I was lying back with my face staring into the sun. I could hear the sound of the deep water surrounding me and splashing against the sides of the patched canoe. I could hear the numerous, wild birds chirping, the squirrels running up the thick, leafless tree branches, and the beautiful fish boisterously jumping along beside us. It was the absence of traffic, the absence of worries, and the absence of stress. It was the simplicity of divine nature. I was moving along with the swift current of the water; yet, it seemed as if time had stopped. Sometime later, we would arrive on the steep, wooded river bank that ran parallel to our home. It was more than just a canoe trip that my Father and I took quite frequently; it was a growing collection of happy and sacred memories.
My hometown is known for being a Land of Two Rivers…the Dan River and Smith River. These two beautiful rivers run throughout my hometown and join together at one remote, wooded area…The Point. Not only is this the spot where the two rivers unite, but it is also the spot where I spent all of my childhood…my home was built upon this very spot. I never took for granted the majestic scenery and ancient landings that awaited me outside my bedroom window each morning.
Historic canals, dams, and free-flowing sections of the rivers tell a captivating story of the industries that once thrived here…industries that utilized the power of the water to supply our country with domestic goods. The Dan River still shows the remains of Leaksville Landing-a port for bateau trade that took place beginning in 1792. Cotton mills, grist mills, and other industries all depended on the two flowing rivers, thus serving as key components to the thriving local economy. However, times have since changed and now fishermen, paddlers, and picnickers float along these two notable rivers in search of adventure, solitude, and enjoyment. Lifelong residents, such as myself, tend to call this passive way of living “life in the fast lane…land of two rivers style.”