Doster echoed Couch’s sentiments. “I practiced law for over 50 years, and my associations have been extensive, but things have fallen into place for the Trail better and easier than anything I’ve ever been associated with,” he said. While Couch, Doster, the rest of the board and the Trail’s executive director Jim Felder are no doubt pleased with the fruits of their labors, there is more to be done. “Our big challenge now is to get more campsites on the Trail, so there will be one every 10 miles,” Couch said. Both men have their favorite parts of the Trail. “I’ve had my most pleasant experiences on the Trail on the flat water in the delta,” Doster said. “There is such lovely water there.” Couch also likes the southernmost section. “The lower section of the Alabama River near Monroeville has a lot of birds to see, and the Bartram Trail leading into Mobile Bay is really full of wildlife.” Today, thanks to Fred Couch’s initial epiphany, and to the work of all who made the Trail a reality, countless others will be better able to experience the allure of Alabama’s wonderful waters. Jennifer Kornegay is freelance writer living in Montgomery.
Paddle On… By Jennifer Kornegay While the fast-paced thrills of serious whitewater will certainly get your pulse pounding, lazier rivers offer the opportunity to drink in the surrounding scenery with all five senses. Watch a water bug skate the mirror surface, hear the cacophonic symphony of insects and frogs, smell the heady scent of honeysuckle in bloom. Of all the water pursuits I’ve enjoyed, none does more to still my soul and lift my spirits than a canoe trip down a gentle river. And none of these trips have I enjoyed more than those taken with my dad. Like leisurely Sunday drives—just on water—these father-daughter paddling outings gave us time to just be together. Sometimes we’d talk about important stuff; sometimes we’d talk about things as inconsequential as the cool color combination on a passing dragonfly. One of my favorite laidback float trips with dad was on Terrapin Creek, but the list of liquid trails flowing slow and gentle all across our state is a long one. Dr. Harvey Jackson of Jacksonville State University and author of Rivers of History: Life on the Coosa, Tallapoosa, Cahaba and Alabama Rivers, as well as longtime recreational canoe enthusiast Curtis Simpson of Anniston have great interest and experience to share. So, choose the stretch of water that most appeals to you, and pick your craft—canoe or kayak. Then relax and let yourself be lulled by the melodious rhythm of your paddle carving the water.
Summer 2010 Longleaf Style 61
Published on Aug 11, 2010