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   P1070723 175 exuberant paddlers set off early this morning for our first day on the fabulous Flint river.

 Although we had anticipated cool fall weather, temps warmed up to the upper 80’s today- a welcome delight for those that decided to brave the beautiful but chilly 68 degree blue holes we encountered at Radium and Wilson Blue Springs.

Some folks even had the foresight to bring their snorkels to peer down into the depths where the water spewed forth.

P1070715Camm Swift and Brett Albanese- ichthyologists extraordinaire- dragged their seine net and scooped up a plethora of shiner, sunfish, minnow, and bass, etc… not to mention the scorpion water bug that resembled a walking stick but had a powerful bite for those that accidentally made a misstep.

 

The limestone topography dotted the river banks resembling a moonscape, with Floridan Aquifer spring water gurgling up from the depths below. Lush green ferns and vibrant red and purple flowers hung over the karst ledges and caves beneath like a garden, with the occasional waterfall beckoning us to come closer. 

You never would have guessed that you were paddling through downtown Albany until we made a special detour to the Flint Riverquarium.

Paddlers parked their vessels under the overhanging branches of giant cypress and made there way 200 feet around the construction of a new riverwalk and boat launch to the Aquarium.

It was such an interesting experience to go from the secluded and intimate river corridor into revitalized downtown Albany with its pedestrian street signs marking points of interest only walking distance away- such as the James Brown Memorial. 

The Riverquarium is a must see with very well done exhibits of native river life, such as catfish, gar, terrapin & alligator snapping turtles, albino alligator and even tanks with animals from the gulf- such as octopus, sea horse, piranha, shark, and urchin.

Although it was the shortest paddle of the trip at 14 miles,  the scenery along the way made us yearn to stay on the river longer. Giant cypress tress with there elbows and knees flanked almost every bank, twisting and jutting out of the water resembling picturesque statues of everything from swans and dancers, to mother and child.

Fathers paddling alongside their daughters,  mothers with their sons, such a heartening sight to see that these paddling adventures have become such a special family affair.

At the end of the paddle, the colorful assortment of kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards were lined up on the sandy riverbank and the buses lined up to whisk everyone back to our lovely temporary home at Chehaw Park where showers and the evening festivities awaited.

We were thrilled to be joined by Flint river supporter, Representative Winfred J Dukes (Albany)!

Evening entertainment and educational presentations also included Brett Albanese, GA DNR and Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper,

What a fabulous day! Really excited about tomorrow’s journey…

Keep on rollin’ down the river ~

Gwyneth Moody,

Georgia River Network.
Community Programs Coordinator

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catawba 2Today was our longest paddle at a little over twenty miles. With 5 successful and exuberant days behind us, everyone’s confidence level and enthusiasm in being a part of, and continuing this awe-inspiring journey was soaring high.catawba 1

Evan Newman even convinced his parents that he was fine to continue paddling after breaking his finger the previous evening while horsing around!

Now that’s what I call a kid having a blast on the river…

Joe Kidd caught a Catawba caterpillar that he explained is a favorite food of many fish, as it commonly drops into the river from the leguminous Catawba tree leaves it munches on. The Catawba tree is a popular tree planted along rivers by fisherman looking to use the ‘worm’ as bait.

turtle 3Some of the wildlife seen along the way demonstrated the not so peachy parasitic side of life, including a swing 1leach attached to a baby yellow-bellied slider turtle. Every organism has its own unique role to play in the web of life.

P1050486Another interesting sight was the white egg cases of the Dobsonfly dotting the underside of trees and leaves along the riverbank. These little aquatic insects hatch out and drop into the water as nymphs and are fearsome top invertebrate predators with well-developed jaws. After one to three years they pupate into flying adults, mate, lay eggs and begin the life cycle again.

The sun came out in all its glory and paddlers were quick to leap out of their boats to enjoy the various rope swings along the way.

P1050733Of all the mascots gracing paddler’s boats the most historic was a photo of 19th century Naturalist, William Bartram who Georgia River Network board member, rain 1Dorinda Dallmeyer said she always takes with her on paddling trips.

After getting our dose of sun, refreshing rain showers moved in overhead giving the water a silvery hue speckled with sculptural like water droplets.

