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