1) Where are you from? Your profession? I am from the Chicago area originally, but have lived in Georgia for 30 years. It's all about the weather. I now live on Lake Lanier in Burford, Georgia. I just left Chattahoochee Riverkeeper after working there for five years...so I can paddle more! I serve on the boards of Georgia River Network, Rivers Alive, and Lake Lanier Association.
2) When and how did you become interested in paddling? I dabbled in paddling until the first Paddle Georgia event in 2005. I was totally hooked after that!
3) Where is your favorite place to paddle? I live very close to the Chattahoochee River and especially love the headwaters, which offer a little bit of everything: white water, flat water, and beautiful scenery. In Florida, I love Juniper Springs Run...amazing!
4) Tell us about your river cleanup efforts in Georgia. I have spent the past 15 years working to keep trash out of our waterways. Last year, Rivers Alive--which umbrellas all the river cleanups in Georgia--had over 30,000 volunteers, 300 events, and picked up tons of trash. It's working! Once you start cleaning, it's hard to paddle by trash. It's something anyone can do to help. If you'd like to volunteer, visit: www.riversalive.org.
5) How many Paddle Florida trips have you gone on and to where? I have paddled with Paddle Florida three times: the first Suwannee trip, the 10-day Keys trip last year, and the 3-day Keys trip this year. Now that I am not working, I can join you for more. I love Florida rivers and Paddle Florida! The state has great rivers and embraces paddlers; we are working on that in Georgia. Being able to paddle and camp where you land is awesome. I also like Paddle Florida's group size...not too big or small. And the staff rocks!
6) Can you describe a particular trip 'highlight?' Our Keys trip this year was fabulous. We saw rays, sharks, stars, and a huge sea turtle. The ocean was like glass and the weather was perfect. Planning to return in 2014 for sure!
7) What advice do you have for folks considering a Paddle Florida trip? The journey is the destination, enjoy every moment, be patient and helpful, and don't forget your whistle!