When you mix camping, canoeing, fishing, fire-making, pocket knives, fireworks, guns, and a rope swing on an Eastern North Carolina river with a group of fathers and sons you get high adventure. On this annual paddle trip, our group tackled a short length of the Lumber River south of Lumberton, NC. Paddle newbie, Brian Grajzar, and his son, Brad, joined my son, Sawyer, and I to test our outdoor survival skills. Brad and Sawyer are both 11 and the joined a group of 4 other young boys. This trip was highlighted by getting our boys to help with campsite set-up and breakdown, cooking and cleaning and safe river seamanship. Best parts were target shooting with BB guns and a 22 rifle brought by father and son, Dustin and Sawyer (#2). I managed to hang a makeshift rope swing with Brian’s solid baseball throw over a pine tree limb about 40 feet up. Despite the 50 degree water temperature, our boys jumped at the chance to swing and swim. The swing action peaked when Brian, our newbie father, made an attempt and got his ankle hung in the rope. As he dropped into the chilly water of the Lumber, his back slapped first and he hung upside down head submerged. After giving our group a good scare, Brian quickly recovered uninjured, other than a cherry red back. Many thanks to Stratford Donnell and Cleve Nordeen who scouted this river a few weeks ahead of our trip. This was a perfect stretch of the river with ample camp sites. Our crew discovered an island honoring it with the name “Leaning Pine Island.” I’m sure we will see this stretch of the Lumber river in the coming years. Photography by Steve Exum and Stratford Donnell.