The Haw River Paddler

Brueckner - 2010 Fall Colors on Haw River

Rivers are refuges for the soul, places of spiritual refreshment, where the natural flow and play of running water plainly mirrors the movement of life itself.” Ken Olson

“There are more currencies in life than money. Money helps to pay the bills, but it does nothing to enrich the soul.” I recently said this to a young man who has just started a fly-fishing service on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. It just kind of popped out of my mouth as we were talking about being in the business of getting people outside to enjoy themselves. I have been professionally teaching people to canoe and kayak and guiding them down rivers and along coastal shorelines for 28 years, and I still remember the excitement of starting my first river business. I guess I just identified with the young man and remembered what it was like for me. I knew it would probably be several years before he would be able to make a living at guiding so I wanted to give him some advice to help during those times of anxiety. Years ago when I told my father I wanted to be a biologist, he gave me great advice; “do what you love, love what you do and deliver more than you promise”. That advice made a big difference in my life, and I wanted to share it with the young man.

When reflecting on starting my first river business, I remembered why the idea interested me in the first place. Why would you not do something for a living that you enjoy? It was more than that. While studying in a library, I came across the “Proceedings of the Sierra Club’s 10th. Annual Wilderness Conference”. In the preface of the Proceedings, David Bower expressed the sadness he would feel if when he looked up into the sky at night he knew that some demigod had tipped toed through the heavens eons ago and plucked out the brightest and most beautiful stars. Would we feel ripped off if we realized that what we see now is just what is left? There is not a lot of wilderness left.

As I continued my studies in biology and ecology, I came across more and more studies that documented how so many rivers in the Southeastern United States and throughout the world were and are being destroyed or altered from their natural condition. It used to be common practice to either dam or channelize a river to reduce local flooding. Damming stopped fish migrations and changed a riverine system into a lacustrine or lake system, trading one type of aquatic environment for another. Channelization is the process of dredging a river to take out the bends which increases the flow of water downriver to become a problem for someone-else. Channelization takes a functioning riverine system and turns it into a ditch totally destroying the aquatic environment and the benefits it offers. If damming and channelizing were not bad enough, until the passage of the Clean Water Act, it was generally regarded that the solution to pollution was dilution, so we purposely dumped our harmful toxins straight into the rivers and added chlorine to our waste water treatment systems to kill off pathogens and in the process have killed off most of our native mussel fauna.

So, taking my love of Nature and paddling and my concern for what I have learned that we are doing to the planet, I started my first canoe and kayak company. I am not a business person even though I own two nature-oriented businesses, one in North Carolina and one in Alaska. Actually, I used to dislike the idea of being a business person, but then I realized it was not about making money. A business can be all about who you are, what you value and how you want to spend your time. It is really an art form because it takes your creative energy and envisioning to make it work. It builds character and can make you a better person. It demands that you are trusting of others and have a can do attitude. It also demands that you forgive others when they do not meet your expectations, and yourself when you fall short.

Being a successful business person is a lot different than starting a business. Perhaps the hardest thing to realize is that even though you are passionate about what you offer, it is not about you. It is all about what your customer wants. I used to think people wanted to go canoeing or kayaking. Some do; however, most just want to get out into Nature doing something that appears to be fun. So, I see it as my responsibility to share what I have learned in the hope that others will want to make the earth a healthier, better place both now and for those not yet born.

The Haw River Paddler

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” John Muir

 

“Rivers flow not past, but through us: vibrating, tingling and exciting every cell and fiber of our bodies, making them sing and glide”. These words by naturalist and father of the National Parks system, John Muir, were spoken over 100 years before the evolution of a new form of mental health treatment known as Ecopsychology or Ecotherapy. Ecotherapy is an umbrella term used for nature-based methods of physical and psychological healing. The term Ecotherapy was created in order to reinvent psychotherapy and psychiatry as if Nature and the human-nature relationship matters.

Researchers have found that patients suffering from depression generally have a higher level of self-esteem and feel less depressed after a simple walk in the park. You probably have experienced that feeling during a walk on a clear day when there comes a point that a sense of well-being wells up inside of you. You begin to notice the trees and flowers. The sky appears to be more alive as you notice the shape of clouds and their movement across the horizon. Who can forget what it feels like to walk in a gentle spring rain? Everything smells fresh and alive. You tend to forget the stress in your life, and for a brief moment, you enjoy the feelings that you had as a kid while playing in the rain.

Obesity, attention disorders and depression in children are a result of being “plugged in” rather than playing outside according to Richard Louv in his book entitled “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder”. The book brings together a growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to Nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. Rather than being limited by the programs on a computer, a child has unlimited opportunities outside by using her/his imagination. A ditch of running water can become the Nile River in a child’s mind or a place to catch tadpoles and crayfish. When a kid or an adult presses a key in a computer program, the result is always the same. A ditch can be anything, anytime.

Many authors and poets have written about the state of peace, excitement and sense of well being they experienced in Nature. William Wordsworth’s poetry is famous for his belief that Nature is pervaded with what he called “a motion and a spirit which rolls through all thinking things and all objects of thought”. Others like Muir, Walt Whitman and William Blake were also able to communicate the sense of meaning, harmony and inner joy they found in Nature. Very often Nature inspires an emotional connection through music and the visual arts.

Why does Nature have this therapeutic effect on us? To me it seems obvious. Humans have interacted with Nature for a very long time. It’s only been a couple of hundred years since we exiled ourselves to a life indoors. For us today, being in open spaces is like going home. It gives us a sense of safety and belonging. If we have grown up next to or near a river, being in or on the water just seems natural. You might say, it bathes our souls. It is our way of self-medicating, to de-stress and reconnect to the forces of Nature that provide us sustenance.

Perhaps the main reason why Nature can heal and transform us is because of its calming and mind-quietening effect. It is the mind chatter that overrides our sense of well-being. Being outside in Nature provides us with stimuli that cannot be found inside. The air is fresher. The sounds are softer. Nature is not demanding anything from you. All that is required is to just be who you are.

Mental health treatments usually involve both consulting sessions and medication, both of which often require a trusted professional, possibly medication and money. Ecotherapy, quality time in Nature, only requires your time. Pick an outdoor activity. For me it is paddling on the Haw River or hiking in Alaska. For you it could be hiking on a nearby trail or spending time in a vegetable garden. Where ever your interests lie, get off your rear end and get outside. You won’t find a healed mind inside.

The Haw River Paddler

There is no music like a little river’s… It quiets a man down like saying his prayers.” Robert Lewis Stevenson

A Healthy Economy Depends on a Healthy Environment (An article taken from the County Line Newspaper – January-February 2016 edition)

By now, if you have read any of my previous articles, you know that I like to reference quotes from thoughtful people. To quote Dr. Guy McPherson, “If you think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.”

Why is it that we often think we must sacrafice the “environment” for the sake of the “economy”? In the dictionary you will find the word economy defined as the wealth and resources of a country or region. You will find the word ecology defined as the branch of biology that deals with the relationships of organisms to one another and to their environment. Obviously, there is a connection between the words ecology and economy. They both start with eco which is Latin from oeco which means house or household. For me, it does not take much brain power to come to the conclusion that if we have a healthy environment, then we will have a healthy economy. Another way of saying that is “keep your house in order and things will go well. Don’t keep your house in order and expect that things will get worse”.

For over six years the world’s nations grappled over the issue of climate change. In this country, many conservatives just did not see the connection between human actions and a warming climate with wild changes in weather patterns and changing sea conditions. Six years later, there are still non-believers. I suppose that after Christopher Columbus returned to Europe, there were still those who believed that the world was flat. Why is it that change often comes so slowly even in the face of facts?

One of my favorite books is “Ishmael” written by Don Quinn. The book begins with a classified ad that reads “teacher seeks pupil, must be willing to save the world, apply in person”. A man in his mid-life answers the ad and finds that a gorilla named Ishmael becomes his teacher. Like all good teachers, Ishmael trys not to directly answer the man’s questions. He leads him to seek the answers. Most of the questions of why things are the way they are is because Mother Culture has always done it that way. Ignoring the facts, it is Mother Culture that judges things to be a certain way. It is Mother Culture that kept people thinking the world was flat. It is Mother Culture that keeps us believing that we can continue to poison the earth and alter our environment because the economy is more important. Mother Culture is failing to see the connection between a healthy environment and a healthy economy.

Mother Culture has a lot to learn from Mother Nature. Take the Haw River for an example. There was a time when the Haw River changed colors daily depending on what dyes the textile mills were using. It was Mother Culture that said polluted water was necessary for a healthy economy. Today, Mother Culture is saying that a plan to clean up Jordan Lake to improve drinking water for thousands of people living in the Triangle is too expensive or too restrictive and will hurt the economy. The Clean Water Act passed the U.S. Congress over 40 years ago. In the Act, our government made a promise that all of the Nation’s waters would be swimmable, drinkable and fishable in 20 years, but Mother Culture says we can’t afford to clean up our act. It will hurt the economy, so we must delay. How long do we have to wait? At what point does it become so costly that Mother Culture says we must do something because the economy is suffering? Do people have to become sick? Do water bills increase so much that water becomes a major living expense like electricity is today? Doesn’t it make more sense to make sure that Haw River water entering Jordan Lake is healthy in the first place and does not need to be treated? Ever hear someone say that “an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?

The Haw River is much cleaner now than it was at the time the Clean Water Act passed. It still carries too much nutrients in the form of phosphorus and nitrates, the major cause of algal blooms and fish kills in Jordan Lake. Mother Culture is very slow in recognizing that what is good for conservation is good for business and that a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand. By the way, we are Mother Culture. It is time we stop sacrificing the environment for the sake of the economy.

New Paddle Access on Old Greensboro Highway

UNION BRIDGE PADDLE ACCESS COMPLETES THE ALAMANCE COUNTY PORTION OF THE HAW RIVER PADDLE TRAIL

The Union Bridge Paddle Access on Greensboro-Chapel Hill Road is the 14th and final Paddle Access in the Alamance County portion of the Haw River Trail, completing almost 40 miles of Paddle Trail through the County. The Paddle Trail starts at Brooks Bridge Paddle Access on the Guilford-Alamance County line and ends at Union Bridge on the Alamance-Orange County line. The access will be completed by the end of February 2016.

The Union Bridge Paddle Access is designed much like the other HRT Paddle Accesses in Alamance County. It offers a parking area that can accommodate several vehicles, informational kiosks with maps of the paddle trail, and a steel staircase leading down to the river for easy put-in and take-out. This access provides a halfway point between Saxapahaw Mill Race Paddle Access and the 15-501 Paddle Access at Bynum Dam, currently an 11-mile stretch. This access is also pproximately 5 miles upriver from the Chicken Bridge Access in Chatham County.

The paddle from Saxapahaw Mill Race Paddle Access down to Union Bridge Paddle Access is approximately 5 miles and is recommended as an intermediate section. This is a fun paddle with intermittent rapids and moving water, as well as a few leisurely sections with beautiful views of the river and its wildlife. The minimum recommended USGS gauge level for this section is 2.1 feet at Haw River. To check the USGS gauge visit our website at www.thehaw.org. The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. provides both sit-on-top kayak rentals and guides trips from the Saxapahaw Mill Race Paddles Access to the Chicken Bridge Access.

This article is modified from a recent article in “The Mouth of the Haw”

Haw River Trailathon

Join us and the community of Saxapahaw for the Annual Haw River Trailathon, a fundraiser to support the Haw River Trail.  The event brings together families and athletes of all abilities and skill levels to enjoy the natural recreational opportunities of the Haw River.  This multi-sport adventure race starts with a two-mile roundtrip paddle on Saxapahaw Lake, followed by a seven-mile rolling countryside bike ride and finishes with a 5K trail run.  The race is untimed and is intended to draw appreciation for the Haw River Trail.

Canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are provided courtesy of The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co.  Participants provide a bike and running shoes.

There is a rolling check-in/start beginning 9:00 a.m. through 9:30 a.m.  Pre-race bike maintenance checks and yoga session is at 8:30 a.m.  Trailathon Central is located behind The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. (6079 Swepsonville-Saxapahaw Road)

Registration for the Haw River Trailathon is $35/adult and $15/child.  There is a $50 walk-up charge subject to availability.  Registration comes with a T-shirt.  Adult registration also includes a $10 voucher for post-race food/drink at The Eddy Pub & Restaurant.  Registration is limited to 75 participants.

Next dates:
  • Subscribe to eventAdd event to google8:30 am Saturday, 5 November 2016

Guest Appreciation Day

Each year we like to dedicate a day to say thank you to our paddling friends.  We begin with on-water paddling demonstrations followed by fun and educational events for both young and old.  There will be opportunities to try out and buy used canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards along with corresponding paddles and PFDs.  Bring any outdoor gear you would like to sell, swap or unload.

