Alabama is known for its beauty, its hospitality and its rivers. It’s also known known for the longest and most challenging annual paddle race in the world. The great Alabama 650, a grueling 650 mile race on one of the most scenic courses in the world. It’s hard to compare it to another race because I don’t think there is another race like this. It’s mental like if you don’t have the mental game then there you’re not gonna make it. The Alabama Scenic River Trail Organization hosts this annual race in the heart of a nearly 6,000 mile marked water trail system. The route starts in the Appalachian Mountains of North Alabama, passing through valleys with whitewater, historical cities unspoiled wilderness and ultimately ending at Fort Morgan on the beautiful white sands of the Gulf Coast. What’s normally an enjoyable 30 day paddling trip will be a six to 10-day paddle for these racers. Every one of the racers is said this is the toughest race that I’ve ever done. In seven days I’ve probably slept 12 hours, that’s put it that way. Alabama has been called America’s Amazon. It’s a region known for its immense biodiversity and the third-largest River Delta in the United States. There’s a reason why many legendary paddlers and outfitters call this place home and love to share it with others. The experiences and memories made on these waterways will change a person’s life and beckon them back for more. The people of Alabama have been wonderful to deal with. Everybody’s willing to help and excited for, “Why are you guys here, what are you doing.” Some competitors come with a desire to win. Some come for the camaraderie and friendly people. Some come for the delicious food and hospitality. Some come for the history and culture, but they all come for the beauty, the adventure and the surprises around the next River Band. You know it’s the adventure part of it like we’ve never seen it we’ve never done it. What are we gonna see. Who we gonna meet. I can’t wait to bring my family back and go through this and take our time. This is a place where people test their limits, find themselves and enrich their lives. This is the Alabama Scenic River trail.