If you paddle the rivers of Georgia much, there is a good chance that you have met Richard, but whether you have met him or not, you have almost certainly benefited from his efforts. Richard is tireless in his efforts to clean up Georgia’s rivers. One week he will be pulling tires from the Yellow River and hauling them to a recycler, and the next will find him removing dangerous strainers from the Etowah. Then you might find him organizing a group of volunteers to pick up trash in the Chattahoochee, followed by giving an interview with a reporter designed to raise the public’s awareness of the value of rivers to our society.
Richard helped me so many times on this trip that I truly have lost count. He provided me with a wealth of information on both river systems that I paddled, the Chattahoochee-Apalachicola and the Etowah-Coosa-Alabama-Mobile, because he has paddled both systems in their entirety. He drove to Alabama to haul me and my equipment around Weiss Dam. He paddled and camped with me near Rome, as I filled in some sections that flood waters had kept me from paddling earlier. He picked me up and put me back on the river numerous times, and he told me important things about the river that made my journey safer and more enjoyable. When he wasn’t with me, helping me directly, he was upriver cutting out downed timber to make my progress upriver easier and safer. After all of that, it never failed that he would say, “If you need anything at all, call me,” and I would know that he meant it.