Thursday, April 23, 2015

'Three River Adventurers' departed Travis Bridge one year ago today

Members of the 'Three Rivers Adventurers'
Today (Thursday) marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of one of the most epic outdoor feats ever accomplished by Conecuh County residents. It was on April 23, 2014 that eight members of the “Three River Adventurers” departed on an historic, 139-mile canoe trip from Travis Bridge to Pensacola, Fla. On April 28, they arrived at Swamp House Landing near Pensacola.

The group included Dalton Campbell of Owassa, Frank Murphy of Herbert, Sam Peacock of Repton, John Potts of Flat Rock, Ed Salter of Repton, Joel Williams of Evergreen, Marc Williams of Evergreen and Evergreen native Larry Yeargan of Coosada.

During the trip, the group traveled a total of 139 miles along a southerly course that took them down the Sepulga, Conecuh, Delaney and Escambia rivers. It’s believed that it’s been well over 100 years since any commercial boats have traveled this route, and it’s also believed that the total distance has never been navigated by canoe or kayak.

In my opinion, this trip ranks high among the greatest outdoor feats ever accomplished by county residents, and the only thing that comes immediately to mind that tops it is Jeff Daniels 2011 thru-hike of the 2,181-mile-long Appalachian Trail. As many of you will remember, Daniels, who lives in Evergreen, began his hike on March 13, 2011 and he completed the hike on Sept. 12, 2011.

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Tomorrow (Friday) also marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of Major League Baseball pinch hitter and catcher Douglas Woolley “Dixie” Parker, who was born on April 24, 1895 at Forest Home in Butler County.

Parker only played in four Major League games, making his MLB debut on July 28, 1923 for the Philadelphia Phillies. He went on to record five official at bats with a hit and a run to his credit. He last appeared in a Major League game on Oct. 6, 1923 before being sent back down to the minors.

While Parker had a very short Major League career, he spent portions of 16 seasons in the minor leagues between 1918 and 1941. During that time, he played on or managed for 17 different teams in 13 different leagues. Teams he played for include the Petersburg Goobers, the Portsmouth Truckers, the Oklahoma City Indians, the Denver Bears, the Muskogee Athletics, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Bradenton Growers, the Burlington Bees, the Seattle Indians, the Davenport Blue Sox, the Fieldale Towlers, the Americus Cardinals, the Columbia Senators, the Augusta Tigers, the South Boston Wrappers, the Williamston Martins and the Kingsport Cherokees.

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The NBA playoffs tipped off on Saturday with 16 teams vying for the league’s top honors during the first round slate of games.

As of Monday, teams in the hunt included Golden State, New Orleans, Portland, Memphis, the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas from the Western Conference. From the Eastern Conference, you’ve got Atlanta, Brooklyn, Toronto, Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Boston.

The winners in the first round will advance to the Conference Semifinals. The Conference Finals come next, and the NBA Finals are scheduled to start on June 4. Personally, I look for Atlanta to win the Eastern Conference, and for Golden State to win the Western Conference and to finish first in the NBA Finals.

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