Teddy Rosevelt wasn’t the only president that spent quality time outdoors. Before he was in the White House, Carter was running whitewater. In 1974 Carter canoed Georgia’s Chattooga River in an open-faced canoe with pal Claude Terry, owner of southeastern expeditions. They managed to survive the wild Bull Sluice rapid, which is a prominent class IV rapid that even keeps the most experienced boaters on their toes. That feat made the duo the first to ever complete a tandem canoe descent of the rapid.
But what’s more remarkable than Carter’s impressive first descent, is that he used the experience as a catalyst to protect the river. Following his canoe trip, he did what he could as Governor of Georgia to help pass legislation that designated the Chattooga as a Wild and Scenic river system. Now decades later, the river remains just as wild as Carter found it.