Allen Bradley would testify under oath to the greatness of the great outdoors. Much of his leisure time is devoted to communing with it: hiking, camping, canoeing. He has even negotiated the Appalachian Trail, the Georgia and Smoky Mountains National Park portions.
In November, the corporate tax attorney with Stites & Harbinson and three buddies took on a demanding test of naturepaddling along the entire Georgia coast in sea kayaks.
Bradley joined Doug Petterson, James Marlow and Phillip Hodges in Hilton Head, S.C., and for the next eight days covered 150 watery miles to Amelia Island, Fla., traveling dawn to dusk.
The voyage served a purpose other than fulfilling the men's sense of adventure. They solicited pledges for Save Georgia's Coast, a collection of nonprofits seeking to preserve marshes and wetlands. Some $10,000 has been raised so far.
Awareness of environmental concerns is nothing new to Bradley. He sits on the board of the Georgia Solar Energy Association and volunteers legal guidance to the group that champions the alternate power source.
For Bradley, whose affection for the outdoors dates to his college job as an extended-trip canoe guide three decades ago, many excursions have turned into family affairs involving his three children (one in college, two in high school) and nature-loving wife.
"We met through a common friend," he said of his wife, Lila. "I had two canoes. I think that put me high in her ranking."
The canoe has long been Bradley's vehicle of choice, so he had to adjust to the sea kayak, much longer at 17 feet and with a different design that heightens the degree of difficulty in choppy waters. What's more, the foursome chose a time frame that presented the highest tides of the year.
Much of the journey was navigated about 100 yards offshore, though parts were completed at least two miles from land.