My packing is about done for the trip. The adventure begins tomorrow with the drive to Reidsville. Before I embark on this epic adventure I want to say a few words about the boat I will be paddling.
My Pungo 140 has been with me from the beginning, it was purchased about 8 years ago at Alden of Sunapee in Newport New Hampshire. Blue has a sibling, a Mango Pungo 120 purchased at the same time. Back then my older son Mike was just starting high school and spending time together was becoming a challenge. I asked Mike one day if there was something we could do together that he really wanted to do, that we could share as father and son. Kayaking was something we both agreed would be a common thread of interest. Little did I know that that purchase on that day would change my life. We tried a bunch of boats that day but I kept coming back to the Pungo. I had never even sat in a kayak before but the Pungo was extremely stable and had a very generous cockpit which made entry and egress very easy. I was drawn to the blue color and decided on a 140 and a 120 so we would have some choices when paddling and at that time did not really know which would be more suitable for me in the long run. Both boats paddle straight and true and are very comfortable. The 140 however quickly became my boat of choice and we have been through a lot together. This trip will mark the fourth Paddle Georgia for the blue Pungo. I have entered races with her, I have camped out of her, and I have seen some amazing wildlife while paddling her down many of Georgia’s rivers. I really thought I would outgrow this boat as my paddling experience increased. The truth is I still love this boat. She has scratches, patches and dings but when she and I get on the water we are one. A single stroke of the paddle produces an admirable amount of forward motion. The boat you paddle is your conduit to the pulse of the river. I recently purchased a Jackson Rogue to do more whitewater paddling with. Blue although remarkably nimble for her length does not like tight twisty rivers but set her loose on flatwater and she runs like a thoroughbred. There is no other boat I would rather be paddling in for the adventure before me.