We get out about once a week to hike usually in central to western North Carolina. We hike slowly and stop often to enjoy the views and the little treasures that nature offers. We enjoy waterfall, river, and mountain hikes frequently visiting The Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Moutains National Park, and Pisgah National Forest.
I realize this is a hiking blog. But this week we decided to try a couple of different adventures. The New River Campground where we were staying offered tube rental and a ride three miles upriver. They are located between Sparta, NC and Independence, Va right on the state line. We put the tubes in the water at a long one lane bridge. Our group scared a water snake out of the grass where we waded in.
Once in our tubes we made our way slowly downstream. It took three hours to float three miles. The river is wide, shallow, not too cold and the color of chocolate. We tied our two tubes together with bungee cords and took turns pulling each other off the rocks just below the surface. Mostly this was a very relaxed ride where progress was very slow.
We saw cows cooling off near the edge of the river in a couple of different spots as we passed farms. We watched an osprey perched high in a dead tree take off up the river to hunt. The class I and class II rapids that we expected turned out to be a few places where we got caught on rocks and then bounced down a foot of so for a cooling splash. They were tamer then the lazy rivers at water parks.
There was an island in the river near the end of the float. We went to the left and ended up almost at a stand still. The main current went to the right side. There had been thunder in the distance and now we were getting rained on. But the sun came out a few minutes later and we were having a good time again as we approached the landing.