Wilkinson Public Library Presents "The Current"

Really getting to know what’s in your own backyard and a sense of adventure was the inspiration for a pair of Fort Lewis College students to take on a 35-day exploration of all 126 miles of the Animas River, from its headwaters north of Silverton to Lake Powell. Greg Cairns, 23, and Stephen Witherspoon, 27, turned their trip into a 90-minute documentary called “The Current,” which will play at Wilkinson Public Library on Thursday, November 14th at 6:30 pm.

watershedIn May, Witherspoon, Cairns, and two friends headed upriver into the San Juan Mountains, hiked to the top of Wood Mountain (elevation 13,660 feet) skied to the base, walked eight miles, and then kayaked to their rafting gear into Silverton. Nearly a month and half later, they crossed Lake Powell in a custom raft motorized with solar panels—something never before accomplished. The 15-foot raft propelled by an electric outboard motor crossed 100 miles of Lake Powell from Piute Falls to Glen Canyon Dam in five days.

The travelers interviewed more than a dozen people along the way, among them, farmers, an environmental lawyer, water agency officials and river advocates.  The filmmakers also feature some Fort Lewis College professors in the film. More than a river adventure trip, the men documented the importance of water in a region currently suffering from severe drought. Immersing themselves intimately with the river and the Four Corners Region, the goal was, “to get others to love, care about and take care of this precious resource” explains Cairns, director of The Current. “People need to be connected to this region to care about it. We want to engage the greater community and people all over the country to care about nature, the environment and the river.”
Witherspoon, film producer, summed up the adventure: “The experience was a dream come true to live on the river for five weeks. It was a rare opportunity and I was privileged to help create it and be a part of it. I walked away with so much, personally, professionally, and spiritually. Spending 35 nights on a cushy 3-inch Paco-pad—you can’t go wrong!”

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