Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 43

IF YOU GO
Costumed wenches and gentry
give tours of Smithfield
Plantation in Blacksburg, Va.,
March - November. smithfieldplantation.org
540-231-3947
Eats are as fresh as from
Smithfield's garden at the new
Black Hen farm-to-table, restaurant
at 126 Jackson Street, NW,
Blacksburg, VA 24060, (540) 9513000,
theblackhenrestaurant.
com
For a good night's sleep, walk
three blocks to Clay Corner Inn
on 401 Clay Street SW,
Blacksburg - VA 24060; 540552.4030
- claycorner.com
-Su Clauson-Wicker
RUNNING THE NEW
RIVER, HISTORICALLY
The water of the Upper New
River froths like uncorked
champagne. We're zipping
toward a boulder bigger than
a Volvo. In a wooden boat.
"We're running it on the
right," shouts the captain.
"Then make a hard left.
Hard left, you hear?"
His long sweep paddle
groans as he throws his full
weight onto it, prying our
bow away from rocks. The
rear sweep paddler is pulling
hard, trying to angle us away
from danger. I wonder what
I am doing in this antique
craft, this batteau. The rapids
whip alongside until suddenly
we're in the clear. We
whoop and cheer.
Two hundred years ago
flat-bottomed batteaux traveled
Southern rivers, including
the James, the
Greenbrier and the New. On
this river trip, organized by
West Virginia's Class VI
River Runners, riding the
40-foot batteau is supposed
to be "time out," a relaxing
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 | 43
BRC
Click for video or visit
BlueRidgeCountry.
com/Tubing.
break from paddling kayaks.
But sometimes, riding in
the historic craft can get
hairy, as it does in this rocky
rapids. Batteaux can hit
rocks and break. They can
swamp quickly or hang up
behind a boulder. This has
happened before, just a few
years earlier in New River
Gorge.
Normally though, a batteau
glides through choppy
water as smoothly as a serpent,
while kayakers toss in
the waves. It seems easy, poling
along, floating sometimes,
observing the herons,
enjoying the serenity of the
river.
I lean back and watch the
shore slither past; I could be
Cleopatra on her barge ...
until the captain decides he
needs me. "Sweep for
awhile," he says, handing me
a 15-foot steering oar. For a
few minutes, I'm hustling,
thrusting the pole through
the choppy waters and trying
to act as rudder around
rocks. When we hit smooth
water, I give up the oar and
watch the riffles slide by
until I fall asleep.
WANT TO TRY IT?
Join the Virginia Canals and
Navigations Society (vacanals.
org), which organizes the festival
and cleanup events. James River
Batteau Festival on June 20-27,
2015 starts at Percival's Island in
Lynchburg and floats through
Nelson, Fluvanna, and Goochland
counties.
Batteau Festival followers can
sleep in plantation house style at
Chester Inn, 243 James River
Road * Scottsville, VA 24590
(434) 286-3960 * chesterbed.
com
And dine with an eye on the
water at Tavern on the James,
280 Valley Street, Scottsville , VA
24590; 434-286-3500; tavernonthejames.com
-Su
Clauson-Wicker
TUBE-SQUADDING IN
NORTH GEORGIA
On a sunny Sunday in
September, I stand with
water up to my knees,
learning how to be a Tube
Catcher, Tube Thrower and
Tube Stacker. These are
actual jobs in the mountains
of Helen, Georgia.
And here, on the
Chattahoochee River, it's
the mission for the employees
of Cool River Tubing
Company to make tubing
seem seamless for thousands
of visitors each year.
To get in the tube mood,
I simply started my day by
going tubing - and seeing
Helen's restaurants, like
Cafe International, at the
river's edge. Next, I feasted
on drunken mussels and
broccoli for lunch at Bigg
The "Tube Squad" makes
tubing seem seamless at
Cool River Tubing Company.
http://www.plantation.org http://www.vacanals.org http://www.vacanals.org http://www.theblackhenrestaurant.com http://www.theblackhenrestaurant.com http://www.claycorner.com http://www.chesterbed.com http://www.chesterbed.com http://www.tavernonthejames.com http://www.tavernonthejames.com http://www.BlueRidgeCountry.com/Tubing http://www.BlueRidgeCountry.com/Tubing http://www.BlueRidgeCountry.com/Tubing

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015

Letters
From the Editor & Digital Help Guide
Mill Creek Stories
Creature Feature
The Hike
Great Buys
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Creature Feature
Festivals & Events
The Curios: Our Annual Compendium of the Strange
North Georgia: A Foodie Haven
Why We Travel: The Photoessay
The 2015 Blue Ridge Country Travel Guide: A Year of Experiences
The Weekend: Harpers Ferry and Western Maryland
The Old Stone Chimney
Cabin in the Woods: Fiddler’s Roost
Mountain Garden
Guest Column: Author Stephanie Jeffries
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Letters
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - From the Editor & Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Great Buys
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Curios: Our Annual Compendium of the Strange
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - North Georgia: A Foodie Haven
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Why We Travel: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The 2015 Blue Ridge Country Travel Guide: A Year of Experiences
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Weekend: Harpers Ferry and Western Maryland
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - The Old Stone Chimney
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cabin in the Woods: Fiddler’s Roost
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Guest Column: Author Stephanie Jeffries
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2015 - Cover4
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