"You get some people who like the white water, but when you come out here, it's peaceful," said Al Flora, organizer one of three weekend events and an avid canoeist.
We paddled through small riffles, and past rugged scenery, with the river pretty much to ourselves. But that's not how it will be this weekend.
"We're expecting a thousand paddlers this weekend -- and that's incredible. We already have double the amount we had last year signed up for Friday night," said Mark Hudzik with Platinum Sponsor Member One Credit Union and a county resident.
"Riding through the County whether is Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday or Saturday or Sunday, you're going to see some type of boat on top of vehicles going to the river, pulling out from the river. It's beautiful," he said.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE RAMBLE WEEKEND.
Franklin county will host three paddling events this weekend -- on both the Blackwater and Pigg rivers. There's a night paddle Friday, a race on Saturday and a leisurely breakfast paddle Sunday morning… growing an event that started way back in the 70's.
"Friday night is just a good time. Come out and float for folks. Saturday there is a race option -- race 8 miles downriver, but there is a float option as well meet with friends and hang out. And Sunday is just a fun time as well, said Paul Chapman, director of Franklin County Parks and Recreation.
On our trip, which started at Waid Park, the river was a bit low. Our canoe and kayaks scraping bottom repeatedly – but the weather forecast calls for rain before the weekend, creating perfect conditions. And the county is trying to build a reputation for perfect paddling.
It's a reputation that's building.
"There are people that come from North Carolina, Maryland pretty much up and down the east coast come for this event. So it's a great way for not only folks that live here to have a good time, but also to show what great things we have here to folks that don't live here," said Chapman.
People will float in canoes, kayaks and even flat bottomed boats. But mostly it will be kayaks which are small and turn easily, the perfect vessel to take in a part of the world that relatively few people ever get the chance to experience.
"Franklin County is a beautiful place to live and to visit, and we think how better to showcase our County than to get people out on the river for the weekend," said Hudzik.
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