My Kind of Dan: Changing Seasons

Pardon me for jumping the gun a little bit, but we are in the waning days of the summer and that means my favorite season is on its way. Autumn has a little something for everybody. Beautiful colors in the trees, crisp air inviting you to sit around a campfire, pumpkin flavored everything. Just thinking about it gets me excited. I like summer a lot, but the fall is just something extra special. 

The mountains usually beckon around the fall time. North Carolina boasts some of the prettiest mountain scenery in the world, and the bright, vibrant colors of the changing leaves are breathtaking. But the beauty and vibrancy of nature is actually much closer by. The Dan River is as much a part of the magnificence of North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Nestled near some of the state’s beautiful mountain ranges, the Dan is a great way to experience that pure feeling of nature in fall. Riding down the river, hiking the trails along side it, and just following the path as it flows will allow you to see sights you may never have even seen before. The wildlife is diverse, including a very large variety of birds that attract bird watchers from areas near and far.

Of course, there’s lots to do on the river during the summer, of which we have already featured on this blog- tubing, kayaking, fishing, etc. But when that crisp breeze of fall hits you when you’re on the water and the trees are alive with bright changes, it makes these things much more colorful (pun intended.)

I’m all for sweating it out in the summer, getting a tan while splashing in the refreshing waters of the river, and there’s plenty time left to do that. But now is about the time each year I get anxious for the fall. The first signs of its arrival are beginning to show, and there’s no better way to welcome it than out on the Dan.

Need ideas for what to do on the Dan? Check out the Dan River Basin Association.

Which do you like better- summer, fall, or one of the other seasons? Let us know on our social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

My Kind of Dan: Tubing Day-cation

What are you doing this summer? I have a couple of trips planned, myself. I’ll be hitting the coast a couple of times and seeing family and friends. It’s vacation season. But what about the in between weeks? How does one relax and have fun before and after vacation?

Well, how does floating down a river for a few hours sound? Grab some friends and/ or family, a pack or two of your favorite cold beverage, and hit up one of the amazing outfitters in the area- Three Rivers Outfitters, Dan River Adventures, or the Dan River Company. They have all you need for a tubing trip and will even chauffer you to your input and output areas.

If you’ve never tubed down the river, let me tell you it’s quite a unique experience. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You just float in a tube at a leisurely pace and allow yourself to let go of the work week and all its business. It’s really the perfect outing for all. The Dan flows at the perfect pace, the scenery is gorgeous, and the water is fine. In fact, the river is at a great level right now. Check out the current river conditions here: 

The only question now is- what are you waiting for? If you’re just past your summer vacation or still waiting for it to arrive, the Dan is waiting to take you away from the hustle and bustle on a long, slow ride to escape. It’s my kind of relaxation. And that’s my kind of Dan. 

My Kind of Dan: Fishing on the River

Father’s Day is this weekend. It’s an important day to remember the figures in our lives that have fathered us and to celebrate the traditions that we have shared with them. When I think of this day I am often reminded of that iconic picture of Andy and his son Opie walking down a trail with their fishing poles from the opening titles of The Andy Griffith Show (now I’m whistling the theme song). There’s distinct camaraderie there between the two as they share a day full of something they love to do.

I like to fish, and I’ve often done so with my dad. Truth be told, we’re not that great at it. And mostly, fishing is just sitting around and waiting (for my dad and I, it’s waiting a long time!) But that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? The time you get to spend out in nature with someone you care about is the most important part.

I don’t live that far from the Dan River, and it’s the perfect place to find these kinds of moments. With plenty of access sites all over Eden you can pick your fishing style- wade in and fly fish, rent a canoe let the current take you to a bend in the river, or just take a seat on a bank and hope for the best. And what will you find nibbling at your bait (if you’re so lucky)? Trout and Striped Bass are common and among the most popular catches. But you may find yourself pulling up some Walleye or Blue Catfish. The river is rich with lots of underwater life.

Wherever you choose to drop your line and however lucky you get, take a moment to look around. The serenity of the Dan is sure to capture you. And if there’s someone with you, notice for a few minutes the feeling you get of connecting with them away from the distractions of life. It’s the stuff of good stories and whistle-worthy tunes. 

My Kind of Dan: Kayaking Down the River

Living in the Piedmont of North Carolina is a special place to be. One positive thing I often hear from my fellow residents of the area is the fact that we are no more than 2- 3 hours from the mountains to the west and the beaches to the east.  It’s easy to get far away without going too far. But an even better fact about this area is that you can get away and find some adventure right in your own backyard. In fact, there is plenty to do just up the road from me on the Dan River. 

One of my favorite things to do during the summer is kayaking. It’s exhilarating to push myself through the water and experience nature in its element. It makes me feel connected to life like few other things can. 

There are plenty of water adventures to find on the Dan River. There are all kinds of wildlife you can encounter as you paddle through the Hammer-Stern Wilderness Preserve, rapids of varying difficulty to ride in many sections of the river, and a large variety of birds you can spot no matter where you are – maybe even a peregrine falcon or two.

Call me a rogue but I like to go my own way and just rent a kayak and see where the water leads me. But if you’re unsure of how to get started or where to go, there are kayak tours you can go on. Places like Three Rivers Outfitters, The Dan River Company, and Dan River Adventures provide guided tours on the water for not much cost.  It’s also a great way to get a group together for a trip down the river. You don’t even have to kayak; you can go in a canoe or a tube.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget what’s around us. We live in a state rich with the stuff of adventures. The Dan is no exception. If you’re in the mood for an experience with nature this summer, try kayaking down the Dan. If you paddle long enough, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for.