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Tuesday, 31 July 2012 04:07

Columbus Georgia Kayaking

Written by David Minich
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If you like water, you gotta LOVE Columbus!

Columbus, GA has plenty to offer anyone who lives in or visits the Southeast. From the Springer Opera House to the Civil War Museum to Fort Benning to Country's Barbecue, Columbus has it all.

It also has great water. The Chattahoochee River is often described as the main river artery in the state - not to take anything away from Georgia's other great rivers. "The Hooch" begins above Lake Lanier, flows through the lake and on to Atlanta, forms several lakes as it flows along the Alabama border and on down to Columbus. From there it continues to follow the border all the way to Lake Seminole in north Florida. For those who love to fish, it is said that the Chattahoochee contains almost every variety of game fish that one would hope to find in the Southeast. For paddlers, the Hooch offers everything from a lazy paddle on flat water, to rapids that make the heart race. Columbus is in the process of removing several dams,which will create the finest stretch of whitewater that you will find in any major US city. Columbus is without question a destination for kayakers and canoeists of any stripe.

For the folks at Georgia Kayak Fishing and Paddle4Tomorrow, Columbus also has some truly amazing people. Jenna Hughes is from Columbus. Jenna works closely with the Warrior Transition Battalion and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation units at Fort Benning. She currently serves as President of the Fort Benning Wounded Warriors Association. We love Jenna! Jenna also introduced us to Master Sergeant (Ret.) Patrick Harmon, who continues to serve soldiers in transition even after his retirement. Jeff Pavlick is a dedicated GKF and P4T member who can always be counted on the support paddling events in the area. Our friends at The Outside World opened their second store in Columbus after making a name for themselves in north Georgia. There is a wealth of talent and dedication in Columbus - it must be something in the water!

Jeff, Jenna and MSG Harmon organized the most recent P4T/Warrior Transition Battalion paddling event at the Uchee Creek Recreation Area on Fort Benning. What a day! We had over 20 boats on the water. The soldiers at Fort Benning are truly blessed to have such a high quality recreation area right on base.

Colubus Georgia Kayaking Illustration 1: The yak flotilla exits Uchee Creek to take on The Hooch Jenna and Master Sergeant Harmon brought more than 20 soldiers and their families together for the day. Jeff recruited 10 dedicated volunteers including Chef Austin Scott who worked with a cooking crew to smoke a half dozen pork shoulders for lunch while folks were on the water.

  Columbus Georgia Kayaking 2

Illustration 2: Jeff Pavlick (front left) with a few of the day's participants. In truth, it was not a great fishing day, but it was indeed a great day on the water. Jenna's husband, Jason Hughes, was the fisherman of the day, but it is rumored that he has fished here before. Did we say that the men and women at Fort Benning are blessed to have such a spot?


... more below ..

 Image 3

Illustration 3: Master Sergeant Patrick Harmon and Jenna Hughes - great friends of GKF/P4T.


We will be back on the middle Hooch soon and these folks - as well as many others - are looking forward to the next Midnight Express weekend in Columbus on August 25, 2012. Midnight Express is organized in large part by Country's Barbecue, and is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the sight impaired. P4T and GKF volunteers will have yet another opportunity to take members of the Chicago Comets out on The Hooch. The Comets are a Blind Baseball (or beep-ball) team who always treasure their opportunity to be on the water. And we love helping them get there!

For more information on Paddle4Tomorrow, visit us on the web at paddle4tomorrow.org or stop by our Facebook page. See you in Columbus. Wear something you don't mind getting wet. The water is too nice there to stay away from it.

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 12:26

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