The Haw River Paddler
“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.