David Haynes of Blount Springs camped at the city of Riverside’s designated Alabama Scenic River Trail campsite Wednesday night with his golden retrievers, Roscoe and Bailey.
He camped near Logan Martin Lake’s Dena’s Cove in North St. Clair County Tuesday night before making his way to Riverside.
“The waves were a foot high,” Haynes said of his morning trek from North St. Clair County to Riverside.
He avoided the main channel and worked his way down the western shore of Logan Martin Lake.
Haynes said he had a strong tail-wind, which made it a quick trip.
“We were flying,” he said.
Haynes said he normally covers about 2 miles an hour. Because of the strong wind and rain Wednesday, he covered 4-5 miles every hour.
“It was like being in a fast-moving current,” said the former news editor, reporter and photographer.
The University of Alabama Press will publish Haynes’ book, “Paddling Alabama, From the Mountains to the Sea.”
Haynes started his journey May 1, close to Cedar Bluff near the Alabama/Georgia state line.
“I started about 200 yards in Georgia,” said the 57-year-old adventurer.
His goal is to complete the trip in about six weeks, but he is not on a timetable.
“I could finish anywhere from mid-June to the end of June, if it all goes well,” Haynes said. “I always wanted to do something like this. I thought I better do it now or I will never be able to do it.”
This is not his first lengthy paddling trip. Twenty-five years ago, Haynes paddled the Grand Canyon.
He said both of his children are grown and his wife is involved with work and getting her Ph.D., so it was now or never.
He said he is meeting interesting and friendly people along the way. People who know him also visit Haynes along the way.
“It’s always good to see familiar faces,” he said.
Haynes will camp at Sundance Marina before he completes the Logan Martin Lake leg of his trip. He will portage his canoe, dogs and equipment around Logan Martin Lake Dam so he can continue his trip to Fort Morgan and the Gulf of Mexico.
Haynes worked for The Daily Home from about 1977-1981. During that time, he left the newspaper for about a year before returning.
He started his career with The Daily Home at the Sylacauga bureau office, where he covered Coosa County and Childersburg. He also worked as a sports photographer for the newspaper.
Haynes lived in Pell City when he worked as a St. Clair County reporter and photographer for The Daily Home. He helped open the first bureau office in Pell City in 1980.
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.