We will provide chili and ice tea.  Bring something-else to eat or drink to share with others.  The day will conclude with an early evening bonfire.

Next dates:
  • Subscribe to eventAdd event to google1:00 pm Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Haw River Paddler

I need a place of grace, where life is more than just the race. Where my spirit is at peace and my heart is at home. Where Nature abounds and wild things roam.” Jay D. Hair

 

What is the Haw River Paddle Trail? When did it begin? What is its status? What does the future hold?

Ten years ago, the North Carolina Trails Program, the North Carolina Paddle Trails Association and North Carolina State University put on a series of six, state-wide teleconferences entitled “How to Build a Paddle Trail in Your Community”. Attending the videoconference series were people representing local and county governments, chambers of commerce, private businesses, paddling groups, conservation organizations and interested landowners. If there was one main idea that surfaced at the conclusion of the series, it was that paddle trails have economic, community, personal and conservation benefits.

Shortly after the conclusion of the videoconferences, interested community leaders from Alamance and Chatham Counties got together to discuss what to do next, now that they were armed with all this new information about creating paddle trails, and what a Haw River Paddle Trail could mean to their communities. The discussions went on for a year and concluded with the creation of the Haw River Trail Partnership, a formal coalition of municipal and county governments in Guilford, Alamance, Orange and Chatham Counties, the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Elon University, The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co., the Carolina Canoe Club and the Haw River Assembly.

The Partnership quickly got off the ground when Elon University wrote and was awarded a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to cover the cost of identifing and inventoring the more significant features along the Haw River. Next, the Cities of Burlington and Grahm, NC along with Alamance County Parks & Recreation Department came up with the funds and in-kind support for what became known as the Upper Haw River Trail Coordinator. With matching state and federal funds, the Coordinator went about meeting with willing landowners, acquiring property and easements and constructing access points along approximately 60 miles of the Haw River from Guilford County to Chatham County. Thanks to many individuals, organizations and public agencies there are now eleven access sites in Alamance County, four access sites in Chatham County, one access site in Guilford County and one access site in Orange County.

In North Carolina, all waterways are legally considered public trust waters, which means they can be used by anyone. Until the Partnership began its work, the problem was that although everyone could use the Haw River, except for a few locations, they would be trustpassing to gain access. Not only have these access sites given the public legal rights to access the Haw River, but in some instances in Alamance County, small river-side parks have been purchased from willing owners and provide additional recreational opportunities. In Orange and Chatham Counties, access sites are merely a place to park and a path to the river.

So, what is the future of the Haw River Trail. In Alamance County, the Upper Haw River Trail Coordinator position became part of the the County’s Parks & Recreation Department and the focus of the position has changed to developing a land-based trail along the Haw River in Alamance County to be part of North Carolina’s Mountains to Sea Trail.

Since ninety percentage of all paddling related injuries are ankle related, getting in and out of a canoe or kayak, safe access sites which could be provided by either metal or wooden steps are needed in Chatham County. Conservation easements along both sides of the Haw River from Chicken Bridge to Bynum would help to insure the integrity of the riverine ecosystem. Fortunately land on both sides of the river from Bynum to Jordan Lake are already in public ownership.

The Haw River Paddler

Sunset on Haw by Monique DeLatour

The wonders of the world, the beauty and the power, the shape of things, their color, light and shade. These I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.” From a gravestone in Camberland, England

For the canoeist  or kayaker, rivers become alive in April and May each year. To quote Laura Gilpin, “A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” Perhaps there is no better time to see that magic then when plants start to grow and animal activity returns to the Haw River. I suppose, for me, the first sign that spring is back is the presence of cormorants, a bird that you would expect to find along the coast. In April these large black birds tend to roost together at sunset in tall trees up and down the Haw River. One tree might contain over 50 cormorants spending the night together. In a way, it seems odd to me that these birds that are so comfortable on and under the water would choose to spend the evening high up in a tree, but that is the way they avoid predators.

The next bird to appear is the belted kingfisher, a small bird that reminds me of Woody Woodpecker. It’s head is very large when compared to the rest of its body. You first notice its chatter as it swiftly flies close to the water surface along the river banks. It is one of the few bird species where the female is at least as colorful as the male. Their nests are holes in mud banks just above the river. For the life of me I cannot understand how they survive predation by snakes which can easily get into their nests or the many high water events we have in the spring. Survive they do, and I cannot help but smile every time I hear them chattering away. Its like they want everyone in their neighborhood to listen in on their gossip.

One of my favorite birds that returns to our area in the spring is the osprey. It is sometimes called fish hawk or sea eagle and does resemble bald eagles a little except for its all-white underside. It is another bird you would expect to find along our coast, but we are lucky to have them here throughout the summer and into late fall. They are easy to identify with their six foot wing span as they circle above the water and then plunge toward the water to catch a fish. It is so funny to watch young osprey learning to fish. Like their parents, they will plunge from high above, but at the last minute pull up. You can almost hear them scream to their parents, “I can’t do it. I just can’t do it”. Eventually, they do catch that first fish. If you listen closely, you can hear the parents sigh, “finally”.

Not many people know that the greatest concentration of bald eagles in the eastern United States can be found along and near Jordan Lake in April, May and June. Most fly south for the winter, but more and more remain to nest each year. We see them on the Haw River “picking off” sea gulls in late winter before the gulls fly off in the spring to their coastal habitat. Whenever you see a large flock of floating gulls on the Haw River behind the dams at Bynum and Saxapahaw that suddenly take off in mass, just look upriver and you may see a bald eagle with its sights set on dinner. The slowest gull doesn’t have a chance. With a seven and a half foot wing span, it doesn’t take long for an eagle to catch up to a gull. When gulls aren’t around for eagles to eat, there is plenty of fish in the Haw River. Eagles either take to fishing like ospreys or they use ospreys as fishing poles. One of the nice things about canoeing or kayaking is that you see things you normally can’t see from the land like watching an osprey with a fish in its talons trying to fly faster than the eagle that is about to catch up and simply take the fish away.

Of all the birds, it is the great blue heron that seems to characterize the Haw River. When you are paddling your canoe or kayak, the bird takes off from its perch or wading position just before you reach it and flies down river just to repeat the process as you approach it again. It seems to be beckoning you to follow it down river. Standing almost five feet tall with a wing span of six feet, the blue-grey bird is easy to distinguish from white-colored egrets that have a similar shape and habits. Like the river itself, great blue herons have been around for a very long time. Their beginnings go back to the time of dinosaurs. When one takes off, the sound it makes catches you by surprise since it sounds like a dinosaur. You can almost see them living together in harmony. I suppose the question now is can we mammals live in harmony with great blue herons? They are part of the magic we should not lose.

The Haw River Paddler

Sometimes if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” Winnie The Pooh

 

If you have never canoed or kayaked, what are you waiting for? Why do other people go paddling and you don’t?

In the 1980s President Ronald Reagan created the Commission on Outdoor Recreation Resources. The purpose of the Commission was to survey and record how and how much Americans were using the out of doors for recreation. The final report documented that over 20% of all Americans had canoed, kayaked and/or rafted at least once in their lives and that 5% owned a paddle craft. It seems that much of our youth is introduced to paddling through scouting, church camps, city and county recreation programs, conservation organizations, paddling clubs and local outfitters.

I got my start on a floating telephone pole in the Mississippi River. I grew up in New Orleans four blocks from the river. To get to the river, I had to cross a railroad switching yard, climb over the levee and wade through a forested wetland between the levee and river. At night I would listen to the sound of tug boats as they moved barges and ships up and down the river. When the river was at flood stage, I could stand in our street and see ships passing by our neighborhood that were taller than the houses in which we lived. Of course all of my friends and I were forbidden to go to the river. Our parents were concerned that if we made it across the railroad tracks we would surely drown in the muddy Mississippi River.

In 1956 when I was 10 years old, one of my friends, Willamena Williams, and her family moved to the other side of the Mississippi River. The very next day I decided I would go visit her when I saw a telephone pole floating in the river. Near the pole was a floating board I decided I would use as a paddle. I didn’t think about how I would explain to my parents why I was wet or where I had gone. At New Orleans, the river is about one mile wide. I guess I got maybe 20 feet out into the current before it swept me away. Several miles down river I was finally able to get the telephone pole back to the levee where I could stand up. I called home from a pay phone, and my father picked me up. The next week, dad had enrolled me in a paddling class, and I have been paddling ever since. Wow, what a gift he gave to me. It was worth the scolding I got.

Some people paddle canoes, others paddle kayaks and some paddle both. They paddle for many reasons. Paddling can be great exercise, but not what you think. Good technique involves the core muscles and doesn’t rely on arm strength. In fact, whether you are paddling a canoe or a kayak, the key is what paddlers refer to as the paddler’s box. The box is made up of your arms, shoulders and the shaft of the paddle. Ideally, you don’t break the box which means you don’t bend at the elbows or at least not a lot. The movement requires you to rotate your body using the muscles on both your front and back rather than relying on the small muscle mass of your arms. If you feel aches and pain at the end of a paddle it is because you are not using proper paddling technique.

We are social creatures, and paddling with a group of friends or family members is a wonderful way to have some special time together; something different and unique, something out of the ordinary. When we can share something we love with those we love, it makes it all that more wonderful.

Other people paddle to relax, to get away from it all. I like to say that civilization is a wonderful thing, but it comes with a very high price; the price of insanity. Getting out on the water is one way to leave the sounds and pressures of society behind you as you retune your natural biological rhythms to the rhythms of the earth. Being out in Nature is a way to reconnect your senses to what matters in life by cleaning the mind of unnecessary and negative inputs. “The wonders and blessings of nature offer a beautiful balance to our metal, concrete and plastic world. Earth, sky, and water, moment by moment, offer their renewing and healing energies for our bodies, minds, and spirits” L.Richard Batzler.

The Haw River Paddler

Nature in all its beauty and splendor is the physical manifestation of pure spirit. No wonder we are inspired and renewed when we visit or live within it. In Nature heaven jumps out at you in color, balance and grandeur.” Anonymous

 

What is it about a river that we find so attractive, that inspires us to write music and poetry, to seek adventure and give us a sense of place? What does the future hold for the Haw River?

The connection we have to all rivers begins when we, as a fertilized egg, begin to multiply. We are floating around in this liquid environment doubling our cells in seconds. At some point, the human embryo even has slits and an arch behind the head like a fish. We begin our physical existence as a creature of a liquid world and then we are thrust out into the open air. No wonder deep within our consciousness we have a connection to rivers and the life they sustain. That liquid environment was safe, warm and provided us with all that we needed to grow and prosper. Outside of the womb we search for that feeling for the rest of our lives.

Don’t attempt to count the number of songs or poems written about rivers. The more you try, the more it feels like trying to count the number of grains of sand in a square foot of beach. Why is it that so many song writers and poets pick rivers as the focus of their creativity. It is exactly that. Rivers are creativity personified. Rivers embody passion, power, ever changing moods, timelessness, abundance, connection, awakening, mystery, sustenance, diversity, beauty, consistancy, renewal and the love we experienced in the womb. Is it really any wonder that songs and poems are written about rivers and that they are too numerous to count?

Any student of religious books or recorded history knows all too well the role rivers have played in our past. Is there anyone in our culture who has not heard of Noah or Huckelberry Finn? What about Lewis and Clark? Anyone heard of John Lawson crossing the Haw River in 1700, and along the way recording accounts of Native Americans? The point is that our history is full of accounts of adventure that involved rivers. Just like when our young mines drifted to those far off places, as adults we seek those adventures to some degree when our lives seem boring and mundane. In our hearts and minds, we need to know that there are still adventures to take, and the nearest river gives us that opportunity.

Whether you have lived near the Haw River all of your life or moved neaby last week, we are all products of its past. In the early years of this Nation, communties developed next to or near rivers. Rivers provided the initial transportation routes. It was rivers that enabled commerce to flourish. At one time, there were over 300 grist mills along the Haw River and its tributaries. Not only did river power provide the energy necessary to transform crops into edible food for trade, but water-powered sawmills provided the energy to convert trees into lumber. Years later, that power turned the machinery of a textile industry.

The one, two punch of cutting the forests for an every expanding population along with the discharge of industrial wastes in the form of dies and lubricants weakened the natural ecological cycles of Piedmont rivers, the Haw River being one of them. There are many written accounts of how the Haw River used to run clear. You could see the river bottom wherever you looked. Mussels were everywhere. Fish and wildlife were abundant. A combination of increased turbidity and sedimentation from runoff of the human-dominated landscape changed all that along with the dams that blocked fish migration inland.

I think former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said it best, “We allow engineers and scientists to convert nature into dollars and into goods. A river is a thing to be exploited, not treasured. A lake is better as a repository of sewage than a fishery or canoe-way. We are replacing a natural environment with a synthetic one.” Is that what we as a community want or as this area continues to urbanize, do we need a healthy Haw River to represent that part of our past when the river was pristine and represented unlimited potential?

