Paddle for the Planet is moving experience

Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 03:08 PM.

South Walton was the site for several "firsts,” in mid-October, not the least of which was World Paddle For The Planet, which was held here for the first time.

This was the first time the paddle had been held outside of founder Bob Purdy's home of Canada, and it was his first time he visited our area.

The event, which drew 60 to 70 people, was held to call attention to the way we live and spur changes for our planet.

Invited to hold his event here, Purdy, who has paddled every day since Jan. 1, 2011, said he was blown away by the experience and calls it a success.

"The paddle here exceeded all expectations," he told the Sun this week. "To see all the support in Walton County for this and the beautiful area, the people and the impact was wonderful. The paddle Saturday and Sunday was the icing on the cake."

Purdy said the best of all was the silent procession of paddlers to the water on Saturday following the invocation by the Muskogee Indian Tribe and prayer in their native tongue.

"We took the first lap around Lake Powell in silence to meditate on the state of the planet. A lot of respect was shown and it was very moving," he said.

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