I was lamenting to a paddling friend about the woes of the Green River. The number of float bubbas had increased to the point that it made paddling the lower Green less fun than it might be. In fact, we had started paddling the Tuckaseegee more than the Green because it was less crowded. My friend told me that they have instituted new, stricter rules regarding alcohol and other abuses, and that the crowds and diminished somewhat. Eager to see if that was the case, I grabbed cameras and headed up toward Saluda and the Green River.
The Saluda Highway is always a challenge on weekends. It’s a favorite cycling route, so automobiles must contend with large packs of bicycles. I made it to the town and proceeded to the river. To my dismay, I found that the cyclists had discovered the twisting road down into the Green River Valley. The road has about twenty very sharp switchbacks, and it’s not the place to come upon a bicycle unexpectedly. While I have nothing against cyclists (having been one myself at one time), I just can’t see this as being a good thing. I paused at the tope of the switchbacks to get a shot of the valley itself.
The put-in wasn’t crowded at all. It’s still early in the season, and today was much cooler than usual, so this is probably not a good gauge of how crowded things might be. There a group of kids from a new company called Green River Adventures. This group appeared to be a little more responsible than the idiots that rented tubes to any drunk redneck to happen by. There was also a man with three kids in kayaks just getting started on a run. I watched in amazement as two kids around the age of ten handled a couple of rodeo boats with no problem at all.
I continued on along the Green River Cove Road toward Lake Adger. I was disappointed to see signs of clear-cutting as I approached the lake area. I guess water just attracts development. I hate it for this area, though.
My route circled on back to Holcombe Cove Road, and back toward Saluda. I then took Howard Gap Road northwards, and eventually made my way to Tuxedo. As I drove along these country roads, I noticed a common element to the little Baptist churches in the area. Each as a white cross with a four-word message. The first part is printed on the crossbar, and the second two words are printed vertically. Sometimes a different message is printed n the reverse side.
At dinner I wondered aloud if there was some area association that had agreed to place the signs. Glynda said that given the competition between Baptist churches of that type, it was more likely a competition rather than agreement – one church put up the first sign, another saw it and thought they could do just as well, and soon all had it.