The Haw River Paddler

Canoe Class

“Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

Where does water come from and what is a river?  (An article written by Joe Jacob for the February edition of the Chatham County Line Newspaper)

When you cross over the Haw River while driving on Hwy. 15-501, do you ever wonder where the water comes from? Do you ever ask yourself, what a river is?

The Haw River originates in Forsythe County when pure water comes out of two springs on land owned and protected by the Haw River Assembly. That spring water then joins with water from several large creeks to flow 110 miles through Rockingham, Guilford, Alamance, Orange and Chatham Counties to its junction with the Deep River a mile downriver from the dam that created Jordan Lake. Then, it is on its way to the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Cape Fear River.

So, where does that spring water come from? Rain that seeps into the ground of course, but where does the rain come from? Warm water vapor over the oceans evaporates into clouds. But where did the origial water on earth come from? Water vapor from volcanoes and melting ice from asteroids entering the earth’s atmosphere is the source. Pretty amazing isn’t it? Pretty scary, too, when you think about it. All the water on earth is all the water we have, clean or polluted, except for future asteroids bringing more water as they crash into the earth.

Throughout the year, you probably notice that the river doesn’t always carry the same volume of water. During winter and early spring months or just after heavy rains brought on by hurricanes in late summer or early fall months, the river often floods. For experienced whitewater canoers and kayakers, this is a wonderful time to be paddling on the Haw River. For the inexperienced paddler, this can be a very dangerous time and should be avoided. During hot weather months local whitewater enthusiasts go into a state of mourning, but there is always enough water upriver of the five large, historic textile dams for the casual paddler to connect with the best of what warm water has to offer.

Now that you have some idea of where Haw River water comes from its time to provide a little description of what a river is. It is certainly more than just water and not just what you see while driving 55 miles per hour across the Hwy. 15-501 bridge. A river is a living, breathing system of land and water and the myriad of animals and plants that live in, on, around and under it. By the way, whether or not you understand your connection to rivers, that includes you. You are part of that living system.

There are a lot of ways to describe a river by comparing its processes and functioning parts to the human body. You might say that evaporation, the chemistry of water, the physical properties of soil, and gravity make up the river’s brain. Without being aware of it, water forms in the air, drops to the ground and then seeks its destiny by flowing down hill to the sea. On its way, water brings nutrients to the many life forms found both in the river channel and the floodplain forest. Mollusks and other invertebrates filter the water while terrestrial and aquatic plants remove toxins, both natural and man-made. That is just like you and me. Without thinking about it, our hearts pump blood throughout our bodies. That blood baths our cells while bringing nutrients that keep us alive. Our kidneys filter the blood and our liver removes the toxins.

There is a life force easily observed in a river and a living human body for those who have eyes to see and a heart to understand. Try sitting down next to the river and hear its water flow over and around rocks. Then, listen to your breathing and maybe even hear or feel your blood pulsating through your veins and tell me you don’t sense your connection to the rhythms of the earth. As the naturalist, John Muir, said over 100 years ago, “rivers flow not past, but through us, tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide.”

Future of Saxapahaw Island – Your Input Wanted & Needed

HRCK web_LAP3699

Public Meeting

Please Join the Community of Saxapahaw:

The Haw River Trail Partnership is hosting a public meeting to gather input from the community about the future land use of Saxapahaw Island.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 6:00 pm
Haw River Ballroom

1711 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road
Saxapahaw, NC 27340

http://www.hawriverballroom.com/directions/

If you have comments or questions, and cannot attend, you are welcome to contact the Haw River Trail Coordinator at info@thehaw.org

The Haw River Paddler

“I have always liked Henrik Ibsen’s definition of hard work as ‘the creation of good on the planet’.  I’ve also found that the best work allows people to use all of their gifts for the common good.  We could define an authentic life as one in which one’s values and behaviors are congruent.  That is what the Buddhists call ‘right livelihood’, and that is the kind of work that makes most people happy.”  Mary Pipher

 

Annual Polar Bear Paddle Schedule for January 3, 2015

There is no better way to start the New Year off right then to get out on the river and enjoy what nature has to offer. It seems that at this time of year, most of us are making resolutions about how we want to make improvements in our lives. So, start the year off right doing what you love to do — paddling.

This annual tradition is always held the first Saturday in January, and is for those with a boat, paddling gear and the necessary clothing for cold weather paddling.

Fee: There is no trip fee, though registration is required.

 

Chatham County Line Newspaper

The Chatham County Line Newspaper will begin publishing articles about the Haw River with its February 2015 edition.  Articles will cover a variety of topics including paddling, natural history and cultural events.  We will also carry the articles in this blog.  If there is a particular topic you would like covered, please let us know by calling 336/260-6465 or sending us an e-mail message to admin@hawrivercanoe.com.

 

Upriver Outpost

By now, you may have experienced paddling out of our Bynum Outpost which was opened in 2013.  We are planning to open our Upriver Outpost this spring.  Both locations offer very different paddling experiences than what is offered out of our primary location in Saxapahaw, NC.  All three locations have both flatwater and whitewater paddling opportunities, and each features different natural habitats and historical sites.

 

Part-time Positions Available

Ever thought about being a guide?  Don’t think you have the training or experience, but would enjoy being out on the river and could use some extra income?  In order to meet our staffing needs for 2015 we need to employ more part-time guides.  We will be conducting guiding training in March.  There is no charge for the training, but we do hope you would approach the training with a sincere interest in becoming a guide and being part of our paddling staff.  If you would like more information, either give us a call at 336/260-6465 or send an e-mail message to admin@hawrivercanoe and request a job description.

 

 

 

The Haw River Paddler

Bynum Lake by Elaine Chiosso

Here are some quotes about rivers that recently appeared in the American Rivers 2015 calendar.  We thought you would enjoy reading them for a little end-of-the year inspiration.

“I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.” Edward Abby

“The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book…which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it had uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day.” Mark Twain

“There is a river somewhere that flows through the lives of everyone.” Reberta Flack

“I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water…has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes….” Roderick Haig-Brown

“Boundaries don’t protect rivers. People do.” Brad Arrowsmith

“The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.” Lynn Noel

“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt – it is sure to get to where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere-else.” Hal Boyle

“I started out thinking of America as highways and state lines. As I got to know it better, I began to think of it as rivers.” Charles Karalt

“To put your hands into the river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together.” Barry Lopez

“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” Laura Gilpin

The Haw River Paddler

What we see, hear, and touch we might love, and what we might care for. There isn’t a place in the world that doesn’t need that love.” Nancy Lord

 

Southern Environmental Law Center Earns Water Enforcement Breakthrough

As part of their campaign to protect and improve water quality in North Carolina, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) reached an agreement with the City of Burlington to repair and maintain its aging wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure. SELC stepped in when North Carolina’s water quality enforcement agency failed to act. Following three spills totalling more than 3.5 million gallons of raw sewage in January 2014, Burlington delayed reporting the spills to the public for several days, with the acquiescence of the state agency. SELC’s notice of intent to sue on behalf of the Haw River Assembly and Cape Fear River Watch prompted the talks leading to the settlement. The Haw River and its tributaries sit upriver of Jordan Lake, a drinking water source for over 300,000 North Carolinians and a major recreation site. Under the terms of the agreement, Burlington has committed to more aggressive system maintenance, prompt spill notification, and a total of eight priority infrastructure projects valued at over $11,000,000.

Taken from the October edition of “Power of the Law Update”

1st. Annual Haw River Trailathon, November 15th.

This multi-sport adventure race is intended to draw appreciation to the natural beauty of the riverside village of Saxapahaw, North Carolina. Starting with a 2-mile round trip paddle (boat, paddle & PFD provided by The Haw River Canoe and Kayak Company, feel free to bring your own paddle and PFD, NO PERSONAL BOATS), a 7-mile rolling countryside bike ride, and finishing with a hilly 5k trail run. The race is not timed. These three events will prove to you why this community loves its surroundings. Families and athletes of all abilities are encouraged to participate. Money raised will benefit the Saxapahaw Island Park. When you compete in the adventure, having fun is a given.

To register for the Trailathon, go to www.shop.thehaw.org. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. In the parking lot of The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. (6079 Swepsonville-Saxapahaw Road). Registration for the Trailathon is $35/person before November 1st., $40 after November 1st., and $50 at the door. The cost includes lunch provided by The Eddy Pub and Restaurant. Additional lunch tickets can be purchased at registration for $10 per person.

 

Wilderness Camping Video by Daryl Phillips

October and November are wonderful months to go canoe camping. We recently came across a Canadian video entitled “Wilderness Camping” by Daryl Phillips. Just watching the video got us in the mood to paddle out to Spirit Island to enjoy a night away from the insanity of our civilized world. We highly recommend you watch the video. It can be found on Youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUiw9hDWhGk). Enjoy.

The Haw River Paddler

As we name, we perceive; as we perceive, we value; and as we value, we honor and protect. Words have power. Languages connected to place can help us respect local knowledge, investigate systems of knowing and seeing, approach nature and culture with a ground-level view. They can help us ask and answer the tough questions about how humans and nonhumans can live together in a tolerant and dignified way. They can help us extend our sense of community, what we hold ourselves responsible for, what we must do to live right and well.” Nancy Lord

 

The Next Generation of River Champions: Where Will They Come From?

One of the best ways you can help rivers is to introduce a child to the magic of the outdoors. If we want a future of clean water and healthy rivers, we need to create the next generation of river champions. And that begins with you. So, spend some time with a child on the river. Have fun and create special memories together. Because the best way to ensure a future of healthy rivers is to raise children who love rivers. Here are three ways to help kids discover rivers:

  1. Explore. You don’t have to plan a big wilderness adventure. In fact, the best trips are often simple walks along a neighborhood stream. Riverbanks are natural playgrounds and have everything a child needs to move and play at his or her own pace: balancing on logs, splashing in puddles, finding pretty stones, or searching for wildlife.
  2. Tell a story. Where does the stream begin? What is that bug doing? Where is that fish going? Rivers provide great raw material for making up stories that spark a child’s imagination and curiosity. You can also visit your local library for children’s books about nature and rivers.
  3. Enjoy the moment. We all need beauty, something bigger than ourselves that captures our hearts and minds. Kids and adults alike need places where our spirits are free to soar. Rivers give us all of this. Sometimes just sitting together and watching the light dance on the water is enough.

taken from the Summer 2014 American Rivers newsletter

 

25th. Annual Haw River Assembly Learning Celebration

This year is the 25th. anniversary of the Haw River Assembly’s Learning Celebration. It all started back in 1990 in Bynum, NC with Louise Kessel, the Haw River Assembly and some amazing Bynum folks. Volunteers camped out on the old mill property and each day took visiting 4th. graders from area schools down to the river along the trail on Duke Forest land for adventures in learning about the river, wildlife and people of the watershed. Now, 25 years later, the Assembly is still holding this wonderful field trip, but the land is part of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. The 3 weeks of adventure on the river will start September 20 in Bynum then moves upriver for a week in Saxapahaw and a final week north of Greensboro, ending October 10.

The Assembly needs all the help it can get. They will be setting up again at the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. Volunteers are needed to help with EVERYTHING – including field camp set-up and breakdowns, trucks to help move each week and cooks. They need river lovers, musicians and puppeteers and most of all folks who would love to be a guide for delightful children along the banks of the Haw River. They will teach you what you need to know about water quality, water critters, wildlife and more. For those who love camping, you can join them in a tent for the whole week.

Everything you need to know about helping is on their website (www.hawriver.org) or you can call their program coordinator, Tracy DeVoe, at 919/542-5790 or send her an e-mail message at tracy@hawriver.org.

 

Leaves Are Turning. Almost Time for Whitewater Instruction

When the leaves start changing colors in the fall there usually is a corresponding increase in the amount of rain we receive in the Piedmont. Obviously, more rain means more water in our rivers which gives us a better opportunity to offer whitewater paddling instruction.

As we see the Haw River beginning to come up again, we will update our calendar of whitewater courses. Until then, if you would like more information or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hawrivercanoe.com or 336/260-6465.

Joe Overlooking Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch

 

The Haw River Paddler

If I were to name the three most precious resources of life, I should say books, friends, and nature; that the greatest of these, at least the most constant and always at hand, is nature.” John Burroughs

 

2014 Yee Haw! River Paddle Set for June 7th.

Preparations are underway for the 7th. Annual Yee Haw! River Paddle; slated for June 7th. The date was moved this year to correspond with National Trails Day. The event is tentatively planned to highlight the newest section of the Haw River Paddle Trail from Brooks Bridge Paddle Access to the Altamahaw Access, a beautiful section of the river that just opened in 2013 with the addition of the Brooks Bridge Paddle Access.

