The guests and staff of the weekly “Canoe the New” program at Survivor fame attended the program with their families. “Big Tom” lives just across the mountain in the community of Rich Valley with his wife Sandy. Lex who resides in Santa Cruz, California, was visiting his Survivor ally this week. The two became friends while appearing on Survivor Africa and the Survivor All-Stars. During Survivor Africa, which aired in 2001, the two held a close alliance which carried them all the way to the final four. The pair also appeared on Survivor All-Stars which aired in 2004, where both made it to the final merge and onto the jury. Unfortunately neither won the million dollars.
The competition this day however, was who could catch the most smallmouth bass and who could keep their canoe afloat! The fishing contest ended in a dead heat with both contestants landing two fish. As for the boating contest, Lex prevailed as “Big Tom” went down with his ship within sight of the take-out point. All in all the whole group enjoyed a beautiful day on the scenic New River.
The park conducts “Canoe the New” programs each Tuesday June thru August. Trips for groups can be booked other days of the week according to staff availability. If you would like to schedule a trip down the river, please call the Hungry Mother State Park office at (276) 781-7400.