Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Business in Martinsville!

Looking for a relaxing afternoon activity or an exciting adventure? You can have one or both of those experiences right here in your backyard in Martinsville & Henry County. Stop by and visit Eric Juday and Tracy Petty of Smith River Adventure Outfitters located at the Indian Heritage RV Park on Tensbury Drive in Martinsville. You can't miss it- it's the only building in town with a bright blue kayak on the front! Eric is an American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructor. He offers canoe/kayak rentals, guided trips, and lessons. Many different trip options are offered: everything from a calm flatwater paddle, to an adventurous ride down Eggleston Falls. You pick your comfort level and Smith River Adventure Outfitters will provide everything else.

I stopped by for a visit this past week as Smith River Adventure Outfitters took their first clients down the Smith River. Lynn & Ashby Pritchett of Martinsville along with their family from South Carolina spent the afternoon taking a guided paddle trip from the South Martinsville River Access to Marrowbone Creek. Most of the group had never paddled before but had an enjoyable time as Eric gave them instruction and pointers throughout the journey. Everyone wore personal floatation devices (PFDs) and helmets to ensure that their journey was safe as well as fun.
Stop by and visit with the friendly staff of Smith River Adventure Outfitters, browse their collection of paddling accessories for sale, and book your next adventure on the Smith River! Visit for more information.


Anonymous said...

awesome news!!! Good luck to these folks. Keep up the great work expanding blueway access!!

scott martin

Going with the flow said...

Hey there! This is Lynn Pritchett. Nobody in our clan had ever been kayaking before. Tracy helped to size our outfitting gear so we'd be protected and safe. Eric, our river guide, kept things simple for us, and provided simple and clear guidance as we headed off on our float downstream.

Eric directed us away from obstructions so we'd be more likely to move along without getting snagged up in bushes or lodged on top of rocks. Our trip was leisurely, with a stop for a snack break on a firm sandy shore about two miles downstream. Our confidence mounted as we launched out again and headed for the challenge of Eggleston Falls.

Brian Williams, who happened to be floating down the river also, pointed out interesting things such as beaver slides along the banks and the bald eagle! Eric had my grandchildren in his canoe, and he patiently answered their hundreds of excited questions with an amused smile on his face.

We were all surprised with how easy kayaking can be; we scooted around and about and enjoyed intentionally bumping into each other. Even though some of us were afraid to capsize, by the end of the trip, all of us realized how much fun tipping over could be! I suspect Brian may have captured my tipover at Eggleston Falls on video...I saw a picture he took after I smoothly streamed over boulders. After my kayak entered the pool below, I somehow turned over!

Our Smith River surprised me with its verdant lushness and wildlife diversity. My daughter thinks she saw a beaver swim in front of my husband's kayak! A pair of blue herons flew aloft as we approached the Rives Road Bridge, and several kingfishers crossed above us on our journey, cackling their distinctive call. I loved the massive sycamores that hung over the waters, firmly rooted and anchored bankside. Wildflower enthusiasts would have appreciated the red stalks of cardinal flowers, the green pawpaw fruits clustered on big-leafed branches, the pops of pink from the summer phlox, the hedges of goldenrod, and the fragrance of the wild clematis that floated over the waters.

I feel very blessed to have been able to experience all this. Thanks, DRBA, for promoting this natural treasure!