Robbins Paddlers to Re-Enact Trip
Paddlers will take to their canoes and kayaks Saturday in honor of Robbins' astronaut, the late Charles E. Brady.
It is a repeat of something Brady did 26 years ago to bring awareness of river pollution.
On March 25, 2007, folks from Robbins who'd paddled down Bear Creak and the Deep River met up with others who, like Brady did, had paddled down the Haw River. They met at an island where Deep and Haw converge to form the Cape Fear River.
There, they emptied clear water from upstream sources in memory of Brady's long-ago trip -- back when residents joked that the only way to get clean water in Jordan Lake was to bring it in a jug from the headwaters of the Haw River.
That is exactly what Brady did. After his trip, organizations formed and worked to clean up river pollution. This Saturday, relay runners will bring a jug of Bear Creek headwater to Robbins where paddlers will set off down Bear Creek.
"I want everyone to come out March 15 for our second annual Charles E. Brady Paddle," said William McDuffie, president of the N.C. Canoe Racing Association. "We are going to concentrate on bringing awareness to Bear Creek as well as honoring the memory of Charles E. and all that he accomplished, especially in the area of improving water quality on our creeks and rivers."
This year's paddle won't be so strenuous or so long, in hopes more beginners will come out to enjoy the trip.
"Last year's event was a fast-paced 60-mile trip on Bear Creek and Deep River," McDuffie said. "This year, we will concentrate on Bear Creek with a float trip from the Highway 705 access in Robbins down the creek to its confluence with Deep River. We will then head down river to our takeout at High Falls. This one-day, 10-mile event will be open to all skill levels."
Shuttles can be set for those who only want to do part of the trip. Extra canoes and kayaks are available. Trash bags will be provided for creek and river cleanup.
"Just as last year, a pottery jug will be filled at the headwaters of Bear Creek at the Dover Road Access," he said. "This will take place at 10 o'clock Saturday morning. The jug will be transported into town by relay runners. Think of the Olympic Torch but with slightly smaller crowds."
The first stop will be at Deep River Coffee in the middle of town.
"We will then go down for a 'photo op' at Charles E's picture near the railroad tracks, McDuffie said. "The next stop will be the 705 access, as the jug begins its trip down Bear Creek around 1 p.m. Everyone is invited to take part in this event. We need runners and paddlers but most of all we need people that care about our incredible natural resources that we often take for granted."
McDuffie is making provision for beginners as well as experienced paddlers.
"I plan to leave a trailer at High Falls, which can carry six canoes and a couple kayaks," he said. "This would allow for about a nine-mile trip. We can also set a shuttle at Reynold's Mill Road, and you could do about half the trip. This will be an easy float trip.
"Meeting at the creek at 1 p.m. would give us plenty of time to set shuttles for anyone and be on the water by around 1:30. If anyone needs an extra canoe or kayak let me know."
McDuffie said e-mail requests and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org address
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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