When Alan Kendall moved to Dawsonville nearly five years ago, his draw was Lake Lanier.
Then he discovered the mountains and rivers in North Georgia, and now says he couldn't have picked a better place to retire.
"Having not grown up here, you don't realize the richness the area has to offer," he said.
An avid outdoorsman whose love for nature developed as a child, Kendall, 61, took a closer look at the state's ecological playground when he paddled from Athens to Dublin on the Oconee River.
A fundraiser for several river groups, Paddle Georgia is a weeklong adventure on one of the state's watersheds aimed to submerge participants in the ecology, history and economics of the river.
This was Kendall's third year to participate.
Kendall, who is married, chose to take the trip alone.
"It's not her cup of tea to spend a week in a boat on the river in 90 degree heat," he said.
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