Al Ogden ~ November 2014

Posted at 6:34 pm on 10/31/2014

Where are you from?  Your profession?   I spent most of my young life traveling between my many brothers and sisters homes with my mother. Hot Springs, South Dakota is where I spent high school.  I joined the Army and continued moving around. I have lived in Gainesville since 1982. I am a staff engineer with the Nano-Scale Research Facility at the University of Florida.

When and how did you become interested in paddling?  About five years ago, I got into a try “something different mood” and kayaking met so many other needs as well, as a photography and fishing platform.

Where is your favorite place to paddle?   Lakes or rivers with wildlife and good fishing. I suppose that my favorite is the Ocklawaha River between the Silver River and Eureka.


What’s the most interesting thing that ever happened to you on a paddling trip?  That’s tough, since it’s always interesting.  But if I had to choose one, it would be finding out that my boat floats and maneuvers even when completely filled with water.


How many Paddle Florida trips have you gone on and to where?  Six with Paddle Florida, but hundreds of day trips on the lakes, rivers, and inland waterways of Florida and South Georgia.

What keeps you coming back?   It is good exercise for the mind, body, and soul. I can think of no better way chill the stresses of life.


Can you describe a particular Paddle Florida trip highlight?   I have never met a more wonderful group of people than I meet on these trips. They are from all over and many walks of life and I can honestly say that there has not been a one that I have not liked.  Even the weird ones.  ;)


What advice do you have for folks considering a Paddle Florida trip?  Don’t be intimidated.  The support is the best and there is always someone who will help if needed. If you have bitten off more than you can chew, then take a break and assist the support crew for a day and then jump back into the fray. These are not just paddling trips.  They are an adventure in discovery, limits and potential, friendship and camaraderie, nature and the human condition. On these trips you will meet friends that will become lifelong and there is nothing better than that.

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