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Day 2-PG2015How did you celebrate Father’s Day? For Paddle Georgia participants, it was with a 17 mile float, making today our longest day. The many sweepers and strainers slowed the day down but brought us paddlers together on this long stretch of river. It’s easy to spread out along the water but the jams, after causing short frustration, spawned a new sense of comradery. Paddlers shared sunscreen and jokes referring to the hold up as “worse than Atlanta traffic”. With lots of strainers, miles, and boat traffic, a popular rope swing was a welcomed distraction from this hard paddle. Day 2-PG2015Paddlers challenged each other to see who could jump farthest or who could do the best back flip. We also kept cool with frequent and welcome water gun wars. There is nothing like a little rivalry to boast morale.

This hard paddle took time to tackle, causing the buses to pull us straight into an evening full of great food and riveting talks. Day 2-PG2015
Megan Desrosier, the Executive Director for 100 Miles, presented about Georgia coastal conservation and activism. Tim Echols from the Georgia Public Service Commission spoke on the rising electric car usage in Georgia.

Finally, it was time to retire after a long day. Paddlers went to back to a village of temporary homes, commonly known as Tent City. a unique site created by paddlers. Tents are huddled in the shade, leaving the football field wide open and the goal post to be used as a makeshift clothesline. A strong sense of community is created here, as people sit outside tents in circles sharing opinions and telling stories. Neighbors with portable fans are the most popular. When one woman was attacked by a hill of ants, her neighbors in Tent City came to the rescue with unique home remedies to fix the problem – one of the many instances of generosity and helpfulness exhibited in our temporary home. Other campers have chosen to stay inside the cool gym, turning it into a mattress lined “refugee camp”. Day 2-PG2015After a hard day of paddling, both Tent City and the cool gym are great places to conclude our successful Father’s Day on the Ogeechee River.

Amelia Lord and Jamie Rogers, Paddle Georgia Enthusiasts

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A beautiful mist shrouded the river as participants first set paddle on the Chattahoochee at Settles BridgeP1030471. The water was crystal clear and the river bottom lined with colorful gravel and gnarled drift wood.  So refreshing and majestic….

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) Youth group, most of whom had never paddled before, were a bit hesitant to set out at first, but as soon as they hit the river they paddled their canoes as if dancing onP1030529 the water- smiling from ear to ear. Be sure to check out the Paddle Georgia Youth Blogspot blog throughout the week.P1030572

Ichthyologist Camm Swift was quick to find a Sucker Fish, that he explained was most likely freshly skewered by a Great Blue Heron and accidentally dropped back into the river.

And speaking of fresh fish, kayak fishing in Georgia has grP1030796own exponentially in popularity in recent years,  and Paddle Georgia paddlers are no exception.

Rainbow and Brown Trout are two of the most popular  fish caught by sport fisherman in Metro Atlanta as a result of the rP1030825elease of water from the bottom of  Buford Dam, which has changed the historic warm waters of the river to a chilly 48 degrees and in turn the species of fish that are able to live here. Participants learned more about this at Buford Trout Hatcherythe Buford Trout Hatchery today, where millions of trout are stocked into the Chattahoochee and other Georgia rivers each year.P1030739

But the frigid water didn’t stop kids and adults alike from whipping out their super-soakers and squirt guns and spraying each other down mercilessly with glee- Yippee!

sWhat an amazing first day on the Chattahoochee river…P1030854

The evening was also filled with excitement as Georgia River Network Development Director, Davin Welter announced that 39 canoe-A-thoners raised a stunning $44,000 this year, the most we have ever raised yet!  WOW!!!

Terry Pate took the gold again this year, raising $6,205; followed by John Branch, Tom Beman and James Watson with assistance from his dad Tim.P1030887

We are so very thankful for everyone’s hard work, support and success in taking on this challenge with such vigor and enthusiasm!

So excited about tomorrow’s journey!

Keep on rollin’ down the river ~

Gwyneth Moody

 

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Leslie Avra's Toes Paddle Georgia 2014 has finally arrived for the four hundred and fifty lucky paddlers who won the lottery to attend this year’s 110 mile journey on the Chattahoochee river through Atlanta, and like Leslie Avra, they are toe-tally ready!P1030329P1030331

Volunteers, staff and Paddle Georgia interns arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed at Lambert High School  to prepare for everyone’s registration en-mass and we can’t thank them enough for their hard work and support… P1030332We couldn’t do it with out them!     H I G H    F I V E!

We are always excited to have a large Paddling workshopnumber of novice paddlers join us every year and to assist in boosting their confidence we offer a paddling workshop, which this year was led by extraordinary paddler Steve Kramer.

The excitement and fervor heightened as the shuttle buses arrived  and people dropped their luggage with yelps of joy as theP1030355y reunited with Paddle Georgia buddies from year’s past.

Not only is this year special because it’s Paddle Georgia’s 10 year anniversary, but also because we are stepping up our sustainability goals a notch by going beyond recycling-  and composting all of our food P1030356waste for the first time, thanks to help from Kevin SP1030333mith with Keep Forsyth County Beautiful.

So exciting!

 

 

The classic Paddle Georgia ‘Tent City’ quickly emerged from the Lambert High playing fieP1030409lds complete with pirate flags and mansion sized abode’s. Paddle Georgian’s don’t mess around when it comes to comfort after a long day paddling.

