ELKIN — The Yadkin Riverkeeper Tour will take place on Saturday, leaving Ronda at 1 p.m. with all participants expected to return by 6 p.m. to Crater Park in Elkin.
This 6.8 mile journey is expected to take paddlers approximately 2 hours and will benefit Yadkin Riverkeeper. Paddlers will meet at Crater Park for a shuttle to Ronda.
“We tend to take the mighty Yadkin for granted, but going on a paddle makes me appreciate this beautiful natural resource,” stated Terry Marshall who has been a member of Yadkin Riverkeeper for several years now.
“My first experience with the group was in 2014 when my wife and I participated in the Forsyth Creek Week river clean up,” described Marshall. “I was in a canoe that time. You wouldn’t believe the items that came out of the river that day; many, many tires, plastic bottles and bags, and even a skill saw.”
According to yadkinriverkeeper.org the purpose of the non-profit organization is, “to respect, protect and improve the Yadkin Pee Dee River Basin through education, advocacy and action.” In addition to tours Yadkin Riverkeeper hosts clean ups, education activities and even supports legal efforts to maintain a clan river for future generations.
“I participate because I support the mission of the Yadkin Riverkeeper and I love the serenity of Kayaking on the Yadkin,” stated Dana Triplett. “As a native of Elkin, I remember frequent fishing and camping adventures along the banks of the Yadkin. It’s a special resource that most folks take for granted.”
As an effort to raise awareness of their mission and to raise funds Yadkin Riverkeeper holds this annual event. Potential participants are asked to register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-yadkin-riverkeeper-tour-paddle-in-elkin-tickets-31762885646 where they can sign up for craft rental at discounted rates as well.
“When you get close to the paddle event, you can expect to see signs pointing to the check in tent,” clarified Marshall for those who have never attended such an event. “After checking in, you will be shuttled to the put-in site.”
“The Riverkeeper will give a brief safety talk and point out areas of the river where extra caution might be needed,” continued Marshall. “You’ll be assigned to a group of 10 or so paddlers with a designated experienced paddler who ensures you get on and off the river without incident. Afterwards, there is always fellowship and fun.”
“Newbies can expect a well-organized, safe, fun adventure with like-minded folks,” claimed Triplett. “I enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones along the route, but it’s the beauty of nature that I find appealing and keeps me coming back.”
“The river is beautiful and these paddles are great opportunities for young, old, beginner or experienced boaters to enjoy a day on the water surrounded by paddlers having a good time,” stated Marshall. “It has to be preserved for our future generations and that’s why I support the Yadkin Riverkeeper.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.