Father's Day celebrated on the Flint River - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Father's Day celebrated on the Flint River

Elliot and Steve Cousins on the Flint River on Sunday Elliot and Steve Cousins on the Flint River on Sunday
Camp site for the paddlers set up at the Parks at Chehaw Camp site for the paddlers set up at the Parks at Chehaw
April Ingle, Georgia River Network Exec. Dir. April Ingle, Georgia River Network Exec. Dir.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Father's day is a time for families to come together and give a little appreciation to 'old dad.' And while many families went to the movies, or treated their father to a nice dinner, one family celebrated a little differently.

The 106 mile journey up the Flint River for the 9th Georgia Paddle event is a trip many are facing alone. But one father and son are traversing the south Georgia waters together.

"I realize a lot of kids don't have their fathers in their lives, and I'm really thankful and blessed to have my dad who's always been there and supportive for me. And this is just another opportunity for us to spend time together and enjoy the outdoors," said Elliot Cousins, an Atlanta man on the trip with his father.

Cousins and his father have been participating in the canoeing trip together since 2005, and use it as an opportunity to answer life's questions.

"Inevitably my son and I will have a conversation about some critical point in his life in times past, and I think about him when he was a small guy, and all those magical moments we spent together. Actually, I don't consider Elliot to be just my son, I consider him to be my friend and a confidant," said Steve Cousins, Father.

They're part of a group of nearly 400 paddlers, who spend time camping and working their way up the river. And other fathers are using the opportunity to get close to their own families.

"We have fathers who are here with their adult children. We have dads and daughters that are on the trip together. We have dads and their little boys on their trips together. One of our oldest participants is on the trip here with his son," said April Ingle, Georgia River Network Exec. Dir.

It's become a tradition the Cousins look forward to every year. One that could stretch into the next generation.

"And you know, maybe one day when I get married and have kids I can do this with him as well," said Elliot Cousins, Son.

But maybe they're not yet ready for that leap.

"I'd like to see it...I'd like to see that happen, but I'm in no rush to see that happen (they laugh)," said Steve Cousins, Father.

And until that time comes, they'll keep paddling up life's journey together.

The Cousins have been staying at Albany State University, but are getting ready to camp outdoors with the other participants.

The pair said they're grateful for each other, and wish other families a happy father's day.

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