Friday, August 27, 2010

Watersmyth Kayaking weekend


"Watersmyth Kayaking is a company dedicated to providing certified and professional kayaking services to their clients. The services we offer are; instruction, tours and consulting."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lumber river 2010


The Lumber River has a long history of economic significance for the towns that are located along its banks. Deriving its name from the extensive timber harvesting and transporting done in the late 1700s, the river is the primary reason why the towns along its banks were settled.

Princess Ann, the bluff on which the park's current headquarters are located, was chartered in 1796 as the second town in Robeson County. It was also the first inland town established by settlers traveling up the Lumber River from South Carolina. Settlers established the town on the bluff because they knew it would not be flooded and because the area provided an excellent landing along the river. The town is preserved now only as the name of the road that leads to the river.

The 115-mile stretch of river that meanders through four North Carolina counties is divided into three sections: scenic, recreational and natural. The uppermost and narrowest part of the river, from State Road 1412 to Back Swamp, is designated as the scenic section because the land around the river is undeveloped. Accessible by only a few roads, this section provides the chance to experience the outdoors at its most natural state. The middle portion of the river from Back Swamp to Jacob Branch and a smaller area at the Fair Bluff city limits are classified as recreational areas. These areas allow recreational activities and offer scenic value. The river here is easily accessible by many roads. The section from Jacob Branch to the South Carolina border is classified as the natural segment of the river. This area is remote, generally accessible by trails.

The Lumber River is the only North Carolina black-water river to earn federal designation as a national wild and scenic river. The upper river was designated as North Carolina's first recreational water trail in 1978. In 1981, it was established as a national canoe trail, and the lower Lumber River was designated as a state canoe trail in 1984. The persistent interest of the Lumber River Basin Committee and other public interest groups contributed to the park's existence. In 1989, the General Assembly established the Lumber River as a natural and scenic river and also as a state park.

from Marianne
"For those of you that didn't go ... you missed a wonderful trip. Four of us (Rich, April, Spence and I) started out at the Princess Ann Park launch on Friday. It was hot, it was steamy, but ohhhhh the water! It was WONDERFULY COOL. We loaded up our kayaks, and Rich was even able to fit his full size chair in his hatch! Friday we saw several buzzards, some herons and a few Gar fish (preshistoric looking fish!)We agreed that we would pull over ANYTIME someone wanted to go for a swim and the water sure was nice! That evening we camped at the sandbar/island just before FairBluff and even though there were some rumblings of thunder, there was no rain that night. April and Spence paddled the short distance to FairBluff and walked on the new boardwalk that was built along the river and into town for some ice and adult beverages. The next morning we had a leisurely departure as we only had a very short distance of maybe <1/3 mile to go to meet the rest of the group. Due to the short distance, it would be possible for someone to paddle upstream to the sandbar to overnnight if they couldnt do the trip from Princess Ann, but wanted to overnight Friday.

Saturday morning we met Eva and Tamas, Caroline and Steve and "T" for the trip to the "Oasis". Again we enjoyed a leisurely trip with lots of swimming before setting up camp at our destination sandbar. Everyone set up their tents and tarps, and then went immediately into the ..... water! This is one water loving group, I gotta tell you. We were all hanging around in the water talking when I noticed my earing fall off and sink to the bottom. Spence ran to get his goggles, dove under water and, can you believe this, came up with the earing! My personal hero! I thought it was a gonner. But then he was also a bug charmer and was able to catch some horse flys that were buzzing us (and Tamas in particular) with his bare hands!
All of a sudden it just started pouring rain and everyone ran out to make sure their tents were secured and dry. But, hey, we were wet already, so we went back out in the water. There was no lightning, so we were safe in enjoying the shower. When was the last time you did that?
That evening everyone brought out their goodies to share - and what a feast we had! Truely a gourmet ordeal. I don't believe anyone was hungry that night. We build a fire and sat around that, until one by one we started falling away. It was heard that certain people went swimming during the night.

Sunday morning, it was a leisurely departure again as this part of the trip was only 6mi. We stopped several times again for a swim and lunch. We managed to see 2 dead feral pigs in the side of the water that the vultures were particularly interested in.
We were off the river about 130 and after packing up the boats and gear, had the drive home to remember the fun we had and the people we had come to know.

I think everyone will agree, a good time was had by all, and look forward to doing it again!

Thanks to Rich for being my GPS person, everyone else for being such enjoyable company and relaxed about the trip, Eva and Tamas and Spence for being photographers, and Jax for keeping us all safe from "intruders" real and imagined.

SYOTW soon!"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cape Fear river


Cape Fear river:

From Rich:

"Maria, Eva, Tamas, Robert, Abbey, Jay, Mark, Bob, Evelyn, Lyman, Pam, and Rich launched into the calm waters of the Cape Fear River under the cooling cover of overcast skies. Paddling upstream we took the right hand channel around the island which had two groups tent camping and fishing on the bank. Upon reaching the junction with the Haw and Deep Rivers we went left up the Deep River. There was surprisingly little current flowing. Sycamore trees with their light colored bark arched over the water, Trumpet vines with their bright orange flowers were scattered along the shore, and a few turtles were spotted on floating logs.

The lunch stop was just prior to the start of the Deep River rapids at an old ramp with a small dock. There was a cleared area and a gazebo tent which made a great area to eat for some. Others ate at the dock with the kayaks, and Robert stayed in his kayak for lunch. After lunch most checked out the rapids before turning down river.

Back on the Cape Fear we passed under an old rusty railroad bridge. It was questioned whether the bridge was still in service, when to our surprise, along rolled a locomotive with several empty coal cars attached. In response to our waves we received a toot from the engineer. As we approached the boat ramp it was a beautiful sight to see several of our boats paddling abreast pushing a soft smooth bow waves as they cut the calm water leaving a trail of ripples behind. There was good fun and great laughs as the group chatted and told stories as we paddled along.

At the boat access again after 13+ miles paddled Eva, Pam and Tamas were eagar to paddle more, so they continued on down to the Buckhorn dam.

It was great to have a new member, Bob, who joined CKC just one week ago on the trip! Eva and Tamas thank you once again for a great video. It was a wonderful day with everyone. I hope to be paddling with all of you again soon. ... Rich "
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