Brady Memorial Paddle Next Saturday
The banks of Bear Creek will see the last of winter out with a splash.
On Saturday, March 27, in Robbins, the annual Charles E. Brady Memorial Paddle is coupled this year with a picnic, along with instruction for anybody who has never paddled before.
It gets under way as usual when runners from Bear Creek's headwaters race into town bringing along a jug of fresh water, sometimes called Adam's Ale. Water is said to have been the only ale Adam had to drink, as beer had not yet been invented.
The late Dr. Charles E. Brady was the son of a town doctor and a distinguished Eagle Scout who became a flight surgeon and astronaut who went to space aboard Columbia. He pioneered environmental river protection in North Carolina.
Years ago, Brady paddled the length of the Haw with a jug collected from its headwaters to show people downstream how polluted their river had become. His trip launched efforts to clean up the Haw and is replicated in one way or another every year.
Foothills Outdoors sponsors the event every March. Foothills Outdoors is a local nonprofit that collects funds to help young people enjoy the outdoor adventures available in the Robbins area, the foothills of the Uwharrie Mountains that begin their rise above and to the west of Robbins.
This year, the nonprofit has added a picnic on the creek banks at the Bear Creek paddle access just below the Pottery Highway Bridge on N.C. 705. It will be from noon to 2 p.m.
Brady jug runners will arrive at 11:45 a.m. in time to take a picnic break before starting their long journey down the Bear to Deep River and down to the Haw River, where the two rivers converge to become the Cape Fear, which runs to the Atlantic Ocean.
"Take time to come out and appreciate the natural beauty of Bear Creek and northern Moore County," says Cynthia Reeves, of Foothills Outdoors. "Honor the memory of Charles E. Brady and his efforts to bring awareness to clean waterways everywhere."
The picnic is a community affair open to everyone. Teachers will help new paddlers get their bearings and enjoy the thrill of a first paddle on the calm waters of the stream that runs by the picnic grounds.
"Bring your favorite foods and take advantage of free canoe and kayak instruction," Reeves says. "If you've never paddled, now is your chance."
At 1:30 p.m., everything -pauses for a solemn moment of remembrance and dedication to the cause Brady embraced at the Bear Creek headwaters -ceremony. As this year's Brady paddlers leave on their journey to the Atlantic, other paddlers will push off on a canoe and kayak float trip up and down Bear Creek. Weather forecasters promise a clear, warm afternoon.
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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