P1050889We ended our day on the river at Chattahoochee Bend State Park where we were welcomed with open arms, cold watermelon, and refreshing drinks.

Oh so delicious! P1060016

We were also excited and honored to have Georgia House of Representatives Natural Resource Committee Chair, Lynn Smith; Eagle Scout, Harrison Blair, and DNR Parks, Recreation, and Historic Sites Division Director, Becky Kelley show their support and pay us a visit.

After a fun-filled day on the river, a short rejuvenating nap on the bus was just what some people needed to be energized for the ‘No Talent Show’ that took place later in the evening.IMG_8915

P1060025The talent show was a big hit with performances ranging from horse-head hoola-hooping, acapella trio’s, and a recorder virtuoso, to comedy routines and a hilarious, skit celebrating Georgia River Network’s Executive Director, April Ingle and some of her memorably funny moments on Paddle Georgia over the last 10 years.P1060170

P1060258So sad that we have only one more day on the Chattahoochee River! But what amazing memories we will have to take back home with us!

 

 

Keep on rollin’ on the river ~

Gwyneth Moody

 

 

 

 

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AP1030923fter a taste of the week ahead, day 2 of Paddle Georgia 2014 started out with even more excitement than the first!

We set out for the days’ 15 mile adventure on Jones Bridge Shoals with gP1040058uidance from our savvy safety boaters. The chilly water splashed our faces giving everyone a second burst of energy.

Many paddlers took Joe Cook’s challenge of awarding a prize to whoever collected the most golf balls very seriously and could be seen braving the frigid water to collect their bounty of white gold.

The beautiful sunny hot weather felt amazing, and a cool spray-down from the devilish Paddle Georgia Pirates was a welcome reprieve to some and a jolting shock to others.

Paddlers have great pride in their personal canoes and kayaks and outfit their boats not only with fancy piratesseats and fishing rods, but also mascots of all shapes and sizes.  From Godzilla and King Kong to roses and flamingos, nothing is too geeky or posh for Paddle Georgian’s.P1040006

Although we are paddling through metro Atlanta, abundant wildlife could be seen above and below the  water. Red Shouldered Hawks, Mallard Ducks, Pileated woodpeckers, Spottail shiner, Yellow-Bellied Slifish boyder turtles, Crane Fly larvae,  Muskrat, and River Otter are just a few of the critters paddlers reported seeing along the way.P1040087

One of the awe-inspiring aspects of Paddle Georgia is the number of families that participate year after year and who have made this an essential part of their summer vacation. Georgia River Network’ staff have watched kids grow from boisterous bouncy boys and girls into mature young men and women in the 10 years Paddle Georgia  has been in existence.

The day ended with informative and entertaining presentations by Naturalist Drew Lanhan, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Sally Bethea, and yours truly about Georgia Water Trails.P1040133

Looking forward to another  fabulous day on the Hooch tomorrow!

Keep on rollin’ down the river ~

Gwyneth Moody
Community Programs Coordinator,
Georgia River Network

 

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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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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!

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

Keep on rollin’ on the river!

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Join Georgia River Network and Flint Riverkeeper for the Paddle Georgia 2013

“End of Journey Celebration!”

Fish Fry and Party

pgbanner
frk 2

Bainbridge, GA – Earle May Boat Basin/Cheney Griffin Park

Friday, June 21

2:00 PM – 8:00 PM with dinner at 6:00

Tickets – $15 and are available at: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6772090505/efblike#

Welcome the 350-member Paddle Georgia navy as it arrives at its final destination – Bainbridge, Georgia – after their 7-day, 106-mile adventure on the Flint River from Warwick to Bainbridge.

There will be live music, a fish fry with all the fixins’, games and celebration.

To purchase tickets for the fish fry go to: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6772090505/efblike#

Bring your lawn chair and join the fun!

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Have you REGISTERED for the CHATTAHOOCHEE HIDDEN GEMS PADDLING TRIP- MAY 18th?

Take a behind the scenes look at the work horse of Atlanta with not only an awe-inspiring presentation about this sections history – but also fascinating presentations on the wildlife that resides here and ways that you can get involved in water quality monitoring and river cleanups in your community.

