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Our group, which convened at Old 421 River Park on Saturday, October 1, 2011 was small but enthusiastic. River journeymen Wilson Somerville and Ward Swann led the charge with Mark and Rachel Boles plus Katie Harper and Nick in tow. We coould not have managed without the backup of Paul Carter with Yadkin River Adventures and it was great to see Montie Hamby who showed up to send off the group. Marilyn Stemp provided ground support.
June 4, 2011 was the day of Yadkin Riverkeeper's cleanup paddle as part of the American Rivers National River Cleanup Week. Our paddle was held in conjunction with Yadkin River Greenway, Overmountain Victory Trail, American Rivers, and Yadkin Riverkeeper.
We worked on the stretch of river from Kerr Scott to Smoot Park. Montie Hamby organized and Ward Swann co-directed with him on the river.
WIth 24 volunteers in all, it was a great group, on a beautiful day, very well organized and run. Hats off to Montie.
After a wet week, Staurday's weather was perfect for our morning paddle and day at the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival in Elkin. It was great to have 14 boats and even more people meet up with Montie and Ward to get out and enjoy the river.
Predictably, the atmosphere was spirited at the wine festival. Plenty of people stopped by the booth to talk with us and learn more about the work of Yadkin Riverkeeper. We were grateful for the volunteer help of Donna, Mark and Matt.
We were gratified that so many people turned out to paddle the last day of Tour de Yadkin 2011 with us. We had a strong group of both children and adults, experienced paddlers and novices among them. We put in at the 109 bridge on the Uwharrie River - a stretch I hadn't paddled before - and ended at the public boat ramp in Morrow Mountain State Park. Later that day we tasted wines from Uwharrie Vineyards and Dennis Vineyards on the porch at the Badin Inn - a lovely setting and perfect ending for the Tour.
On this last Friday of Tour de Yadkin 2011 we paddled from Morrow Mountain to Falls Resevoir and Lake Tillery.
This day marked our 10th wedding anniversary so Kathy joined me at Morrow Mountain. We were treated to a fantastic dinner under the stars thanks to our friends from Off The Square in Albemarle, James and Ashley.
The Badin Lake to Falls Reservoir requires a portage - not my favorite thing. But after a good night's sleep at the remote camping spot I found, I was ready.
This stretch, from Old Whitney put-in to Badin Lake, was failrly short and - thanks to the weather - quite nice. Good thing, too, because this far along in the Tour, I'm getting worn out.
Nancy from my office brought along her cousin Andrew to paddle. Andrew was visiting from Michigan. My neighbor came out to paddle to and we had a great day on the river, after camping at Boone's Cave Park.
I expected to paddle solo today but was glad to have freinds from WIsconsin join in enexpectedly. Two experienced paddlers were visiting family in the river basin and found out about the tour - great to have them come along. From industrial facilities to sun-dappled vistas, this from York Hill was a study in contrasts. The weather stayed friendly, then it was on to meet up with Andrew, Katie and Nancy to camp for the night.
Today's plan was to put in at York Hill and travel to Tamarac Marina where we'd camp for the holiday weekend as High Rock Lake takes center stage on this section of Tour de Yadkin. But rain took a bow instead, slowing us down but not holding us back from making progress.
Easter Sunday on the Yadkin River! We were joined by friends from REI Greensboro for a great day of paddling. The day was topped off by a traditional Easter dinner at the water's edge.
Tamarac Marina on High Rock Lake hosted Tour de Yadkin for Easter weekend. We held an Easter egg hunt for the kids and enjoyed the hospitality of the friendly folks at Tamarac. Later in the day we took the kids on a boat ride.
As bad as Saturday's weather was predicted to be, Sunday's made up for it. It was great to have some new people come out and paddle with us - friends we didn't know we had before today. That's the value of the website for all of us; people can find a great way to join like-minded paddlers and the Yadkin Riverkeeper can garner more suppport to raise awareness and spread the word to protect the Yadkin River.
Our Earth Day River Clean-up was abbreviated by severe weather warnings. But the original plan was to set out early so we could get to the WInston-Salem Earth Day Fair, so having a smaller group for the clean-up aided that goal.
Valerie and Morgan from REI Greensboro intrepidly joined me and we gathered up all the trash we could - not bad for the weather. We met a fun family at the take-out who gladly posed for a snap then it was off to man the Fair booth.
