Thursday, April 26, 2012
|Preparing to launch the cleanup from Hart's Access|
at the Hwy 704 bridge
|Canoes as trash barges.|
One final thanks to the County for accepting our collected refuse without charge!
|At the end of a long Big Sweeping day.This photo does not do justice to the pile of junk behind us.|
Friday, April 13, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The Dan River Basin Association is hosting a river clean-up on April 14th in Stokes County. We will be focusing on the 6.5 mile section of the Dan River between Hart's Access and the Highway 89 Bridge. Trash bags and gloves will be provided by North Carolina Big Sweep. In addition to your canoe or kayak, everyone should bring their own lunch.
We will meet at the Highway 89 bridge at 9am at a private access with the generous permission of the property owner. From here we will shuttle to Hart's Access at the Highway 704 bridge upstream.
Two weeks later, on April 28th, the Tarheel Paddlers Association will be holding a river clean on the Hanging Rock section of the Dan in conjunction with the Dan River Company. For more information visit TarheelPaddlers.org.
Check back later for updates on more DRBA clean-up events. Over the course of the next couple months we will be working our way down the Dan River in an effort to keep the river clean and free of trash. Please let us know if there is a particular section of river in need of our attention.
Monday, February 27, 2012
|Eric Juday (TRR) and Dale Swanson (DRBA)|
happy to be unloading boulders from
Piedmont Stone, Inc.!
|Ray Rhodes deftly rolls a boulder |
into position as Chad Lang guides.
Of course, putting shovels (and picks and rakes) in the ground requires hands-on labor as well and this project could not have been completed without the assistance of many river-loving volunteers. They are listed below.
|After-boulder float on the Dan River!|
Sara Jo Durham
and especially - Eric Juday
Contributing local organizations not mentioned above:
Davis Chapel Historic Association
Triad River Runners
Smith River Valley Canoe Club
Tarheel Paddlers Association
Dan River Basin Association
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
During a pleasure float on a spring Sunday in 2011 archaeologist, Chris Espenshade, noticed a large pock-marked rock in the river that reminded him of some petroglyphs his organization recently identified on the Hiwassee River near Cherokee, North Carolina. The type of markings are known as cupules and are considered the oldest form of rock art known.
Dale Swanson. The Dan River Company provided our shuttle to their private access just downstream of the Highway 89 bridge - a huge convenience. After launching Andrew took off like a rocket apparently bored by two old guys talking and examining every rock along the riverbank for unnatural markings.
About a mile downstream, after passing "Snake Island", we approached the mouth of North Double Creek marking the upstream border of George's Bottom. A low rock in the middle of the stream clearly had Chris' attention as we got closer. I experienced a funny 'Aha' moment when the pock-faced rock came into focus and exclaimed, "That's the Indian Rock!" Of course, I had noticed it years ago and was familiar with the local speculation about the purpose of the little cup-shaped divots in it. Grinding corn or nuts or inks were the most common suggestions - none of which had ever made sense to me.
Chris explained that over the past year his company, New South Associates, had been contracted to survey the Hiwassee River in Cherokee, NC. That project had revealed rock art in the form of cupules on rocks just upstream of each of three Native American fish traps or weirs in the study area. The Dan River "Indian Rock" at North Double Creek appears to be similar in design and location to those already documented artifacts.
The layout of area around the Indian Rock helps to create a picture of pre-colonial life along the Dan River. George's Bottom, where the rock is located, would have been a bustling village. It's 40 acres are bounded almost entirely by the running waters of the Dan River, North Double Creek and South Double Creek. A truly ideal location for a village. The farmland that occupies that space today is rumored to be rich with arrowheads and other stone tools.
fish traps. This setting provides a cultural environment very similar to the area studied on the Hiwassee River. I could imagine children playing in the river and possibly sitting on that same rock. Could the 45 to 50 cupules on that rock been carved by generations of bored children?
So the next time you float the Dan River from Highway 89 to Moore's Springs Campground or beyond - take a moment to drink in a little historical reverie with our long departed neighbors. It is humbling and will enrich your experience of our world.
Monday, March 21, 2011
|Assessing the 1st dump site|
Saturday morning, March 19, 2011 dawned with the promise of a beautiful and warm Spring day. In the parking lot of the Dan River Company people with a purpose gathered with happy greetings. The purpose – clean up 2 riverbank dumps that boaters on the Hanging Rock section of the river have been tolerating (and griping about) for a decade or more.
|Separating the metal|
The dump sites began, ostensibly, as a home made erosion control project with objects like old bed springs, metal pipe, a few rocks and broken bits of concrete. Having taken on the appearance of a dump, others apparently began contributing construction debris and household trash.
|In the ditch at site 2|
Once our number rose to 11 at the DRC lot we loaded into three vehicles for the 2 mile trip to the riverside development. We armed ourselves with a few shovels and rakes supported by a big roll of trash bags and plenty of gloves provided by Stokes County Big Sweep coordinator, Sara Jo Durham. Bottled water provisions were supplied by Hanging Rock General Store.
|A sign of improvement|
After a brief evaluation of the situation, we fell to work bagging the trash and extracting the larger items. Plenty of wallboard and broken lumber along with heavy sewer and water pipe. We also collected a few stuffed animals and unidentified, mud-caked textiles. A microwave oven and birdhouse were among our more interesting "finds".
Two local residents, Greg Tahtinen and Philip Dodson, came down to chat, thank us for our efforts, and pitch in. We discussed what might be done to discourage further dumping and found out about other dump sites in more discreet locations. There is definitely more to be done in this unique development on the river.
|Unloading at Sizemore Rd.|
Many thanks to Mark Larimore (co-owner of Sheppard Mill) and Randy Young for providing their own trucks to haul everything to the county's Sizemore Rd. facility. Thanks again to Sara Jo Durham for taking care of the paperwork and to the County for waiving our tipping fee. Stokes County values healthy and clean rivers!
|A happy, hard-working group|
I also want to extend special thanks to Alan Wood, Stokes County Economic Development Director, and his son, Jacob, for taking time out of a precious Spring Saturday to show their support for the river. And, of course, Ben and Allison Kelble, Jimmy Newsome, John Davis, and Vanessa Melvin – thanks for pitching in!
Discussions are underway to post some “No Dumping” signs in the Dan River Shores community as a reminder for folks. No one wants to clean up the same dump site twice! Dealing with the erosion, streambank stabilization and trespassing issues will take more time and coordination among the residents and property owners in the development.
The Dan River Basin Association's Stokes Office is organizing two upcoming river sweeps in April and May in addition to sweeps by the Tarheel Paddlers Association and High Point University's outdoor program.