Full event details and registration with the Haw River Trail Partnership will be available on May 15th. at www.thehaw.org/yeehaw.

This article was taken from the Spring edition of the Mouth of the Haw: The Newsletter of the Haw River Trail Partnership.

 

Saxapahaw Island Property to be Donated to the Haw River Trail Partnership

Waste Industries, the Raleigh-based waste collection campany, has agreed to donate an 18.4 acre parcel in Saxapahaw. The parcel is part of a nearly 30-acre island, one of the largest in the Haw River.

The island has long been an integral part of the Saxapahaw community. Decades ago, the island hosted youth football games and community picnics. More recently, the island has proved an irresistible draw to locals and tourists alike, despite being privately owned. The donation will return the island to its place as a public gathering spot in the heart of Saxapahaw. Although no plans for development of the property have been finalized, public access to the island will be a priority in fulfillment of the Haw River Trail’s “Conservation through Recreation” mission. A ceremony in recognition of the donation will be held in June. The public is invited to attend.

This article taken from the Spring edition of the Mouth of the Haw: The Newsletter of the Haw River Trail Partnership.

 

Old Greensboro Highway Paddle Access – Update

Progress is continuing on the construction of a paddle access at the Old Greensboro Highway Bridge 5.5 miles downriver from Saxapahaw. A major hurdle in creation of this access was passed in February with the completion of the property acquisition portion of the project. After final construction approvals are complete, construction on the access will begin this Fall. The Old Greensboro Highway Paddle Access is the final access needed to complete the Haw River Paddle Trail in Alamance County.

This article taken from the Spring edition of the Mouth of the Haw: The Newsletter of the Haw River Trail Partnership.

The Haw River Padler

Or maybe … maybe it is enough to say that I am here, as another voyageur once put it, to iron out the wrinkles in my soul.” Douglas Wood

 

Haw River Festival: Saturday, May 3rd., 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. In Saxapahaw, NC

Join the Haw River Assembly in celebrating its 32nd. year at its annual Haw River Festival in Saxapahaw, NC. The Festival will kick off the summer outdoor music season with this special time by the river. The day will feature live music, local arts & crafts, delicious food & refreshments, a farmer’s market, stream monitoring, canoe rides for young kids, information on watersheds and new & vintage T-shirts.

For directions and more information, visit www.HawRiver.org or www.RiverMillVillage.com.

 

Haw River Assembly Notifies the City of Burlington of Its Intent to Sue Under Provisions of the National Clean Water Act of 1972

Under the national Clean Water Act, a citizens group has the legal right to sue a governmental body that has violated the provisions of the Act. The Haw River Assembly (HRA) has filed a 60-day noticed with the City of Burlington that it intends to sue the City for violations in connection with numerous untreated sewage spills over a period of years. The Southern Environmental Law Center is acting as attorney on behalf of HRA.

The issue is basically that the City’s sewage collection system is old, in disrepair, outdated and is in need of an upgrade. Since the City is required under the Act to report spills over a certain amount, there is a public record that the City is not meeting the provisions of the Clean Water Act. Since the State of North Carolina has not required the City to upgrade their system, HRA has taken up the cause to make sure untreated sewage does not make its way into the Haw River.

For more information go to www.HawRiver.org and www.southernenvironment.org.

 

We Need a Bynum Outpost Coordinator – Have Any Interest?

There is an ole saying that “sometimes you can be too successful for your own benefit” and that is the case for our operations out of Saxapahaw. We have a great crew this year for teaching, guiding and putting renters on the river, but we don’t have the “bench” we need to adequately meet the needs of our Bynum Outpost.

We are looking for someone who loves the river, loves paddling and enjoys being with people. If you meet those qualifications and may be interested, either give us a call at 336/260-6465 or send us an e-mail message to admin@hawrivercanoe.com. We can send you a job descriptions so that you can see exactly what is expected of you and whether or not you have the qualifications.

 

Self-service Canoe Rental on Saxapahaw Lake

To meet the flexible needs of our guests, we have created a self-service canoe rental program on Saxapahaw Lake. Our program works like this. We have canoes stored on racks next to the river. Each is locked down by a separate chain and lock. If you would like to rent a canoe and have flexibility as to when you go and when you return, simply either call our office at 336/260-6465 or go to our website www.hawrivercanoe.com and complete a trip registration form. We will acknowledge receipt of your reservation and send you a PayPal invoice. As soon as we get notified that you have paid, we will provide you with the lock combination and the location for your PFD and paddle. We ask that you do your best to return the canoe, paddle and PFD as clean as you receive them.

The information about our self-service canoe rental was also posted on our April blog.

The Haw River Paddler

I am outraged that the last pristine places on our looted earth are being sullied without mercy, vision, or good sense by greedy people who are robbing their fellow citizens of the last natural bounty and profusion that Americans once took for granted.” Peter Matthiessen

 

Turtle Six Pack SqueezeEarth-day 2014: How are we doing?

Recently, there has been a lot of news coverage about our Piedmont rivers like the Haw River and the Dan River. In that coverage, the news media always refers to “the environment” like it is something apart from ourselves. We have lungs that breathe in air and kidneys and a liver that filter out toxins, but somehow “the environment” suggests something not connected to ourselves. Why don’t we get it. We and the environment are one; not us and it, but one.

As a society, why are we not totally outraged every time something negative happens to a species, a landscape or a biome like the northern temperate rainforest or Gulf of Mexico? We are outraged at the Boston marathon bombing, the rape of a teenager or the genocide of a nation. All of these are assults on us. Why aren’t we equally outraged at pollution that could be eliminated by our leaders in Congress and the Legislature if only they were not more interested in getting elected or re-elected instead of being public servants; leaders.

Years ago, at the time of another Earth-day, Pogo in a cartoon said it all, “we have met the enemy and he is us”. It is impossible for us to live on this planet without having some negative impacts, but we can minimize those impacts by how we live our lives, what we value and how and what we love. Love you Mother (earth) as you love your family and friends. Her health, their health and your health depend on it.

 

Wild & Scenic Film Festival: Friday, April 25th., 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. In Greensboro, NC

Guilford College’s Cape Fear River Basin Studies Program is putting on a fundraising event to benefit the work of the Haw River Assembly. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival will be held at the Carolina Theather (336/333-2605) at 310 South Greene Street in Greensboro, NC. The Film Festival will feature independent films, local beer and door prizes. For tickets & information, go to www.alumni.guildford.edu/wildandscenic.

 

Haw River Festival: Saturday, May 3rd., 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. In Saxapahaw, NC

Join the Haw River Assembly in celebrating its 32nd. year at its annual Haw River Festival in Saxapahaw, NC. The Festival will kick off the summer outdoor music season with this special time by the river. The day will feature live music, local arts & crafts, delicious food & refreshments, a farmer’s market, stream monitoring, canoe rides for young kids, information on watersheds and new & vintage T-shirts.

For directions and more information, visit www.HawRiver.org or www.RiverMillVillage.com.

 

Self-service Canoe Rental on Saxapahaw Lake

To meet the flexible needs of our guests, we have created a self-service canoe rental program on Saxapahaw Lake. Our program works like this. We have canoes stored on racks next to the river. Each is locked down by a separate chain and lock. If you would like to rent a canoe and have flexibility as to when you go and when you return, simply either call our office at 336/260-6465 or go to our website www.hawrivercanoe.com and complete a trip registration form. We will acknowledge receipt of your reservation and send you a PayPal invoice. As soon as we get notified that you have paid, we will provide you with the lock combination and the location for your PFD and paddle. We ask that you do your best to return the canoe, paddle and PFD as clean as you receive them.

used canoes

 

The Haw River Paddler

“Rivers flow not past, but through us: tingling, exciting, vibrating every cell and fiber of our bodies making them sing and glide.”  John Muir

 What Are We Doing to Our Rivers: A Search for Profits or a Blind Path to Suicide?

 Since writing the last edition of “The Haw River Paddler” there has been a sewage spill in the Haw River from the City of Burlington’s wastewater treatment plant and an ash pond spill on the Dan River downriver from Danbury, NC.  In the case of the sewage treatment plant in Burlington, there should have been back-up equipment and pipe on site to make repairs immediately.  In the case of Duke Energy Progress, the ash pond along the Dan River, and all of their other ash ponds, should have been lined and away from rivers.  Simply, the City of Burlington and the State of North Carolina turned a blind eye on their mandates to protect their citizens and the environment.  They put off dealing with what was necessary in favor of avoiding the additional costs of doing things right and hoping that all would be well.

My father used to tell me, “Son, progress is a plot designed to demoralize the American public”.  He never mentioned who designed or executed the plot, but he no less could see what he thought were the negative consequences of the age in which we live.  To him, the search for profits at any cost was humanity’s blind path to suicide.

When contacted by the Raleigh News & Observer and asked about the sewage spill and whether or not I was concerned about public health, I told the reporter that I was far more concerned about the fire at the Sharon Harris Nuclear Power Plant that happened weeks before.  A release of radioactive gases is a bigger concern for public health, the environment in general and for a much longer period of time.  I asked the reporter why there was not more follow up to the fire than there had been about the sewage spill.  It must have been a slow news week when the sewage spill happened.  By the time the reporter contacted me about the sewage spill, the floating and suspended products of the spill were probably downriver near Fayetteville.

The Duke Progress Energy coal ash spill, on the other hand, stretches at least 70 miles downriver from the spill site and in some places covers the river bottom 5 inches thick with toxic chemicals.  Unlike the sewage spill that floated downriver, the toxic mix on the bottom of the Dan River will be there for a much longer time.

I am incredibly sad and frustrated about what we are doing to the earth, our home and life support system.  The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. was created 9 years ago to get people on the river, to get them connected to nature.  The belief is that once that connection is made, love for nature will follow.  When you love something or someone, you will do what it takes to care for it or them.  Without love and caring, it is a blind path to suicide.

Wellness of Chatham:  Presentation on the Health Benefits of Paddling

The next Wellness of Chatham talk, Reconnect With Nature & Have Fun Paddling with Joe Jacob of Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co., is this Thursday, March 6th from 8 – 9:30am at Blue Dot Coffee, 53 Hillsboro Street, Pittsboro. This earlier meeting time may allow some of you to join Wellness of Chatham for a great talk and some equally wonderful coffee and breakfast nibbles before having to be at work!

Created to introduce paddlers to one of the NC Piedmont’s most engaging rives, The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. features canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, courses and guided tours down the Haw River. Come learn how paddling can allow you to marry time in the gorgeous outdoors with a great form of exercise, available to all ages and skill levels.

 River Clean-up Extended to March 16th.

 Because we have so much interest in the Haw River clean-up scheduled for Saturday, March 15th, we have closed reservations for that day and will focus clean-up efforts near Saxapahaw.  The following day, Sunday, we will go upriver to Spirit Island and focus clean-up efforts there.  To help, either gives us a call at 336/260-6465 or register online at our website.  Just go to www.hawrivercanoe.com and put your cursor over the word Reservations on the home page.  A drop down menu will appear.  Click on Registration Form, fill out the required fields and hit send.  We will follow up with an acknowledgement that we have received your reservation.  Thanks for volunteering.  It does make a difference and you will feel better for it.

The Haw River Paddler

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”  Henry David Thoreau

10 Ways Dams Damage Rivers *

 1.  Dams disrupt normal water levels

2.  Dams obstruct the natural flow of rivers for fish, wildlife and people

3.  Dams disorient fish swimming upstream to spawn

4.  Dams change water temperature, destroying native fish

5.  Dams alter natural life cycles, harming plants and animals

6.  Dams drown rapids and riverside habitat

7.  Dams suffocate fish by lowering oxygen levels

8.  Dams build up silt that buries fish spawning habitat

9.  Dam turbines injure and kill fish

10. Dams make native species vulnerable to predators

* Taken from American Rivers’ “Rivers Connect Us”.

 Paddling Swamps in Winter

For those of us who love paddling in swamps during cold months, very low temperatures for extended periods of time creates a particular problem.  The nature of swamps is slow moving water flowing through sheltered wetland forests, a formula for thick ice.  Just like black ice on highways creates a problem for drivers, thick ice on the top of water creates a problem for paddlers.  It is just impossible to punch a paddle through it.

Cold weather for extended periods of time is also pretty tuff on fish and wildlife.  Fish have to deal with low oxygen levels while birds and mammals don’t have access to drinkable water.  Whenever we are disappointed that we can’t paddle because of surface ice conditions like this past weekend, it is very easy to switch that disappointment to concern for our fellow creatures.

