DAY 10: MORNING UPDATE!
Yesterday was a loooong day!
Day 10: Our last full day of the #NeuseRiverRising paddle was lazy and hot. The sun burnt bright overhead as we pulled onto the river, and we were all lathered in sunscreen and wearing what we could do shield ourselves from its rays. We intentionally started the day later than usual; the previous evening’s paddle was so spectacular that we opted for another dusk on the water. We had about 12 miles to paddle from our camp at Maple Cypress boat ramp to our final campsite at Cowpen Landing. The heat and sun made us feel like we were back in summer—fall hasn’t yet really arrived in the lowest parts of the watershed. In these reaches of the Neuse, the river runs wide and slow, and in the swampier areas it’s hard to detect a flow at all. The water looked like glass as our kayaks fit across the vivid reflections of the trees overhead.
We kayaked on the south side of the river to hide under the stout shadows projected by the trees lining that bank. Shadow hopping, we passed the popular Core Creek and a couple alluring swampy cut throughs like Turkey Quarter Creek and Greens Thorofare, that could each offer a days worth of swamp sightseeing and adventure. As we paddled closer and closer to our final destination in New Bern, the river began to take on more estuarian characteristics. Seagulls squaw overhead and the river is lined with little pockets of blackwater swamp hosting bald cypress and swamp magnolia in still, translucent blackwater. On this day, the river began to smell saltier and we started side eyeing logs worrying they might be alligators. Finally, the first hints that the river will get much wider and salty before running into the Pamlico Sound.
We finished the day making a humble camp at the Cowpen Landing boat ramp. To our surprise, some gracious locals offered us food they happened to have extra of, and we gratefully accepted yet another free meal. The people of the Neuse just keep on giving!
And speaking of giving, if you like what we are doing on this wild 11 day awareness raising paddle of the Neuse and want to support our work protecting it, please consider donating to Sound Rivers:
We can’t wait to be joined by members of the public for the very last leg of our 11 day journey. Join us TODAY at noon at the Glenburnie Park boat ramp in New Bern! From there we’ll paddle the 5 or so final miles to Lawson Creek park, where we’ll end our epic adventure!