This might have been the best weather day of Tour de yadkin 2011 so far. And I was glad because we had quite a crew on the river, including our friends from Duke Law School, people on the YRK staff, and friends of the river. With the help of our partner outfitter, Paul Carter of Yadkin River Adventures, we got everyone on the river for a great day of paddling.
Take a look at these pictures by Christine Rucker and you'll see what I mean. Look for more on our Facebook page.
We paddled early in the day from the Shoals to Donnaha - one of my favorite sections of the Yadkin. Tons of wildlife was evident. It was one of those awesome days you can't help but appreciate this beautiful resource right here in our own backyard - the Yadkin River.
Got a late start on the river after a noon-time speaking engagement in Winston-Salem. In the rush I misplaced my camera and cell phone only to realize that Bill Trout had driven away with them on the top of his car where I'd inadvertantly left them.
The calm water and beautiful sunset, along with being present to witness a mayfly hatch, soothed the frazzled nerves as Eric and I set up camp.
I was heading out to paddle alone but I managed to talk Marilyn into coming along. There was a threat of rain but I guess a bad day on the river beats a warm, dry day in the office, huh, Marilyn?
After all the activity on Sunday with the Adventure Guides, it was nice to get on the water with just Bill and Matt and float along in the reverie.
This day was intended as an exclusive paddle day for Adventure Guide families - a group that Krista and I are members of. And they came out in force to paddle on the Yadkin. It was hard work for Paul Carter of Yadkin River Adventures, but - like me - Paul was glad to see so many parents and kids out enjoying the river. Mother Nature must have appreciated the participation, too, because she shined down on us with glorious spring weather.
I've been looking forward to this day. Good friends will once again join me to paddle, aided by our friend Paul Carter of Yadkin River Adventures. When we finish, Paul will shuttle everyone to Carolina Heritage Vineyard and Winery where our hosts, Pat and Clyde Colewell, will welcome paddlers and non-paddlers alike for music, munchies, and wine-tasting. Carolina Heritage is the only certified organic winery in the state: well worth a visit any day but a dynamite destination on this day.
Friday found us joined again by Rick Chatham and Bill Trout plus another group of friends of the Yadkin.
The planned paddle is from Roaring River to Ronda. I'll be with Krista and we hope to be joined by Rick Chatham. Bill Trout will also paddle with us again as he continues his mapping work.
Kathy will pick up Krista later and I'll be the guest of Bill Blabkley for the night - a welcome respite after the unpredictable camping of the last few nights.
Today's paddle is from Smoot Park to the Yadkin islands, with plans to camp on the islands tonight. My daughter Krista joined me for the day. She said it was better than going to school.
A wicked thunder and lightening storm at Warrior Creek Campground on the second night didn't slow down the Tour de Yadkin paddlers one bit. On Day 3 Dean Naujoks, along with Colton Brown, Megan Woodward, and Bill Trout paddled from the Tailwaters at Kerr Scott Reservoir to Smoot Park.
Take a look at these pictures of the chilly, overcast day then click to see the YouTube video of near peril on the Yadkin!
Tour de Yadkin 2011 is a month-long event running from April 3 to April 30th and packed with activities and great opportunities for river enthusiasts to get out and paddle with the riverkeeper. Enjoy some of the beautiful still images from Yadkin Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks' 185-mile journey shown here and see even more, including video clips, by tapping into Yadkin Riverkeeper's Facebook and Twitter postings.
Operation Medicine Cabinet in Winston-Salem, NC
Yadkin Riverkeeper participated in an Operation Medicine Drop take back day on March 20, 2011 at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem that was organized by Donna Joyner, the Coordinator for Safe Kids Northwest Piedmont with Wake Forest. Our thanks to Donna for graciously letting us be a part of this event!
Depending on the time of day, the season of the year, or even the eye behind the camera viewfinder, the Yadkin River can take on many personalities, some predeictable, many not. Enjoy this gallery of the Yadkin, encompassing just a few of its many variations.
The 2010 Yadkin Riverkeeper Annual Meeting was held at Carolina Heritage Vineyard and Winery in Elkin, NC. Billed as "Wine and Swine" it proved to be an ideal spot for the gathering featuring wine, of course, pit cooked barbeque, and live bluegrass music. The weather was fine, if a bit on the cool side, but the company was grand.
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