A Reminder:  River Clean-up in March – Volunteers Needed

For the past eight years, we have participated in the Haw River Assembly’s annual Clean-Up-A-Thon.  Like in past years, we will make canoes available for free to anyone wanting to volunteer their time with us to clean up the Haw River either near Saxapahaw or Spirit Island.  This 3-hour effort will take place on March 15th.  To help, either gives us a call at 336/260-6465 or register online at our website.  Just go to www.hawrivercanoe.com and put your cursor over the word Reservations on the home page.  A drop down menu will appear.  Click on Registration Form, fill out the required fields and hit send.  We will follow up with an acknowledgement that we have received your reservation.  Thanks for volunteering.  It does make a difference and you will feel better for it.

The Haw River Paddler

“Buddhism is one of the few religious and philosophical systems on a world scale that asserts the ethical value of the nonhuman.  What Buddhism contributes to environmental politics is a profound spirit of compassion.  In the Buddhist’s view, everything in the world has value, has authenticity.  Ultimately, this goes beyond humans and animals and is an attitude of regard toward rocks, plants and clouds.  Do you objectify and commodify the world when you look at it?  Or do you see it as worthy, as beautiful, as full of its own intrinsic value?”  Gary Snyder

Winter Offerings for 2014

We stop putting folks on the Haw River during the winter, but that doesn’t mean we don’t offer paddling experiences at this time of the year.  We have whitewater rolling classes every Wednesday evening from 7:00 till 8:30 p.m.  This year, we will also offer weekend overnight paddling trips:  January 25 & 26 (Roanoke River Swamps Bed & Breakfast), February 22 & 23 (Black River Canoe/Kayak Camping) and March 29 & 30 (Bear Island Sea Kayak Camping).  If interested, give us a call at 336/260-6465 or send us an e-mail message to info@hawrivercanoe.com.  We have more information on this trips posted on our website under the headings Paddle Trips-Guided Trips-Multi-day Trips.

By the way, even though we are not always in the office during winter months, we do return e-mail messages and phone calls; just not as promptly as we do during our regular season.

Two New Safety-related Courses to be Offered in 2014

Two new safety-related courses will be offered each quarter in 2014; First Aid & CPR and River Safety.  The first aid & CPR course is basically the American Red Cross course and is appropriate for anyone who wants to be prepared in case of an emergency.  The River Safety course is a must for anyone who has a desire to paddle whether it is by canoe or kayak.  It is a basic course that includes both self and assisted rescue and takes place in classroom, outdoor and pool environments.  Dates for both courses have not been determined but will be posted on both our website and Facebook pages.

River Clean-up in March – Volunteers Needed

For the past eight years, we have participated in the Haw River Assembly’s annual Clean-Up-A-Thon.  Like in past years, we will make canoes available for free to anyone wanting to volunteer their time with us to clean up the Haw River either near Saxapahaw or Spirit Island.  This 3-hour effort will take place on March 15th.  To help, either gives us a call at 336/260-6465 or register online at our website.  Just go to www.hawrivercanoe.com and put your cursor over the word Reservations on the home page.  A drop down menu will appear.  Click on Registration Form, fill out the required fields and hit send.  We will follow up with an acknowledgement that we have received your reservation.  Thanks for volunteering.  It does make a difference.

The Haw River Paddler

 

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”  John Muir

 

Reflections on 2013:  How are we doing?

At the end of each paddling season, it is healthy to reflect on how we are doing, both as a business and as individuals.  To be honest, I am not sure.  There are indicators that tell me we are doing OK.  We have had more guests than in any previous year.  We are in the black financially.  We increased the size of our fleet of canoes and kayaks and started an Outpost in Bynum.  Our summer camps doubled in number and participation.  We even added to the team of guides and instructors.

All those indicators are good, but not the reason we are in business.  I guess my concern is whether or not we done the best job we could of getting people to care about the Haw River and all of the life that depends on it?  I can give those of us who work at The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. high marks for trying, but I intuitively know that we could do more.  We want to be more than just a paddlesports business.  We want to connect people with the rhythms of the earth and we do that by getting them on the river.  We will only protect that which we love, and you cannot expect folks to love something they consciously have not experienced.  If you have any suggestions on what we can do to help protect the Haw River for future generations, please let us know.

 

Good New s for the River

This fall, the national conservation group known as American Rivers, in partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, was successful in removing the ole coffer dam in Swepsonville, NC.  That is good news for aquatic life and good news for paddlers.  Removing the dam adds more oxygen to the river and more habitat for native fish species.  Removing the dam also makes it safer for paddlers.  It is our understanding that the larger 8 foot dam at the Puryear Portage one mile downriver from Swepsonville will be removed in 2014 making the river dam-free from the Town of Glencoe to Saxapahaw, NC, a distance of approximately 17 miles.

 

Another New Hiking/Mountain Biking Trail in Saxapahaw

The Village of Saxapahaw completed another one plus mile segment of hiking and mountain biking trail.  This segment follows the Saxapahaw Lake edge upriver past the current river access and then continues uphill to loop back around to the trail head.  Both the previously built trail and this new segment were paid for through a grant from the North Carolina Trail Program, a part of State Parks, recreational easements phjoejacobprovided by the Jordan Family and volunteer labor from the Saxapahaw Lions Club.

The Haw River Paddler

“Is it all lost?  Was it ever real?  A world where men and women, trees, grasses, animals, the wind – were at ease with each other’s songs?”  Gary Snyder

 

An Incredible Group of Folks

Greetings from Clam Gulch, AK.  This is my 25th. year in a row spending time guiding canoe, sea kayak and hiking trips in Alaska.  It is all made possible by everyone at The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co.  What an incredible group of folks it is.  I am usually in Alaska anywhere from three to five months each year.  When I get on the plane, a peace comes over me because I know I am leaving the business in great hands.  By now, Lawrence and Jake are probably used to all of the responsibility falling on them while I am gone.  This year, Corey and Katie are discovering the methods in my madness or the madness in my methods; i.e., if you see something needing to be done, do it even if it does not seem to fit into what is expected.  We go by the saying, “do what you love, love what you do and do your best to deliver more than you promise”.  Assuming you have paddled with us, I am sure you have observed this saying in action.

 

Tracy Has a New Job

Tracy DeVoe has been working with us for two seasons.  We rely on her to guide our women’s paddles and to help when we need extra hands like this past weekend with the Supermoon Full Moon Paddle.  I am happy to say that Tracy has been hired as the new Learning Celebration/Stream Watch Coordinator for the Haw River Assembly, the local environmental organization that does so much to protect the Haw River.  With staff changes at HRA, Tracy is taking on two positions, and we have total confidence in her to be great at both.  She will still be guiding with us, so we view this as a win-win-win; a win for HRA, a win for Tracy and a win for The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co.

 

Be Careful Where You Step

People are always asking us if there are poisonous snakes around.  When most people see a snake they assume it is poisonous.  There is one species of snake that folks sometimes see either in the Haw River or along its banks.  The snake is the banded water snake.  People confuse it with a water moccasin, but it bears no resemblance.  The only thing they have in common is water.  Non-poisonous, the banded water snake can give you a nasty bite which can get infected.  It is non-aggressive so there is no reason to freak out if you see one.

Another non-aggressive snake, but poisonous, is the copperhead.  It can be found along trails in Alamance, Chatham, Guilford and Orange Counties.  If you step on one, it will bite.  When you are walking in the woods, it is best to look at where you put your feet.

By the way, one of the reasons I love Alaska so much is that there are no fleas, no ticks, no chiggers and no snakes.  When you see a nice place to lie down, you just do it without any concerns; unless you see evidence of brown bears.Joe Overlooking Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch

The Haw River Paddler

“If you will cling to Nature, to the simple in Nature, to the little things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly become big and beyond measuring; if you have this love of inconsiderable things and seek quite simply, as one who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier, more coherent and somehow more conciliatory for you, not in your intellect, perhaps, which lags marveling behind, but in your inmost consciousness, waking and cognizance.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

 

SB 515 – Would Do Away With the Jordan Lake Rules

We at The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. along with 40 other businesses throughout the region recently sent a letter to the North Carolina Legislature urging that legislators not reverse all of the good work that has being done to improve the water quality of the Haw River, New Hope Creek and Jordan Lake.  Other businesses that signed on to the letter included breweries, realtors, builders, hotels, coffee shops, solar companies, restaurants, etc.  The letter follows:

June 11, 2013

The Honorable Thom Tillis

NC House of Representatives

Legislative Building, Room 2304

Raleigh, NC 27601-1096

Dear Representative Tillis:

We write as businesses that depend on and value clean water in Jordan Lake, the Triangle reservoir that provides drinking water to more than 300,000 citizens and draws more than 1 million visitors every year.  Our employees are North Carolinians who fish, swim, recreate, and drink from Jordan Lake.

We ask that you actively oppose Senate Bill 515.  This bill repeals the entire set of Jordan Lake water quality protections that were carefully created through many years of stakeholder meetings and legislative input, and nearly unanimously enacted into law in 2009.  Senate Bill 515 will disrupt the regulatory process before it has had a chance to begin and will create an uncertain business climate, discouraging investment and growth.  It would take this drastic action despite the fact those regulations were the product of widespread study, discussion, compromise, and consensus.  Further, the Senate does not propose a viable alternative to restoring and protecting the clean water resources in the Jordan Lake watershed.  It proposes only further study, turning back the clock and eliminating the compromises reached over a period of more than ten years.

We write to urge you to stop delaying the process and to support the investments that communities and companies have already made to begin restoring this critical regional resource.

Sincerely yours,

Businesses Who Believe That What is Good for Conservation is Good Business

Have You Seen Bertha?

Before you can answer whether or not you have seen Bertha, you need to know who Bertha is or should I say what Bertha is.  Well, Bertha is the name of our school bus which we have assigned to the Bynum Outpost.  Bertha recently had a make-over by Katie Nunn.  If you have been to our office this year, you have seen the beautiful mural Katie helped to design and paint.  For anyone who has negative memories of going to school in a big yellow school bus, perhaps you need to visit Bertha to wash all of those bad memories away.

Besides Bertha being just plain fun, we are excited about being more energy conscious.  Bertha will burn bio-diesel.  Eventually, we will convert all of our vehicles to bio-diesel.  When you are trying to tread lightly on the earth, every little bit helps.

By the way, we will soon have a picture of Bertha on our Facebook page, so you don’t have to go to Bynum unless you want to paddle that is.

Saturdays in Saxapahaw

In case you may have forgotten, Saturdays in Saxapahaw runs from the first Saturday in May through the last Saturday in August.  It all starts with a Farmers’ Market at 5:00 p.m. followed by live music from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.  Last year, three hundred bands applied for 17 Saturdays, so you can expect to hear wonderful music.  There are food and craft vendors along with supervised activities for young children.  If you like the music, a ceramic swan is passed around that can be fed with whatever denomination you feel appropriate.  So, come to Saxapahaw for a paddle and stay for some music.  Just bring your blanket and picnic basket and you are set for a fun day in the outdoors.Joe Overlooking Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch

The Haw River Paddler

“The wonders and blessings of nature offer a beautiful balance to our metal, concrete and plastic world.  Earth, sky, and sea, moment by moment, offer their renewing and healing energies for our bodies, minds, and spirits.”  L. Richard Batzler

 

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NEW PADDLE ACCESS

Guilford County began construction on a new paddle access to the Haw River Paddle Trail this week.  The paddle access will be located on Brooks Bridge Road in northeast Guilford County on a parcel of land owned by the City of Greensboro for a water intake on the Haw.  The access will be the northern-most on the river; approximately four miles upstream from Altamahaw paddle access.  The bridge has long been used to access the river, but the new construction will provide safe, legal access to a beautiful stretch of river for the first time.  Far narrower than in most parts of Alamance County, the Haw River below Brooks Bridge provides an intimate paddling experience with close up views of Mountain Laurel blooming in the Spring.  The first two miles of river provide rocky ledges that require skilled navigation, before giving way to flat water backed up by Altamahaw Dam.  It will be well worth paddling once complete.  Congratulations to Haw River Trail Partnership members Guilford County and the City of Greensboro for their efforts.HRCK Logo small

The Haw River Paddler

“We are umbilical to Earth; it is our home, our source of life.  In touch and tune with nature, we experience joy, beauty, inspiration and healing.  Our wellness depends greatly on how we relate to Planet Earth.  If we respect and work with our planet, it will work for us.  If we abuse it, we abuse ourselves.  Thus, ecology is a matter of theology and of psychology.  We are called to be good stewards of the earth, appreciative of the purposes and power of creation.  If we can see nature as another expression of the divine, we shall find new sources of healing as we look not only upon nature, but beyond to its source.”  L. Richard Batzler

 

Why do People Paddle?

So, why do you paddle?  Numerous studies have come up with four basic reasons why people paddle canoes and kayaks.  It is our experience that most of the folks who come to The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. are trying to get rid of the stresses of a “civilized’ life.  Going paddling is like going back home; getting reconnected with the rhythms of the earth.  Some of our guests are just trying to reconnect socially; paddling with friends and family.  Others are trying to “get away” and enjoy the independence that paddling alone offers.  Finally, many people simply love nature and use paddling as a way to get up close to birds, wildflowers and wildlife.

