National Committee for the New River Executive Director George Santucci and NCNR Board Member Henry Doss will begin their northbound journey on Monday, July 20 near the origin point of the river at Brookshire Park in Watauga County. The first leg of the journey will cover 22 miles of waterway as the duo of paddlers will conclude their first day on the river at the Todd Island Park, which straddles the Ashe and Watauga county line.
On day two, the preservationists will set their sights on a Highway 163 destination which will strike deeper into Ashe County territory as they have estimated to traverse through an additional 20 mile increment of waterway on Tuesday alone. The outlined course will subject the New River defenders to the river’s countless twists and turns as they attempt to maneuver through its meandering south fork.
With the two longest legs of the North Carolina tour out of the way, Santucci and Doss will look to carry on with their journey as they plan to cover 15 miles of the river before stopping before nightfall at Sheets Bridge in Jefferson. The following morning, the water sport enthusiasts will pick up another 15 leg stint of paddling before stopping at the 221 access of the New River State Park.
Day five of the excursion will conclude the North Carolina leg of the tri-state campaign and land the outdoorsmen near Hwy 93 in Virginia. On Saturday, the men in shove off shore one last time before the 2009 NCNR Annual Meeting at 2 p.m. which will be held eight miles upstream at Cox’s Chapel. During the meeting, the NCNR will honor community members and legislatures who have contributed to the advocacy and protection of the New River.
By this point, Doss and Santucci will have completed approximately 100 miles of scenic waterway.
Santucci explained that the purpose of the journey is multifaceted.
“There are two reasons why we wanted to do this,” Santucci began with. “First off we want to continue to continue to raise awareness of the New River and have folks become more connected with how the river connects the different communities it touches, such as Boone, Todd, Lansing, and Independence.
“And also it’s really about celebrating the New River,” Santucci said.
Santucci has completed weeklong trips on the river beforehand but said this will be his longest canoeing endeavor to date.
“I’ve done some solo trips personally but nothing this long before,” he said.
Both Santucci and Doss are encouraging all interested parties to join them at any point of the journey to spend some time canoeing the New. Santucci said that contact information for the appropriate outfitters will be obtained for those looking to acquire a boat or canoe so they too can enjoy the river’s tranquility and scenic views.
After taking four days off to recover from the first six days of the journey, the duo will continue their New River voyage until they reach their final destination at the Confluence in West Virginia on Monday, August 17, completing their 341-mile trip.
For more information on the New River Expedition of the 2009 NCNR Annual Meeting, please contact the NCNR at (336) 982-NCNR or visit their Website at www.ncnr.org.