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 provided by the Jordan Family and volunteer labor from the Saxapahaw Lions Club.