Whatever your reason for paddling, you will probably agree it is addictive. 

 

What is the One Thing People Forget to Bring on a River Trip?

The answer is water.  With all that water around you, it is very easy to get dehydrated especially in summer, but actually any time of the year.  I know you have heard that you should drink at least eight 12-ounce glasses of water each day.  When I drink that much, it seems that I spend a lot of the day headed for the restroom.  I do my best to be aware of how much I have been drinking.  As you get older, the part of your brain which tells you that you are thirsty doesn’t function as well as it did when you were younger, so it is important to be mindful you need water even when you are not thirsty.

 One way you can tell if you have not been drinking enough water on a river trip is if you feel fatigued or get a headache.  Unfortunately, for many people, you are a little too late when you start experiencing those symptoms, so use it as a learning experience.  Next time you are out on the river, bring a lot of fresh water with you and do your best to drink at least one 12-ounce water bottle per hour.  You will feel better you did.

 

What are Those Lines and Poles Hanging in the Raceway Outside of Our Office?

 Two of our guides/instructors, Jake Matheny and Corey Edwards, are avid whitewater kayakers.  They have been helping the Carolina Canoe Club install a course in the raceway just outside of our office.  The poles hanging down from the lines that cross the raceway serve as gates through which a kayaker or canoer negotiates a path.

 

Have a Question About Paddling or the Haw River?

 If you have a question about paddling or the Haw River, please let us help answer it.  We are always happy to do so.  Just give us a call at 336/260-6465 or send us an e-mail message to admin@hawrivercanoe.com.Joe Overlooking Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch

The Haw River Paddler

“Out of the millions of spheres in the universe, the one we call Earth is ours ….  We live here.  That places a responsibility on us.”  Sinio Esteve

 

JORDAN LAKE, NC – Educational Event

On the eve of Memorial Day weekend, when the lake is likely to be pack full of visitors, non-profit groups hosted a media event at Jordan Lake. The groups spoke to their concerns of what happens to the lake if rules that have already been delayed that are intended to improve the water quality of the impaired waterway, are never implemented.  Speakers at the event were available for interview by several TV stations after the event.

The location provided a great view of the lake.  The event was coordinated by the NC Sierra Club, the Haw River Assembly, Environment North Carolina, and WakeUP Wake County.  

 Background information on the Jordan Lake Rules:

Jordan Lake is the drinking water resource for 300,000 North Carolinians.  Rapid population growth, expanding sprawl, and agricultural pollution have lead to dangerous levels of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the lake.  The Environmental Management Commission first adopted rules to clean up Jordan Lake in 2008.  In 2009, the legislature passed compromise legislation to reduce upstream pollution and clean up the lake. Upstream developers and municipalities continue to fight these rules while other communities complied in good faith.  The North Carolina Senate recently voted to eliminate the rules.  The House is now considering doing the same.

Note:  The above information was taken from a press release by Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, Communications Director for the North Carolina Sierra Club.HRCK Logo small

The Haw River Paddler

“We allow engineers and scientists to convert nature into dollars and into goodies.  A river is a thing to be exploited, not treasured.  A lake is better as a repository of sewage than a fishery or canoe-way.  We are replacing a natural environment with a synthetic one.”  Justice William O. Doulas

 

River Rescue Training

What would you do if you turn over in your canoe or kayak and the current sweeps you downriver?  Would you know what to do if someone-else turned over in their canoe or kayak?  What rescue gear do you take along with you on a river outing?  In addition to first aid supplies, do you have a throw rope and know how to use it?  How would you un-pin a canoe or kayak?  What knots would you use?  If someone is hurt, do you know what to do?

Fully enjoying a river outing comes from two things.  First, being connected with the rhythms of the earth creates a sense of wellbeing.  Knowing what to do to rescue either you or someone-else, brings peace of mine.  Besides always wearing your PFD when out on the water, knowing what to do in a rescue situation is very important.

We have a new 3-hr. course you may want to take advantage of whether you paddle a canoe or a kayak.  It is called River Rescue for Beginners.  It is offered four times a year, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  If interested, give us a call (336/260-6465) or send us an e-mail message (admin@hawrivercanoe.com).

 

Selling Used Boats

Perhaps the three most common questions we get asked are:  is it going to rain, am I going to get my feet wet and do you have any used canoes or kayaks for sale?  The answer to all three questions is YES.  There is always a 50-50 chance that it will rain.  It either will or it won’t.  Getting your feet wet is totally under your control.  Used boats are a fact of life.  We tend not to sell any of our fleet until after the end of the season; however, because we are in the paddling business, we are always coming across used boats.

Without getting into the “new” boat business, we have decided to offer used canoes, kayaks and stand up paddles boards in three ways.

  1. Consignment – Bring us a used boat or board that you want to sell.  Let us know how much you want for it and we will put it on display either in our office or outside.  We will add a little to your asking price for our time and trouble.
  2. Search Image – Let us know what kind of boat or board you want, and we will keep an eye out for one.  If we find one at a price where we can get a little for our time and effort, we will buy it for your required price.
  3. You can either put down a deposit or buy one of our canoes, kayaks or stand up paddle boards now, but not take title to it until mid-November.  Keep in mind that the boat or board will be used by us until then.Joe Overlooking Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch

The Haw River Paddler

“There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace.” – Sigurd Olson, The Singing Wilderness, 1956

 

Radio Show

Recently, Joe Jacob, owner of The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co., was interviewed by Sharon Hill on WCHL Radio (97.9 FM).  During the interview, he talks about the company, what is offered and why & how people enjoy paddling.  If interested in hearing the interview, click on http://chapelboro.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audiold=6289675.

 

Lending Library, Lectures & Advice

We have a pretty extensive lending library of books, videos and DVDs you might enjoy.  Topics cover canoeing, whitewater kayaking and sea kayaking.  Other references include trip planning for day and wilderness paddling trips, as well as various books on where to paddle throughout the southeast United States.

In addition to our lending library, we are available to offer free lectures on most topics involving paddling and wilderness adventures.  Let us know of a topic that interests you and we will see if it is of interest to others.  If it is, we will schedule an evening presentation.  If not, we will still provide information and advice in an informal setting.

 

Fall & Winter Extended Paddling Adventures

We are planning extended canoeing and sea kayaking adventures for the Fall of 2013 and the Winter of 2014 to such places as the Roanoke River Swamps of North Carolina, ACE Basin in South Carolina, Okefeenoke Swamp of Georgia, Horn Island off the coast of Mississippi and the Florida Keys.  The trips will be scheduled over various holidays so that you will be able to have an extended vacation of 7-9 days by only taking four days off from work.  If you would like to know more information about the trips, just give us a call at 336/260-6465 or send us an e-mail message to admin@hawrivercanoe.com.phjoejacob

The Haw River Paddler

“My family —- Homo sapiens —- was born of a planet in which every stone were a teacher and a teaching, every breeze a language, every lake a mirror, and every tree a ladder to infinity.  But we have worked so hard to redefine the world, turning all into a commodity, human-made or human-used, that to a large extent we have succeeded.  And now? … Now, all too often, life seems trivial and meaningless, precisely because we have so diligently removed or ignored all the meaning.” – Douglas Wood

 

Haw River Festival — Saturday, May 4th, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Saxapahaw, NC

Join the Haw River Assembly to kick off the Saturdays in Saxapahaw Summer Music Series and celebrate the Haw River!

 Free Canoe Rides for kids under 100 lbs. from 4-6 p.m.
River Monitoring from 4-6 p.m.
Silent Auction from 4-7 p.m.
Kayak Raffle at 7:30 p.m.   Deep Chatham at 5 p.m. at the Hay wagon stage

Live Music, Kayak Raffle, River Monitoring, Guided Canoe Rides for Kids 12 and under, environmental info, Farmer’s Market, Haw River T-shirts, Food Trucks and More!!!!

No admission charge, but donations gratefully accepted to support the projects of the Haw River Assembly.  Kayak Raffle tickets can be purchased at www.hawriver.org.

Festival followed by benefit concert at the Haw River Ballroom featuring Orquesta Gardel

Please note:  this information taken from the Haw River Assembly’s website.

 

 WOW!  SPRING BURST OUT THIS PAST WEEK

Unless you hate wildflowers, you have noticed that the redbuds and dogwoods are popping out all over.  It is like the trees were so tired of winter that they couldn’t help but burst out in flower as soon as it got a little warmer.  Birds, too, seem to be a little early.  Our guests are seeing lots of great blue herons, ospreys, cormorants and bald eagles.

Water levels are good.  Water is warming up.  Air temperatures are still a little cool.  What a wonderful time to be alive and out in nature!phjoejacob

The Haw River Paddler

“The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which It must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value” – President Theodore Roosevelt

 

YEE- HAW! RIVER PADDLE SLATED FOR MAY 11TH

 

2013 marks the sixth year of the Yee-Haw! River Paddle.  This year the Haw River Partnership is happy to once again be working with the community of Saxapahaw for a day-long celebration of the Haw River.  The format is undergoing a slight change this year, eliminating the shuttles needed in previous years.  All paddlers will start simultaneously with a shotgun start on Saxapahaw Lake.  The racers will then begin their 5 or 10 mile race, while paddlers participating in the Fun Paddle can paddle upriver and return at their own pace.  The event will conclude in the late afternoon, just in time for participants to enjoy Saturdays at Saxapahaw in downtown Saxapahaw.  The event will have live music, food and vendors and is a great end to a day on the river.  The Yee-Haw! River Paddle is the Partnership’s largest fundraising event of the year.  Full event details and registration are available at www.thehaw.org/yeehaw.

 

The Haw River Partnership is a cooperative effort on the part of Alamance & Chatham Counties and the Cities of Burlington, Graham, Haw River, Pittsboro and Swepsonville to acquire land along the Haw River for both a paddle trail and a walking trail.  Their efforts to date have done an amazing job in establishing put-ins and take-outs all up and down the river.  If the Partnership has a motto, it is “Conservation through Recreation”.

 

JOIN THE “5280 CLUB” TO ADOPT A MILE OF HAW RIVER TRAIL

 

Spring is the time of year when we all begin venturing outdoors to hit the trails.  Its is also the time of year when the Haw River Trail Partnership makes its annual fundraising push to secure the future of those trails.  With tightening budgets and dwindling grant programs, finding funds to acquire and build trails is an increasingly difficult job.  So this year the Partnership is trying a new approach.  Rather than relying on large donors and shrinking grant programs, it is asking for support from the people who use and enjoy our trails, the public.

 

The new fundraising initiative is called the “5280 Club”, so named because the Partnership is asking community members to sponsor 5280 feet, or one mile, of Haw River Trail.  By joining the 5280 Club for $100 you will be sponsoring 5280 feet of Haw River Trail for one year.  Thanks to the support already received from Haw River Trail Partnership member governments, overhead costs are covered. That means 100% of your support will go directly to acquiring and building new sections of the Haw River Trail.  To acknowledge your support, a plaque will be placed at the access leading to the mile of Haw River Trail you choose.  In addition, the Partnership is offering one FREE 2013 Yee-Haw River Paddle registration for each mile sponsored.  Visit www.thehaw.org to choose your mile and make payment, or send in a check payable to “Haw River Trail” to 3916 R.D. Coleman Road, Burlington, NC 27215.  If you are mailing your payment, in the memo line, please indicate which mile of the Haw River Trail you would like to sponsor. Thank you for supporting the Haw River Trail, and please let us know if you have any questions.

 

Please note:  this blog is a modification of the Spring edition of the “Mouth of the Haw”, the newsletter of the Haw River Trail PartnershipJoe Overlooking Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch

The Haw River Paddler

“To see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower, to hold infinity in the palm of your hand, eternity in an hour” – William Blake

 

The Health of our Nation’s Waterways

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says more than half of rivers and streams in the United States are in such unhealthy shape they cannot adequately support aquatic life.  EPA sampling found more than 55 percent of waterways tested were in poor condition, compared to just 21 percent in good health. The most widespread cause was pollution fueled by human activity, with high levels of phosphorus — a component of fertilizers, pesticides and detergents — found in 40 percent of rivers and streams.

There are a couple of tributaries in the Haw River Watershed that are impaired according to EPA standards.  That is why the State of North Carolina passed the Jordan Lake rules; i.e., Jordan Lake was receiving too much nutrients from upriver.  The next time you think about adding fertilizer to your lawn or purchasing laundry detergent with added phosphorus, please think twice.  There are other creatures that share this planet with us that need our good stewardship.

By the way, the Clean Water Act was passed over 40 years ago.  It aimed at making all of our waterways drinkable, swimmable and fishable.  Why hasn’t that happened?  In the name of jobs and the economy, we allow development to pass on the price of pollution clean-up to current and future generations to pay while a few benefit financially now.