 

By 8 o’clock the crowd was a buzz with exuberant conversation, as everyone settled in, found friends,  made new ones, and devoured a delicious dinner provided by Satterfields Restaurant & Catering.

Paddle Georgia is not just for the hard-core paddler or the river rat, but inclP1030387udes the young and old, and  people of different abilities and backgrounds.

Paddle Georgia allows everyone to join together as a community of paddlers and become part of a bigger movement of river restoration and protection efforts, achieved through getting to know the intimacies of a river.

You just have to be prepared to get a little dirty, spend 7 days on a beautiful river, learn a lot, and have a whole lot of fun with great people!

Can’t wait for our first day on the Hooch to begin!

Keep on rollin’ down the river,

~Gwyneth Moody

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Submit a Photo for this months PHOTO SHOWCASE and STAFF PICK!

This month’s topic is:

Funniest Paddling Photo

Paddling is so much fun and sometimes you can catch people acting pretty silly… Help others see the funny side of paddling by submitting a photo for our photo showcase and staff pick!

Don’t miss the previous photo showcases and staff pick winners and send your photo entry for August to Gwyneth@garivers.org

Also be sure to check out July’s showcase and winning photo for “Best Paddle Georgia 2013 Photo“:

July Photo showcase

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GRN banner2013 Monthly Photo Showcase and GRN Staff Pick of the Month

We want to give a BIG high five to Cindy Leighton, who submitted the winning Staff Pick photo of July’s Showcase

Best Paddle Georgia 2013 Photo

 Cindy Leighton

‘Mysteries Await’

Check out the slide show below to see all of the amazing photos submitted!

July Photo showcase

Make sure to get those creative juices flowing for August’s Topic:

Funniest Paddling Photo

So this is the scoop, each month we have a different theme and invite you to send us a photo that you think best represents the topic of the month.

We will showcase everyone’s photos on our website and social media and one photo per month will receive the illustrious title of ‘GRN Staff Pick of the Month’ and the chosen photo’s author will receive a surprise token of gratitude.

We will accept photo entries up until the third week of each month and announce the GRN staff pick and showcase all photo submissions the last week of each month. Submit your August’s photo entry NOW to Gwyneth@garivers.org

August‘s theme:

Funniest Paddling Photo

Check out the 2013 Monthly Themes:

Looking forward to seeing your AMAZING photos!
Mary and Kit Flamingo Flotilla
Want to see more photos from Paddle Georgia 2013?
Georgia River Network
126 South Milledge Ave. Suite E3, Athens, GA 30605
706-549-4508
http://www.garivers.org
Become a Member Today –
Join

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The last day of Paddle Georgia has finally arrived and paddlers – although a bit P1010890rugged- still had the same spunk and excitement as the first day, P1010900playing, lounging, and cruising along still meeting new people and catching up with paddlers from years past.P1020088

The geology of the river, with the underlying Floridan aquifer, bubbling springs, and towering  cliff banks with hidden fossils of creatures from the Oligocene epoch 35 million years ago and the importance of this resource for water supply, never ceased to amaze paddlers.

Big Slough was an enchanting side trip from the main stem of the Flint- with aquatic plants we had not seen up until now- truly a wetland sanctuary!  And even P1020046the exotic and invasive Hydrilla covering the stream bed with its green fuzzy alien tentacles was a beautiful sight.

The river was lined with dead trees standing tall like telephone poles- which had giant fist sized holes providing housing for Pileated Woodpeckers, Great Crested Flycatchers, Wood Ducks just to name a few….P1020024

P1010949It seemed that around every bend a paddler had found a cozy spot in the shade to take a snooze in their boat-drifting, and bobbing to the rhythm of the river.

We are so proud of the Camp Horizon kids for their positive attitudes and perseverance. Such a strong and inquisitive group – and so much fun to hang out with!P1020041

It was touching to see so many families out on the river together. Steve and Elliot Cousins are such a awesome father/son duo, who have been attending Paddle Georgia for many years, and as Elliot said “It’s a great way to spend quality time together, especially since Paddle Georgia always occurs on Father’s Day”.P1010956

Folks pulled into the last Take-Out with grins from ear to ear and paddles raised high! 106 Georgia river miles under their belt with fantastic stories of their adventures to bring home to family and friends.

P1020098Parrie Pinya, an avid paddler and veteran Paddle Georgian passed onto the great spirits earlier this year and it was her wish to have her ashes spread into the rivers of Georgia she loved so dearly. Needless to say it was a great honor and we took her ashes with us on our entire Paddle Georgia journey and held a Memorial ceremony, releasing her into the beautiful current of the Flint river.P1020183

This has been such a magical experience for us all and we really look forward to seeing everyone next year on the Chattahoochee for Paddle Georgia 2014.

Keep on rollin’ down the river!

Gwyneth Moody

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For all those friends and family who cannot attend Paddle Georgia 2013 but would like to virtually paddle along with us, we have this new and exciting virtual map!

Throughout our journey we will be posting photos with their corresponding GPS locations to this map, so you can enjoy the trip right along with us.
Check it out and share with others!

Image
Click this link:  http://www.garivers.org/paddle_georgia/pgjourney.html#VJ

Keep on rollin’ on the river!

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