ROARING RIVER — The Women on the Water Paddle brought around 15 women together on Thursday in Wilkes County to enjoy companionship, the sport and leisure of paddling and to connect with the serenity of the Yadkin River.
Roaring River Kayak and Canoe Rentals provided a free access for the women, some who had camped the night before at the site.
Jo Proia, director of woman’s programming at Get Outdoors, brought several paddlers to the Tour de Yadkin event.
“It is a way for women to get back to nature,” she said. She said the paddling empowers women to get on the water, unplug and re-charge. She teaches the basis and said it is something women of all ages can do and it is not that hard.
Executive Director Dean Naujoks of Yadkin RiverKeepers said, “Our vision is to connect people to this river.” In the connection, Naujoks said he hopes people will soon understand what a valuable resource it really is.
RiverKeepers organizer Rick Chatham, a co-founder, said he enjoy paddling and being on the river. Johnny Alexander, owner of Roaring River Kayaks and Canoes and a RiverKeepers member, said he is thankful he can make a place available to do something help the Yadkin Riverkeepers and as in the event Thursday, provide a place where people can congregate and enjoy what God has provided.
A paddler in her 70s, Ann Saffrit from Pfafftown, said she has been doing it for more than 25 years and can feel the water surge through her when paddling. She and several of the women expressed a feeling of kinship when it came to the Yadkin River.
Naujoks concluded it is a great way for women to celebrate the river. Outreach Admintrator Judi Rossabi said it is rewarding to see the happiness on people’s faces when they are paddling and near the Yadkin River.
Paddler Lynn Abram said she has not been doing it that long but enjoys it and the companionship and friendship along the way. Whether one is a cashier or an executive, the river brings people together, said Abram.
There have been 228 people participating in the paddling events of the Yadkin River since its opening on June 6.