By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Like 'looking at a postcard'
Kayakers hit highway for prime waters
WEB Robinson 2
Clay Lucas, left, and Greg Watson stand next to a sign in Colorado. - photo by Submitted
Three young men with a love for kayaking had always kicked around an idea for the ultimate senior trip. This summer, they pulled it off.

Just weeks after graduating from high school, the three 18-year-olds left Forsyth County in a pickup truck with their kayaks. The destination: Durango, Colo.

“We never really had a precise plan for the trip,” said Mason Robinson. “We just set the GPS for Durango and left town.”

Robinson, a recent South Forsyth High School graduate, said they’d heard that kayaking in the area was not to be missed.

“We wanted to see for ourselves,” he said.

Fellow South graduate Clay Lucas, whose truck they drove on the 28-day journey, said the first river they came to in Durango is “considered the best mile of whitewater in the state.”

“We immediately went to Vallecito Creek,” Lucas said. “We had driven for what felt like 30 hours through the night, and we went paddling the minute we got there.”

The third member of the group, Greg Watson, said the next stop on their journey was in Vail, Colo. But it was the driving from location to location that was half the fun.

“Being able to match up the Rocky Mountain background with the pictures you’ve seen ... it felt like you were looking at a postcard when you were driving down the highway,” said Watson, a West Forsyth graduate.

In Vail, Colo., they tried out Oh Be Joyful Creek, which Robinson said was one of the best locations on the trip.

Unfortunately, though, he injured his shoulder there and his friends had to drive him to the hospital.

So about two weeks into the trip, Robinson had to head home after a doctor recommended that he not kayak. His friends drove him seven hours to the airport in Denver.

Robinson came back to recuperate in Forsyth County while Lucas and Watson continued on to Fort Collins, Colo., where they continued the kayaking journey.

They stayed there for about a week, Lucas said, and “ran a bunch of rivers around there.” He and Watson returned home at the end of July.
Lucas said it was well worth the trip.

“We were driving around Colorado, doing what we like to do,” he said. “Exploring new rivers every day.”

Watson said it was his first time driving west of Alabama.

“Once we were out on the road, it was great,” Watson said. “It was our own personal senior trip in a way and it was all about getting out there and having the freedom and seeing all the new territory.”

Added Robinson: “It was incredible. It was a blast.”

Another adventure awaits this month as all three are headed to college.

Robinson is going to Kennesaw State University and Lucas to Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Watson has already moved to Dahlonega, where he will attend North Georgia College & State University.

E-mail Frank Reddy at