Thanks to everyone who came out Thursday for our Legacy Parks Foundation open house at the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center!
We live in a beautiful area, and Legacy Parks HQ is steps away from Volunteer Landing and its access to the Tennessee River. Our hub for canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding and swimming is almost a secret, and we don’t want it to be.
It was great to make new friends and catch up with longtime supporters, and it was rewarding to watch people having fun on the water. Newcomers not only were able to try out kayaks and paddleboards from Billy Lush Boards, but they also got to see how folks regularly use our dock at Volunteer Landing in downtown Knoxville to get out in the water.
For example, there were a bunch of K.O.W.S. – Knoxville Open Water Swimmers (I thought they looked more like dolphins, lol!). These intrepid athletes meet every Thursday to swim from 45 minutes to an hour, covering 2,200-2,800 yards. It’s great training for triathletes. Check them out on Facebook.
Van Davis and Jacoby Yarbro from Club VIBES (Visually Impaired/Blind Enhanced Services) looked like veterans in their first try at kayaking. They used a tandem (double) kayak.
“We had fun,” said Van, a volunteer who doesn’t like to be called one because he’s “just hanging out and enjoying” himself. “It was difficult because it was our first time. Both of our shoulders were starting to get sore, so we decided to go ahead and stop before we overdid it.”
“I loved it,” said Jacoby, who lost his sight to diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. “I’m terrible at swimming, … but I do like being in the water. It’s nice to get wet and get rid of the heat.”
Jacoby, adventurous by nature, has an even bigger challenge coming up.
“Me and a group of blind folks are going whitewater rafting in August.”
Back inside, we had a treat for the crowd still enjoying the new Legacy Trail Ale from Blackhorse Brews. They were able to watch and listen to a live recording of our Outdoor Knoxville Insider podcast, with WBIR anchor John Becker interviewing Mac Post and Ron Shrieves about hiking in the Knoxville area.
Mac and Ron are the authors, along with Christine Hamilton, of “Urban Hikes in Knoxville and Knox County, Tennessee,” now in its second printing (and available in our gift shop!). All three are members of the Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club. John got Mac and Ron to talk about what makes hiking in our area special.
Our monthly podcasts are usually done at Balter Beerworks, so it was fun to have one in our “living room,” so to speak.