some more yahoo's in my shop" -- aren't good enough.

If I show up in Salida (a town I really like), it will be to protest.

-Mike G.

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Old 07-25-2005   #33
ski/kayak bum
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
i just sent an email to their contact us address....please do the same~!!!!!!

traffic (do you have the resources to deal with millions coming to visit all at once?? I dont think so and that is what these stunts bring)
temp jobs/temp workers
Dangerous for those who use the river
dangerous for the ecosystem

name one good thing to come from this!!!!
and yes we do have the right to refuse service to an artist and to say go away!!!
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Old 07-25-2005   #34
Livingston's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 679
It's a good thing most of the irate rantings on the buzz go unexecuted... But if you do show up on Aug1 in Salida ID725, please do some research and bring material to back up your point of view. I wouldn't want a hothead with guns blazing to be the spokesman for my side (still undecided, but becoming indifferent).

I know the knee-jerk reaction is to say "don't F-ck with my river", that was mine too. But according to his site, he recycles most of his materials. Doesn't sound like a person who'd throw shit in the river. You should ask him about it if you can make the Q&A session.

No, he doesn't have the "right" to muck it up, that is why he is asking permission and applying for permits.

He's paying for it, it's temporary, so if the impact on the banks is minimal, I wouldn't be opposed to it. I don't think the wildlife will really give a shit either.

Hey Mike Harvey, can you post the link to your "extended version"? Anyone taking minutes at this thing next week?

I still think it'd be cool to float through.

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Old 07-25-2005   #35
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Local, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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This argument swings both ways. From Mike Harvey's standpoint, who lives in the Ark Valley, I can empathize as to why the local economy might approve of, and endorse such a project. It will bring in valuable tax dollars in tourism, positive international press, and will probably employ a fair number of locals in design, construction, and destruction of the project. Christo's work really is cool and unique - I saw it on the Reichstag and in NYC.

On the flip side. . .

Rivers are a particularly sensitive ecological resource.
1) I would very much like to understand the impacts not only on Bighorn sheep (I think they would do okay) but am more interested on the impact on insect life, plant ecology, and fish habitat.

2) I want to see how this affects insect populations in terms of hatches, migration, and reproduction. Plants, fish, and bugs have an interconnected relationship. You throw one out of balance and you have problems. I can't see how miles of plastic sheeting covering a river would be good for plant and insect populations.

3) What affect would this have on the amount of UV sunlight on plants, river systems, etc. What about temperature changes and a "Greenhouse Effect?"

4) I'm not jazzed on the proposed experience from a raft/kayak. Perhaps the rafting companies can turn this into something really marketable and make a ton of money (I HOPE THEY DO!). But I see it akin to paddling in a greenhouse, and very unattractive. (Albeit this is my personal opinion).

5) Cables over water = bad. Bad in terms of strainer capabilities, bad in terms of how they're secured to the rock. I can't imagine how the construction and attachment of cables will have zero impact on the surrounding environment. Plus, what happens if one of those sheets tears and falls into the water. Sounds like a fantastic lawsuit.

Summary: Something that is good for tourism and the local economy is a very important consideration and I really hope the folks in BV and Salida get a huge economic boost. However, this looks like a pretty substantial impact on the river, however benign it may appear.

My two cents.
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Old 07-25-2005   #36
Ski Patrol
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 139
how lame.
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Old 07-25-2005   #37
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 31
I just don't understand why somebody would put some cloth over a river... I would think the flowing water is already nice enough...... If you look on their website all their "art" is just covering stuff in cloth....
I really do not think it is worth it, for what it could do to the banks of the river. These steel cables (which could end up in the river somehow) have to be attached to something, which I would think would be concrete with hooks (but I could be wrong)
yeah I agree, Lame
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Old 07-25-2005   #38
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Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
I am not really that stoked to get into a back and forth, debating this thing point by point. My extended version basically deals with a woman I went paddling with back in '99 who was a paddler from DC who was working with Christo. I also met Christo's son. No I have not met the aritist but in general I was super impressed with their commitment to their vision and their commitment to doing things right. I do not understand all of the details yet and being someone who makes their living building projects in rivers I am going to ask some pointed questions. However I guess I am not as skeptical as everyone else. I belive it can be done well and the potential exists to even leave that strectch better than it was. What if we could get some remediation money and use their crew to remove rebar or restore banks?

Please don't minimize the economic impact. Salida is carving out a unique niche and many of us are working hard to protect what we love about our town, however we have to attract people to spend money for it to work.
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Old 07-25-2005   #39
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,906
Here are some project specifics - 6.7 mi. of fabric suspended on cables at least 10 ft off the river, designed for viewing from a boat and from above, it'll only be for up for two weeks between mid July and mid August.

For a look at prototypes and description here:

I can imagine one could secure cables with as little impact to rocky banks as a climber leading a route or a boater setting up a solid Z-drag. The access they will have could also be easily done from the road & RR. While I'm not too keen about the cables, they can be marked so that if there's a cable down, anyone will see it. If the cloth's attached to it at the time a cable falls, you won't be able to miss seeing it (hopefully you'll be able to stop in time...).

I like the idea of getting funding to have the crews remove some of the rebar & other hazards (those friggin' steel rings in the Gorge?) that we deal with regularly when running the Ark. Hazard removal would be a great condition for their permit and could be suggested to the managing agency during the comment period.

As for other safety issues - Will boaters have to float a challenging rapid to see it? Will it be over a significant rapid where it might interfere with a rescue? What put-in and takeout will boaters use to float under it? What'll happen if a big wind comes up?

It ain't permanent, it ain't a pristine section of river, it ain't gonna be a regular construction site with regular construction management & mismanagement, it ain't going to be over a real long stretch of the Canyon. It doesn't seem like the canopy would have much more impact on the insects and fish than a couple of weeks of overcast weather, and river access could be designed for sheep and other critters that need to reach the water. I've heard that Christo & Co. try to leave things better than they found them. That's a lot better than railroads, miners and ditch companies do...

If you want to get riled up and send comments to an agency or elected representative this summer, think about Lower Blue access, strengthening environmental protections, cleaning up abandoned mine sites, getting us out of the Iraq quagmire, Colorado's screwed up laws regarding boating and trespass, low-head dams in general, & quite a few other things that you'll see outside of the Arts and Entertainment section of the newspaper.

Shucks, I bet it'd be pretty cool to float under...

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-25-2005   #40
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
It's a bad idea. And stupid. If you have an "artistic vision" (I went to an incredibly liberal college btw and took lots of 'arts and humanity' classes) then go buy a canvas and some paint for $50 or a chunk of marble for a little more. But if you want to do some good for humanity with millions of dollars, how about putting some food in bellies that go to bed hungry. There are plenty right here in CO, not to mention the rest of the world. (hard to argue with that, huh?)

Art is a beautiful thing...and the concept itself is cheapened when it is used to justify the grandiose rediculousness of any wierdo with lots of cash who wants to cover a river in plastic. Let's keep it real here, eh? There's a fine line between Andy Worhol and covering shit with sheets.

The impact on wild life would be greater than you think, as well. It always is.

My 2 cents in a nutshell...lame.

I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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