I was working at Radford University at the time this image was made and I had canoed this river many times and knew the area well. I was looking for a late afternoon image of the river from the high bluffs and it just felt like the right day.
It was about a ten mile drive to the location that I had in mind and my timing was pretty good. I made several exposures and waited to see if a boat might possibly come along. I knew from experience that during the late afternoon, boaters would float the river and sure enough this one provided me with a focal point for my image. It was much better than having a blank open river. Best of all, it turned sideways as it entered my image zone. Perfect, and I can remember it to this day.
The New River flows south to north from North Carolina to the Ohio River. This was the same area where a rogue band of Indians kidnapped a pioneer woman, Mary Draper Ingles in 1755 and forced her to travel 800 miles to the north. She later escaped and made her way home alone but she was described as a walking skeleton and naked when she arrived back at her home at Draper's Meadow near Blacksburg, VA . She was 23 years old, and this was November with a light snow falling. You have to wonder how anyone could have survived crossing that river alone and climbing the high bluffs along the river. This was not far from where I captured this image.
Her story was described in detail by Alexander Thom in his book, The Long Way Home. In 1995 a movie was made for TV titled, Follow the River.