What does The Summit’s Aquatics Program Manager Isaac Colvard like to read on his (minimal) time off? Well funny you should ask, he is a huge history buff and when I asked him this very same question today he shot me back two links to some of his favorites books. Low and behold both books are full of in depth history about the Appalachian Mountains that surround our reserve…and you guessed it, The New River. He first sent me this book, Follow the River by James Alexander Thom, which follows
Mary Ingles who was twenty-three, married, and pregnant, when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement, killed the men and women, then took her captive. For months, she lived with them, unbroken, until she escaped, and followed a thousand mile trail to freedom–an extraordinary story of a pioneer woman who risked her life to return to her people.
He says it’s well worth the read and gives some great insight into the folks that now make up the communities in the Appalachian Mountains. His other suggestion was Far Appalachia by Noah Adams.
Distilling history from legend, Adams tells of men and women whose lives crossed the New River before him: Daniel Boone, fleeing his farming family in search of wilderness; Cherokee Indians driven west on their Trail of Tears; and the ill-fated men who traveled thousands of miles to work on the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel, making a fortune for a company while their lungs filled with deadly silica dust. And along the way Adams follows the echoes of his own distant heritage, interweaving his river journey through Appalachia with yet another voyage, thousands of miles away.
This is a great read for getting all the information you could ever want on the history of The New River, as well as some laughs here and there. So while you are packing your gear for your next adventure (possibly to our scout reserve) you may want to stop by your local bookstore, library, kindle app, or where ever you may get your books and pickup one of these reads. It will be sure to help your travel time pass by and get you all caught up and in the know on our Appalachian Mountain Ranges.