Where: Chattahoochee River in Southwest Metro Atlanta (The stretch we are paddling is 13.1 miles and has beginner class 1 rapids).
When: Saturday, May 18th ~ 8AM – 5PM
Cost:     
$50 ~ Includes Boat Rental, Lunch, and ACA Insurance ($35 kids- 18 and under)
$25 ~ Includes Lunch and ACA Insurance, Bring your own Boat
$15 ~ Includes ACA Insurance, Bring your own Boat and Lunch

May 18th… It’s gonna be AWESOME!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR GOOD TIMES…

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 Flint Riverkeeper1

TASTE the FLINT
-River Trip Series-
First paddle of 2013 kicks off March 23rd!

Explore and understand the natural diversity of the Flint River

Join us for 2013’s first Taste the Flint River Trip

Saturday, March 23rd

Upper Flint, near Thomaston

8:00am: Meet at State Route 74 bridge

6+ hour trip to Sprewell Bluff Recreation Area

Moderate-Experience Paddling Skills Required for this trip

*Registrants will be sent additional details and directions

-SPACE IS LIMITED-

Register by emailing jayme@flintriverkeeper.org

OR call 229.435.2241, 229.220.9796

  • FRk members who bring their own canoe $15 each
  • FRk members who need to borrow canoe $25 each
  • Non-members who bring their own canoe $35 each
  • Non-members who need to borrow canoe $45 each
  • FREE trip & boat usage for up to three volunteers who will help load boats and gear at the conclusion of the trip

(non member cost includes one-year of FRk membership)
*pricing includes kayaks, too

More TASTE the FLINT River Trips are planned for the rest of the year, throughout the Flint watershed:

 

Saturday, April 20th: Middle Flint, near Montezuma

 

Saturday in May, TBA: Upson-Thomaston Chamber of Commerce

3rd Annual Poker Float

 

Saturday, June 15th- Friday, June 21st: Paddle Georgia on Lower Flint

*this event is sold-out, but you can be included on the wait list

and find other details here

*Although sold-out, Paddle Georgia coordinators are seeking solutions to accommodate those on the wait list

 

Saturday in July, TBA: Baker-Mitchell Sheriff’s Home poker Float

 

Saturday, October 5th: Lower Flint, near Albany

 

-all scheduled trips are subject to change due to weather and flow conditions-

We hope to see you on the river!

BECOME A FRk MEMBER TO PROTECT YOUR FLINT RIVER!

The mission of the Flint Riverkeeper® (FRk) is to restore and preserve the habitat, water quality, and flow of the Flint River for the benefit of current and future generations and dependent wildlife. Flint Riverkeeper is a fully licensed member of the Waterkeeper Alliance; a participating member of the Georgia Water Coalition; and a member-group of EarthShare of Georgia.

Copyright© 2009 Flint Riverkeeper. All rights reserved
Flint Riverkeeper | P.O. Box 468, Albany Ga. 31702 | (229) 435-2241

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Paddle Georgia set to ride Flint

~Albany Herald.com~

ALBANY, Ga. — Gentlemen and ladies, start your kayaks.

flintPGPaddle Georgia, a project of Georgia River Network is entering its ninth year, officials say, and has opened registration for the 106-mile canoe and kayak paddle down the lower Flint River June 15-21.

According to GRN, in previous years organizers have guided more than 2,400 paddlers on more than 800 miles of Georgia rivers, including the Chattahoochee, Etowah, Ocmulgee, Flint, Coosawattee-Oostanaula, Broad-Savanna, Oconee and Altamaha. The trips have generated more than $125,000 for the purpose of protecting Georgia’s rivers. Officials say the 350 available paddle spots were claimed within 14 days from the opening of registration.

“The event has become a hot ticket, so we’re encouraging people to make their plans for the summer now,” said Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia coordinator in a special release. “This is a unique opportunity to vacation in Georgia and see it in a way you never have before.”

The week-long excursion will begin at Lake Blackshear Dam near Warwick, continue past Albany and on to Bainbridge and the backwaters of Lake Seminole, officials say. Paddlers will coast beneath limestone bluffs and visit a “blue hole” spring. There will expecting viewings of alligators, otters, bald eagles and other wildlife.

READ FULL ARTICLE:

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2013/feb/17/paddle-georgia-set-to-ride-flint/?sports

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