Wednesday, August 12, 2009

September First Saturday Outing

September 5, 2009
DRBA's September 5 First Saturday Outing will launch at the new Draper Landing Access beside the NC 700 Bridge in Eden. Coordinated by Wayne Kirkpatrick, the seven-mile float will end just below the Berry Hill Bridge at the North Carolina-Virginia line.

Meet at 10:00 a.m. at the access's graveled parking lot to set the shuttle. Three Rivers Outfitters, 336-627-6215 or, will offer boat rentals and shuttle for the float, which will end on private property with the owner's permission.

In this Class I trip, participants will pass through six batteau navigation structures built in the nineteenth century by the Roanoke Navigation Company and by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Sluice walls concentrate the river's water through shallow ledges, creating a narrow channel deep enough to float the long, narrow batteaux, the commercial "semi-trailers" of early river travel.

Devil's Jump Shoal, midway through the trip, is named for impressive mid-river rocks. Less than a mile downstream from Devil's Jump is the confluence of the Dan with Tanyard Creek, named for the tannery owned by John Morehead, father of North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead, who grew up nearby.

Other examples of intriguing nineteenth-century labels are Beasley's Gallows Shoal Sluice and the well-preserved Hairston's Fish Trap Sluice, likely modified from an Amerindian fish weir of 1000 years ago.

Other interesting facts about the geology, history, and culture of this section are found in Maps 42 -- 45 of DRBA's new publication, "An Insider's Guide to the Dan River in North Carolina and Virginia," printed on waterproof paper and available at .

Participants are asked to provide boat, life jacket, lunch and water, to dress in layers of artificial (quick-drying) fabric and to sign a waiver.

To reach Draper Landing Access from the north or west, take NC 14 to NC 700 East. Travel on NC 700 about 4 miles through Eden to the bridge over the Dan River. After crossing the bridge, go 0.1 mile and turn left into the gravel driveway to the access.

From the south take US 29 North, turning left (west) on NC 700. Just past Quesinberry Road, turn right into the gravel driveway to the access beside the NC 700 Bridge over the Dan.

From the east take US 29 South, turning right (west) on NC 700.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Wayne Kirkpatrick, or 276-694-4449.

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