Growing Up on the River

Bob Brown | Alabama, California, Virginia and North Carolina

Our family spent a lot of time on rivers in Alabama. The Coosa River, the Cahaba River and the Black Warrior. Summer months meant every weekend we would head out to the river to ski, fish, float and navigate the waterways. I learned to water ski on the Black Warrior and spent many hours fishing on the banks. Our family cabin was at Little Shoals, which still exists today.

I learned to respect, admire and appreciate the rivers. We regularly would stop to pickup trash while riding in the boat. My parents taught me the importance of maintaining the rivers because we relied on them for drinking water, food and fun. I’ve carried that respect and appreciation throughout my life, to every river I’ve been on.

While living in CA, I got the chance to spend time on many rivers in the Northern part of the state… The Sacramento, the Feather, The Trinity, Smith River, the Cosumnes River and many others. Such a wondrous place to live, even considering the conflict of dams and water diversion, as well as the fight for water rights for farms.

Now, living in North Carolina, I’m starting to learn about the Eno and the Neuse rivers and we live on the North Fork of the Little River. This past summer, I got a chance to visit the New River in VA. I learned that the New River is the oldest river in North America and that is flows North.

No matter what river I visit, float on or pass over, my mind takes me back to the rivers of Alabama and the memories with my family, when my Love of Rivers first began.

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