 

River Clean-up Results

We conduct three river clean-ups each year where we provide canoes for free to volunteers willing to pick up trash out of the river and along the river banks.  The first clean-up of the year is always held in conjunction with the Haw River Assembly’s Clean-Up-A-Thon.  Joining with our team of 15 volunteers picking up 20 bags of trash and 3 tires upriver of Saxapahaw, was a total of 17 other teams with 303 volunteers that picked up 720 bags of trash, 167 tires and lots of big and weird junk.  Some crazy stuff retrieved from the river included a Jeep panel, Easy Bake oven, purple bowling ball, front end of truck, mailbox door and leopard skin underwear!

By the way, most of those trash bags contained plastic bottles, Styrofoam chunks and cans.  It is pretty amazing when you think of all the energy and raw materials that are wasted by our “throw-away society”.Joe Overlooking Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch

The Haw River Paddler

 

“Some will tell you that creation ended when God created the earth in six days.  Those who tell you that have lost their connection to Nature where the life force shows itself every hour of every day and every season of every year” – Anonymous

 

American Spending on Outdoor Recreation Is a Major Driver to State Economies
Outdoor Industry Association Releases Economic Data for All 50 States

According to a press release by the Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) economic impact of outdoor recreation demonstrates that outdoor recreation is an important driver of state economies, supporting jobs, businesses and communities. “Americans spend almost twice as much on outdoor recreation as they spend on pharmaceuticals each year, and outdoor recreation supports more than twice as many jobs as the oil and gas industry.”

Figures compiled for each of the 50 states indicate that with nearly 140 million Americans participating in outdoor activities each year, outdoor recreation is a larger and more critical sector of the American economy than most people realize.  “The outdoor industry can continue to generate jobs and be an economic driver in the United States if parks, waters and trails are managed as a system designed to sustain these economic dividends for America.”

–And you just thought that paddling was a way to relax and distress.  Little did you know that in your attempt to be a healthier person, you were actually contributing to a healthier economy?  If you would like to know more about OIA’s study, you can go to www.outdoorindustry.org/recreationeconomy.

 

A New Look to Our Office

It is amazing how a little paint (Is 6 gallons a little?) and a lot of imagination can turn a poorly lit office into a bright, fun place to be.  Thanks to Jake, Corey, Lawrence, Cassie and Katie, our office walls have been transformed into an outdoor scene complete with a running river, forest, mammals, fish, turtles and birds.  The ceiling is about to be transformed into the golden colors of the sun, not too unlike part of our logo.  If you are in the neighborhood, come take a look.  Who knows, if we aren’t finished, me just might put a paint brush in your hand and see what you come up with.

Joe Overlooking Cook Inlet at Clam Gulch

The Haw River Paddler

 

“My family – Homo sapiens – was born of a planet in which every stone were a teacher and a teaching, every breeze a language, every lake a mirror, and every tree a ladder to infinity.  But we have worked so hard to redefine the world, turning all into a ‘commodity’, human-made or human-used, that to a large extent we have succeeded.  And now? . . . Now, all too often, life seems trivial and meaningless, precisely because we have so diligently removed or ignored all the meaning” – Douglas Wood in “Paddle Whispers”

 

Last weekend, we had over 20 folks come out on our first of three river clean ups for the year.  All in all, they collected over 20 large trash bags full of mostly plastic bottles and Styrofoam, 3 tires and a lawn chair.  I am sorry to say that in the brief 2-hours that they worked, they hardly touched on all the trash that can be found intermingled within riverbank vegetation.  They got the easy stuff and we are grateful because every little bit makes a difference.  If someone had gotten that six pack ring in the past, it would have made a big difference to this turtle.  

Turtle Six Pack Squeeze

If you happen to be listening to WCHL radio (97.9 FM or 1360 AM) either this Saturday or Sunday at either 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. both days, you will hear us talk about The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co.  If you do, please let us know what you think.

The Haw River Paddler

 

“Man is whole when he is in tune with the winds, the stars, and the hills . . . Being in tune with the universe is the entire secret.” – Supreme Court Justin, William O. Douglas

 

I intended for all of our blogs to be about nature, paddling, conservation, upcoming events and the Haw River, but I am diverging this time to brag about two people who work here at The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co.; Jake Matheny and Lawrence Petersen.

Late in the day last Sunday, we received a call from a private paddler whose friend pinned a kayak in the Haw River and was calling for help.  She described where the incident had taken place and wanted to know where they might walk out.  They tried to free the kayak, but it was getting late, and they were not sure how far downriver their planned take-out was.  After her brief description of the area, we were able to tell her how far downriver she could go ashore and begin walking to the nearest residence and eventually the take-out.  We also described how her friend could safely ride on the back of her kayak so that the two of them could reach land.  Leaving the pinned kayak, the two women were able to make it to where we told them they would be able to walk out.  It did not take long to find someone at home to help them get to their car.

Lawrence was able to stay in communication with the two women, so he was aware that they were safe and the kayak was left behind.  After we closed up shop for the day, both he and Jake went to retrieve the kayak.  Jake threw a kayak and rescue gear into the back of his pickup truck and Lawrence led him the 9 miles are so to where Jake could gain access to the river.  Jake paddled upriver, got the kayak un-pinned just before dark and brought the kayak to our office.  The women will pick it up this coming weekend.

The reason I am writing about this is because I am so proud of who Lawrence and Jake are.  They didn’t have to go rescue the kayak.  They could have left that problem for the two women to solve.  The fact is they put themselves out because it was the right thing to do, not because somehow they would benefit.  If they were my sons, I could not be prouder.

The Haw River Paddler

HRCK Logo“For me, and for thousands with similar inclinations, the most important passion of life is the overpowering desire to escape periodically from the clutches of a mechanistic civilization.  To us the enjoyment of solitude, complete independence, and the beauty of undefiled panoramas is absolutely essential to happiness.” – Bob Marshall, Founder of The Wilderness Society

 

Where does a river begin?  My friend, Anne Cassebaum, in her book about the Haw River entitled Down Along the Haw:  The History of a North Carolina River wrote “in rain, falling rain.  A river is rain, cycled from earthly evaporation that started long ago from volcanic vapors and icy comets and asteroids melting in our atmosphere.”  Wow, imagine that.  What a gift from the Universe the Haw River is and we take it so for granted.

Anne, an Assistant Professor Emeritus at Elon University, spent many years hiking and paddling the 110 miles of the Haw River from its origin in two springs northwest of Greensboro, NC all the way to its confluence with the Deep River in Chatham County, NC.  She eventually condensed the 700 page manuscript describing her experiences to complete the 200+ page reference cited above.  For those of us who know the Haw River and some of the characters she met along her path, Anne’s book is a delight to read.  We highly recommend it.

The Haw River Paddler: A blog of inspirational quotes, upcoming river events, conservation issues, paddling “know-how” and nature “tidbits”

“The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shape of things, their colors, light and shade.  These I saw.  Look ye also while life lasts.” – From an old gravestone in Cumberland, England

March 1st. represents the beginning of our 2013 paddling season.  We are set to go.  The website is up-to-date.  New boats, stand-up paddle boards and paddling equipment have been purchased.  Additional staff has been added.  New paddling courses and guided trips have been designed.  Summer camps are shaping up.  Partnerships have been established so that our new Bynum Outpost is a reality.  Now, we just need the weather to cooperate.  We are anxious to get on the water.

By the way, we have decided to turn our monthly newsletter into a regular blog, so if you received our monthly newsletter via e-mail in the past and found it worth reading, you will want to start going to our blog which will be updated weekly.  Just click on the word “News” on the homepage of our website and you will immediately be taken to our blog.

The Haw River Paddler – August 2012 edition

“Rivers flow not past, but through us; tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide.” 

John Muir

Table of Contents

 * Hot Summer Days and Paddling

* What is That Large White Flower on the River Banks?

* Schedule of Courses & Trips – August & September 2012

* We are Sad to Say

* Anyone Interested in Whitewater Kayak Instruction?

 

Hot Summer Days and Paddling

It always amazes us that most of our business takes place during the summer months when it is hot and humid.  Spring and fall are so much more pleasant, but who is to argue with what people want.

The key to enjoying a summer paddle trip is to keep hydrated, wear a hat and use sunscreen if your complexion is fair.  Of course, a dip in the river doesn’t hurt, either.  Avoid paddling in the heat of the day.  Morning and late afternoon or evening paddle trips are cooler.

 

What is That Large White Flower on the River Banks?

Most of you have seen the cultivated variety of the plant that is common along the banks of the Haw River at this time of the year.  Hibiscus has a beautiful white flower, often with red or maroon coloration at the interior base of the petals.  Like the garden variety, hibiscus flowers close up in the shade or at night.  What is striking about it along the Haw River banks is how large it is compared to what is often found in urban flower beds.  Perhaps it is the extra nutrients found in the river and the constant water supply that makes them grow so large.  Whatever it is, they sure are beautiful; worth going paddling just to see them.

 

Schedule of Courses & Trips – August & September 2012

If you are interested in a paddle course or a guided trip, you can find a schedule of activities on calendar.  A brief listing of activities for August & September 2012 follows:

August

4             Family Paddle – Carrboro Recreation & Parks

11            Pedal & Paddle

12            Sunrise Paddle

17            Stargazing Float – Haw River Assembly

18            Canoe & Kayak Classes

                          Quick Start for Kayak – 3 hrs.

                          Introduction to River Kayaking – 8 hrs.

                          Quick Start for Canoe – 3 hrs.

                          Introduction to River Canoeing – 8 hrs.

19            Paddle Brunch – Saxapahaw General Store

19            Wine-Maker’s Dinner – Benjamin Vineyards & Winery/The Eddy

25            Sunset Paddle

26            Picnic & Paddle

31            Full Moon Paddle

September

2             Women’s Evening Paddle – Benjamin Vineyards & Winery

8             Sunrise Paddle

9             Paddle Brunch – Saxapahaw General Store

15            Canoe & Kayak Classes

                          Quick Start for Kayak – 3 hrs.

                          Introduction to River Kayaking – 8 hrs.

                          Quick Start for Canoe – 3 hrs.

                          Introduction to River Canoeing – 8 hrs.

15            Stargazing Float

16            Sunset Paddle

22            River Cleanup

23            Paddle Dinner/Brewery Style – The Eddy

29            Full Moon Paddle

30            Picnic & Paddle

 

We are Sad to Say

We are sad to say that our two newest members of The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. family will be leaving us this month.  Tati Brezina has accepted a job in Boston and Annie Huth is off to India.  Both will be helping others find their potential and we are confident they will be successful.

Although part of The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. for such a short time (we really knew they would be moving on) they have made a tremendous difference and brought a lot of joy to what we do.  If they are but a small example of the younger generation, the world has a bright future.

 

Anyone Interested in Whitewater Kayak Instruction?

As you may know, we offer three kayak courses: Quick Start for Kayak, Introduction to River Kayaking and Kayak Rolling.  We are going to offer this fall and next year a Whitewater Kayaking course.  We think we have a plan to take students from knowing nothing about whitewater kayaking to an ability to paddle in Class III whitewater.

The course will be taught by Jacob (Jake) Matheny.  If you have any doubts about Jake’s whitewater paddling ability, take a look at his photo.  You will find it under “About Us” on the homepage.  Just click on “The Core Staff”.  We could not find a better instructor than Jake who has the skill, patience and desire to make everyone he meets a whitewater paddler.

The Haw River Paddler – June 2012 Edition

“Alone in the wilderness, you can feel the life force of the universe in everything you see.  That is not as easy to do in a ‘civilized’ landscape.  You have to work hard to look beyond the man-made destruction.”  — Anonymous

 

Table of Contents

* Paddling and Adventure Camps

* New Faces at The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co.

* River Tales – A Lecture Series of the University of Saxapahaw

* Schedule of Courses & Trips – June & July 2012

* Registration & Paying Online – What Do You Think?

* SaxOnTheHaw: Paddle, Bike & Run Race

* Bike Rentals in Saxapahaw

 

Paddling and Adventure Camps

Beginning the week of June 11, 2012, we are offering eight weeks of week-long, half-day Paddling Camps and week-long, full-day Adventures Camps aimed at kids 8-11 and kids 12-15.  Paddling Camps will emphasize basic paddling skills and include a variety of fun, on-water games.

Adventure Camps include the morning Paddling Camps and afternoon team building, hiking and outdoor skills activities.  For more information or to register for a Camp, contact us at 336/260-6465 or info@hawrivercanoe.com.

 

New Faces at Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co.

In years past when you came to our office you would find three men; Lawrence, Jake and Joe.  This year when you come, you are just as likely to find three women; Tati, Tracy and Annie.  All three are involved in our summer camps and guide or instruct from time to time.

