JONESVILLE — The beauty of the Yadkin Valley was too much for the Rondeau family to resist as they turned what was intended to be a retirement home into their latest business venture with Jonesville Kayak & Tube Rentals.
“We would spend our summers here, and when it was time to go back to Rhode Island, we wouldn’t want to leave,” said Sandee Rondeau, who owns Jonesville Kayak & Tube Rentals with her husband, Moe. “It is just so beautiful. We love it here.”
An active family, the Rondeaus traded in a bounce house business when their children, Moejoe and Kaitlyn, outgrew them. “It just wasn’t as much fun for teenagers,” explained Rondeau, who enjoys making sure her children and their friends are interactive and busy.
“You should have seen this place when we started,” said Rondeau, describing the mud floor the now-tidy building once had. After clearing decades of growth and debris, the Rondeau family now owns, not only the small farm that drew them to Jonesville, but Jonesville Kayak & Tube Rentals located at 1917 N.C. Hwy. 67 where visitors can rent a canoe, kayak or tube to float on the Yadkin River.
Patrons of Jonesville Kayak & Tube Rentals can receive shuttle service to the river access where Rondeau helps them into the water. “I’ll set a timer and I’ll be down at the other end waiting on you,” said Rondeau to visitors Craig Smart and his group.
Originally from Los Angeles, Smart and his family moved to Winston-Salem in April. “Jayden [Carter] is out here visiting and this is something we have been wanting to do,” said Smart, who has enjoyed the lush greenery of the Yadkin Valley compared to the environment of southern California, however the family is less excited about the temperatures.
“It’s a lot colder here,” said 13-year-old Tyler Smart.
Jayden agreed, “It’s way different than the city,” however that has not kept him from enjoying his trip so far, including kayaking with Jonesville Kayak & Tube Rentals, expressing an interest in returning again for the Family Flotilla sponsored by Explore Elkin on Saturday.
“We are just so excited to be a part of this family-friendly event,” said Rondeau. “We love meeting people who like to get out and do things. We have really enjoyed meeting the other outfitters and working together to make this happen. It’s really going to be a great event.”
It’s important to the Rondeau family to be a part of the community. “The beauty of this place isn’t just in the river and the tress,” said Rondeau, “it’s in the people.”
To get to know the Rondeau family by renting a canoe, kayak or tube to float on the Yadkin River, call 336-934-0874 or go to the business website at 67RiverRentals.com.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.