I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along with Hartwell Carson, RiverLink’s RiverKeeper and Palmyra Romeo, RiverLink’s Assistant RiverKeeper, along with quite a few capable & wonderful people on the first part of RiverLink’s annual two week paddling trip. It all started in Spruce Pine, NC on the North Toe River. RiverLink held the kickoff event, including The Wisemans, an awesome bluegrass band, hot dogs, raffles and good people.
We set off on the river in a group of about 30 people – unofficially called a "floatilla". It was not my first time on a river, but definitely my first time on an overnight camping trip. I had never canoed whitewater either, so I was a bit nervous! We did fabulous. I was blessed to be on the river with some strong boaters. Everyone helped each other & worked as a team, especially when one of us tipped over. After much rain, a few tipped boats & some soggy bread, we made a success of the first few days. We saw many different kinds of fish, a snake, and the rare and endangered Hellbender salamander.
I definitely plan on joining up with them again next year.