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Buckhead family continues Paddle Georgia tradition
by Nicole Dow
June 18, 2014 11:58 AM | 2452 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / From front, Will Meyer, 12, and his brother Andrew, 10, will participate in Paddle Georgia this month with their dad, Clark Meyer, of Buckhead.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / From front, Will Meyer, 12, and his brother Andrew, 10, will participate in Paddle Georgia this month with their dad, Clark Meyer, of Buckhead.
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Staff / Samantha M. Shal / From left, Will Meyer, 12, and his dad, Clark Meyer, of Buckhead, look over their canoe which they will use for the fourth year in a row during this year's Paddle Georgia.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / From left, Will Meyer, 12, and his dad, Clark Meyer, of Buckhead, look over their canoe which they will use for the fourth year in a row during this year's Paddle Georgia.
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Staff / Samantha M. Shal / From left, Clark Meyer and his sons Andrew, 10, and Will, 12, move the canoe into the backyard in preparation for the Paddle Georgia event.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / From left, Clark Meyer and his sons Andrew, 10, and Will, 12, move the canoe into the backyard in preparation for the Paddle Georgia event.
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Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Will Meyer, 12, shows off the water gun he will use in the water battles during Paddle Georgia, where boaters like to have fun with water during the weeklong trip.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Will Meyer, 12, shows off the water gun he will use in the water battles during Paddle Georgia, where boaters like to have fun with water during the weeklong trip.
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As Paddle Georgia returns to the Chattahoochee River for its 10th anniversary, the Meyer family, of Buckhead, is continuing its tradition of participating in the event.

This will be the fourth consecutive year Clark Meyer and his sons Will, 12, and Andrew, 10, are taking part in the experience, which will be held Saturday through June 27.

Organized by the Georgia River Network, Paddle Georgia is an annual weeklong canoe and kayak camping adventure held on rivers throughout the state.

“We have 14 major river basins in Georgia,” said April Ingle, the network’s executive director. “What we’d like to do is give people the opportunity to explore all of them.”

The Meyers’ first trip was on the Oconee River in 2011. The following year the trio took on the Altamaha River, and they canoed the Flint River in 2013.

“I’ve been a white-water kayaker for 20 years or so,” Clark Meyer said. “But for the boys, when we did it the first time in 2011 … that was pretty much their first canoe trip.”

Paddlers travel about 16 miles along the river each day and spend the night camped at nearby facilities such as schools and parks. The Meyer family tackles the rivers in a canoe Clark Meyer said has been in his family for years.

“[The boys are] getting big enough now that they can actually help move us downstream,” he said.

Clark Meyer, an English teacher at the Westminster Schools in Buckhead, said the trip is a nice way to spend time outdoors with his sons in the summer.

“The scenery is great,” he said. “The chance to be out on the water day after day is a great change to the routine. The boys love to swim. There’s always a collection of rope swings we find along the way that people have put up that are a lot of fun. We end up in epic water battles with other boats. It’s just a great time down the river.”

Ingle said the Chattahoochee River — from the Buford Dam to Franklin. — was chosen as the location this year because of the 10th anniversary.

“We wanted to go back to the Chattahoochee River and do the same river that we did that very first year of Paddle Georgia back in 2005,” she said.

It will be the closest trip to home for the Meyers.

“We’re going to paddle within about 200 yards of our house,” Clark Meyer said.

Proceeds from the event this year will benefit the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper — a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the river — in addition to supporting the river network’s effort to protect rivers across the state.

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