The weather was clear, sunny and warm on July 26, 2020, when I paddled my canoe on the New River in Ashe County. I hired the New River Outfitters in south east Ashe County to shuttle me up stream about 7 miles for their "intermediate" trip. I was paddling solo in my medium size Dagger Reflection 15. The river was medium high from recent rains so the current was moving well. With moderatle paddling mixed with coasting along to enjoy the scenery I made the trip in about 2.5 hours. Even with this fairly short mileage and time on the river, I still got several small blisters on my thumbs. Thankfully I had my Northwest River Supplies paddling gloves with me which I wore for the last two miles.
I did not see another canoe and few kayaks. The majority of river floaters were meandering along in rental inner tubes with attached tubes toting coolers full of beer. I was offered a cold beer by three groups so I took two of them.
One difference on this trip from prior outings I that I did not over pack gear. Traditionally I take every piece of equipment that I may need and have too much stuff. It is pain to tote around so much volume and weight of things. This time I only took true necessities, like a canteen of water and a camera. A good time was had with lots of exercise, fresh air and joking with the tubers.