Although we had wanted to create summer camps for a long time, it has been Tati who brought her creativity and enthusiasm to the job.  Tracy recently “appeared”, and we are very fortunate that she shares so much of what The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. is trying to promote.  She brings years of experience as a guide, instructor and educator.  Annie, a recent graduate of Elon University and part-time worker at The Eddy, will be with us for part of the summer before she heads off to India to follow her passion for helping others.

Others will certainly be involved this summer since we are always looking for new, enthusiastic folks to help us.  Jesse Gates is one of those quiet, very capable young people who help us more than he will ever know.

 

River Tales –

A Lecture Series of University of Saxapahaw

Tom Magnuson of the Trading Path Association was our recent lecturer.  His topic dealt with river crossings in times gone by.  If you have ever listened to Tom, you know that his lecture was both entertaining and informative.

Our July River Tales lecturer is Mark Chilton, Mayor of Carrboro, NC and excellent historian.  Mark will be telling us about the Chatham Crossroads an area of Alamance and Chatham Counties with a tremendous amount of historical significance.  His presentation will be in the Haw River Ballroom starting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, 2012.  Part of the University of Saxapahaw (U of S), River Tales is a free lecture series and open to the general public.

 

Schedule of Courses & Trips – June & July 2012

If you are interested in a paddle course, a guided trip or a summer camp, you can find a schedule of activities on our Paddle Calendar.  A brief listing of activities for June & July 2012 follows:

June

2 Paddle Buffet – Benjamin Vineyards & Winery

3 Full Moon Paddle

9 River Clean Up

11 Paddling/Adventure Camp ½-day Hybrid

16 Quick Start for Kayak

17 Sunrise Paddle

18-22 Paddle Camp w/HRA

18,19,21,25&26 Paddle Camp Hybrid w/Elon

23 Quick Start for Canoe w/ Carrboro Parks & Rec.

23 Sunset Paddle

24 Paddle Brunch – Saxapahaw General Store

25-29 Paddle Camp w/ Burlington Parks & Rec.

30 Pedal & Paddle

 

July

1 Full Moon Paddle

7 Picnic & Paddle

8 Sunset Paddle

9-13 Paddle Camp w/HRA

14 Canoe & Kayak Classes

– Quick Start for Kayak

– Introduction to River Kayaking

– Quick Start for Canoe

– Introduction to River Canoeing

15 Sunrise Paddle

16-20 Paddle Camp

15 Wine-Maker’s Dinner – Benjamin Vineyards & Winery/The Eddy

20 Stargazing Float

21 Owl Prowl

23-27 Paddle Camp w Carrboro Parcks & Rec.

28 Pedal & Paddle

29 Paddle Brunch – Saxapahaw General Store

30&31 Paddle Camp w Carrboro Parcks & Rec.

 

Registration & Paying Online –

What Do You Think?

Now that our new website has been up and running for a while, we would like to know if you like the way we handle the registration process and if paying through PayPal has made it easier for you to do business with us.  What do you think?

While you are at it, we would also love your feedback on whether or not we are meeting our motto – “Reconnect with Nature & Have Fun Paddling”.  Any suggestions on how we can do what we do better would be greatly appreciated.

 

SaxOnTheHaw: Paddle, Bike & Run Race

It is no secret that the businesses in the Village of Saxapahaw are working hard to create a living environment that is both healthy and fun.  In keeping with this idea, a triathlon is being planned for the first Sunday in November.  Named SaxOnTheHaw, the three legs of the race are a 3 mile paddle, a 7 mile bike ride and a 3.3 mile run.  There will be more about the race in future editions of “The Haw River Paddler”.

 

Bike Rentals in Saxapahaw

It is true.  Beginning in June, The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. will be offering bike rentals in Saxapahaw.  A brain child of Tati Brezina (mentioned earlier in this newsletter), this new aspect of our business is in keeping with our desire to get folks out into Nature and having fun.  Like SaxOnTheHaw, there will be more about our bike rental program in future editions of “The Haw River Paddler”.  For now, just give the office a call if you want to rent a bike and we will make it happen.

“The Haw River Paddler” – May 2012 Edition

“Still I yearned for silence so complete it would swallow me up like a slow snowstorm, blinding me with its brilliance of non-sound.”

 Louise Freeman

Table of Contents

 * River Tales – Haw River Trail Partnership

* YEE HAW! River Paddle, Saxapahaw Lake Family Paddle, Eastbound & Downriver Race and Haw River Festival

* Our New Website is Alive & Well Plus We Now Accept Plastic

* Schedule of Courses & Trips – May & June 2012

* Paddling and Adventure Camps This Summer

River Tales – Haw River Trail Partnership

Brian Baker, Upper Haw River Trail Coordinator, is the next presenter in the River Tales Lecture Series offered in partnership by The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. and Cup 22.  Brian’s lecture will include a history of the Haw River Trail and a glimpse into its future.  His presentation will be in the Haw River Ballroom starting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.  Part of the University of Saxapahaw (U of S), River Tales is a free lecture series.

YEE HAW! River Paddle, Saxapahaw Lake Family Paddle, Eastbound & Downriver Race and Haw River Festival

The Fifth Annual YEE HAW! River Paddle is scheduled this year for May 5, 2012.  It will again be held in conjunction with the Haw River Assembly and the Village of Saxapahaw for a day-long river celebration of fun, friendship, food and music.  Like last year, the Eastbound and Down River Race will take place, and the Family Paddle will be brought back from past years.

Full event details and registration is available at  www.thehaw.org/yeehaw.

Our New Website is Alive & Well Plus We Now Accept Plastic

Please take a look at our new website (www.hawrivercanoe.com).  It is now live, and we hope, more attractive and easier to use.  We would love your feedback, so don’t hesitate to either call or write (admin@hawrivercanoe.com) and let us know what you think.

In addition to the new website, we are using a PayPal feature that allows us to invoice you and for you to pay online for a course, guided trip, boat rental, summer camp or platform rental.

Schedule of Courses & Trips – May & June 2012

If you are interested in a paddle course, a guided trip or a summer camp, you can find a schedule of activities on our paddle calendar.  A brief listing of activities for May & June 2012 follows:

 

May

3                                  Saxapahaw Lake – The Raleigh School

4                                  Full Moon Paddle

5                                  YEE HAW! River Paddle & Race

Eastbound & Downriver Race

Haw River Festival

6                                 Paddle Brunch – Saxapahaw General Store

6                                  Wedding Paddle & Lunch

12                                Photography Paddle – Chatham Conservation Partnership

12                                Family Paddle – Carrboro Recreation & Parks

13                                Paddle Dinner – Grove Vineyards & Winery

13                                Sunrise Paddle

19                                Canoe & Kayak Classes

Quick Start for Kayak (3 hours)

Introduction to River Kayaking (8 hours)

Quick Start for Canoe (3 hours)

Introduction to River Canoeing (8 hours)

20                                Stargazing Float

26                                Sunset Paddle

27                                Picnic & Paddle

 

June

2                                  Paddle Buffet – Benjamin Vineyards & Winery

3                                  Full Moon Paddle

9                                  River Clean Up

10                                Paddle Dinner – Grove Vineyards & Winery

11                                Paddling/Adventure Camp ½-day Hybrid – Graham Recreation & Parks

15                               Saxapahaw Lake – IPAS Teambuilding

16                                Canoe & Kayak Classes

Quick Start for Kayak (3 hours)

Introduction to River Kayaking (8 hours)

Quick Start for Canoe (3 hours)

Introduction to River Canoeing (8 hours)

17                                Sunrise Paddle

18-22                           Paddle Camp – Haw River Assembly

18,19,21,25&26          Paddle Camp Hybrid – Elon Academy

23                                Canoe & Kayak Classes

Quick Start for Canoe/Carrboro Recreation & Parks

23                                Sunset Paddle – Haw River Assembly

24                                Paddle Brunch – Saxapahaw General Store

25-29                          Kayak Paddle Camp – Burlington Recreation & Parks

30                                Pedal & Paddle

Paddling and Adventure Camps This Summer

Beginning the week of June 11, 2012, we are offering eight weeks of week-long, half-day Paddling Camps and week-long, full-day Adventures Camps aimed at kids 8-11 and kids 12-15.  Paddling Camps will emphasize basic paddling skills and include a variety of fun, on-water games.

Adventure Camps include the morning Paddling Camps and afternoon teambuilding, hiking and outdoor skills activities.  For more information or to register for a Camp, contact us at 336/260-6465 or info@hawrivercanoe.com.

Haw River Paddler April 2012

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” 

Albert Einstein

Table of Contents: 

• River Tales – A Lecture Series Partnership

• Paddling and Adventure Camps This Summer

• Check-out Our New Website in April

• Schedule of Courses & Trips – April & May 2012

• Brevard College’s Voice of the Rivers 2012

• YEE HAW! River Paddle and Eastbound & Downriver Race

River Tales – A Lecture Series Partnership 

We are very excited by the fact that Anne Cassebaum, author of “Down Along the Haw: The History of a North Carolina River, is our first presenter in the River Tales Lecture Series offered in partnership by The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. and Cup 22. Anne’s lecture, entitled “Haw River Revival: A River in Recovery”, will be presented in the Haw River Ballroom starting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. We will have copies of Anne’s book available for purchase. The lecture is free to the public.

Paddling and Adventure Camps This Summer 

Beginning the week of June 11, 2012, we are offering eight weeks of week-long, half-day Paddling Camps and week-long, full-day Adventures Camps aimed at kids 8-11 and kids 12-15. Paddling Camps will emphasize basic paddling skills and include a variety of fun, on-water games.

Adventure Camps include the morning Paddling Camps and afternoon teambuilding, hiking and outdoor skills activities. For more information or to register for a Camp, contact us at 336/260-6465 or send us an e-mail message to info@ hawrivercanoe.com.

Check-out Our New Website in April 

Right now, when you find us at www.hawrivercanoe.com, you are looking at our 2011 site with an updated 2012 calendar. By April 1, our new site will be up and running and will look very different. We hope you like it.

We believe the new website will be more attractive and easier to use. It will contain basically the same information as the 2011 site with the addition of information about our summer camps. For us, the main difference between the two website is that with the new site we will be able to keep it up-to-date in-house.

Schedule of Courses & Trips – April & May 2012 

The 2012 Schedule of all our guided paddle trips and paddling courses can be found under both the Instruction and Guided Trips headings on our website. You can always contact us to rent a canoe or kayak and do a self-guided trip. 

We will update the HRCK schedule with Rental Trips as they are reguested.

March 

31 Women’s Evening Paddle – Benjamin Vineyards & Winery

April 

1 Paddle Brunch – Saxapahaw General Store

6 Full Moon Paddle

8 Sunset Paddle

14 Canoe & Kayak Classes

Quick Start for Kayak (3 hrs.)

Introduction to River Kayaking (8 hrs.)

Quick Start for Canoe (3 hrs.)

Introduction to River Canoeing (8 hrs.)

15 Sunrise Paddle

21 Canoe & Kayak Classes

Quick Start for Canoe/Carrboro Recreation & Parks

21 Stargazing Paddle

22 Owl Prowl

28 Paddle Dinner – Benjamin Vineyards & Winery

29 Photography Paddle

May 

4 Full Moon Paddle

5 YEE HAW! River Paddle & Race

Haw River Festival

6 Paddle Brunch – Saxapahaw General Store

12 Photography Paddle – Chatham Conservation Partnership

12 Family Paddle – Carrboro Recreation & Parks

13 Sunrise Paddle

13 Paddle Dinner – Grove Vineyards & Winery

19 Canoe & Kayak Classes

Quick Start for Kayak (3 hrs.)

Introduction to River Kayaking (8 hrs.)

Quick Start for Canoe (3 hrs.)

Introduction to River Canoeing (8 hrs.)

19 Stargazing Paddle

26 Sunset Paddle

27 Picnic & Paddle

Brevard College’s Voice of the Rivers 2012 

Beginning in April, students from Brevard College will float the Haw River down to its junction with the Deep River, and from there, on down the Cape Fear River to Wilmington. The students will be led by Professor Clyde Carter who has led previous classes down the French Broad River to New Orleans via the Mississippi River.

Clyde came to Saxapahaw in March to meet us and learn more about the logistics involved in their upcoming four-week adventure. His class will stop in Saxapahaw for a discussion of what the river has meant to the Village in the past and how it relates to the Village today.

YEE HAW! River Paddle and Eastbound & Downriver Race 

The Fifth Annual YEE HAW! River Paddle is scheduled this year for May 5, 2012. It will again be held in conjunction with the Haw River Assembly and the Village of Saxapahaw for a day-long river celebration of fun, friendship, food and music. Like last year, the Eastbound and Down River Race will take place, and the family paddle will be brought back from past years.

Full event details and registration will be available April 1st on www.thehaw. org/yeehaw.