“It’s never encouraging to be awoken in a tent by headlights. I wanted to play possum–roll over, and pretend to sleep until they left,” writes David Hanson. “But this was exactly why I was here, a few hundred miles into a 500-mile canoe float down Georgia’s Chattahoochee. I came here to see the river, but I really came here to see its people. And here they were.”

Today, we bring you David’s story of discovering a culture at once foreign and strangely familiar–and all within a day’s drive of the place where he grew up.

David recently returned to the Chattahoochee to create a documentary, Who Owns Water, that chronicles a tri-state water war that threatens the river and the communities that depend on it. You can find out more at: www.whoownswater.org/

This episode reposted by permission from our friends at The Dirtbag Diaries. For more great episodes, visit them at dirtbagdiaries.com.