The West Bank of Jocassee

Lake Jocassee-7

Jocassee can be many things. Beginning paddlers can hang close to the bank and still get to some cool geological features and small waterfalls. Intermediate paddlers and venture further up to Wright Creek Falls and the Thompson River and Whitewater River areas. Experienced paddlers can take longer trips across open water to the Horsepasture and Toxaway arms of the lake. Regardless of the route taken, conditions on the lake can change in an instance, turning a leisurely paddle into a real challenge. That was really born out on my most recent trip to the lake. Continue reading “The West Bank of Jocassee”

Paddling through Hole-in-the-Wall

La Conner Kayaking-040

The Hole-in-the-Wall is notorious among sailors. It’s a narrow opening between two cliffs that separates the Swinomish Channel from Skagit Bay. The currents can be strong and tricky, the wind howls between the rock faces, and the tides can be extreme. Add to that an old rock breakwater with its own tricky hole-in-the-wall and siltation from the Skagit River, and you get a recipe for a paddling trip not lightly attempted. Yet, that’s just what I did, and I had a blast doing it. Continue reading “Paddling through Hole-in-the-Wall”

Eighth Annual Lowcountry Unfiltered Edisto River Beer Commercial and Rope Swing Float

Edisto Beer Commercial and Rope Swing Float-031

This is the one that started it all – the float to inspire all future adventures with the group known collectively, and increasingly misnamed “Lowcountry Unfiltered.” It was time for our annual Edisto River Beer Commercial and Rope Swing Float. This year didn’t let us down. We had quite the adventure, and not quite the one we were expecting. Continue reading “Eighth Annual Lowcountry Unfiltered Edisto River Beer Commercial and Rope Swing Float”

June-July Wrap-Up

Indian River Morning Kayaking-10

As I mentioned in the previous post, the past several weeks got away from me. The July 4th weekend was a blur, and the weekends on either side weren’t much better. It seems that we had far too much going on, and not enough time for blogging. So, I’ve decided to hit a few highlights. Continue reading “June-July Wrap-Up”

The Coves of East Jocassee

Lake Jocassee Kayaking-3

The day was supposed to be hot. I thought the perfect antidote would be a cool mountain lake. So, Thursday morning I headed out early for what I thought would be a quick morning paddle on Lake Jocassee. As usual, I got caught up in the thrill of wanting to see what was just around the next bend, and wound up spending most of the day there. It met all my requirements for a cool lake, and then some. Continue reading “The Coves of East Jocassee”

Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 5, Paddling to Goat Island

Goat Island in the Broad River-164

Several weeks ago I spent some time searching for remnants of the Swamp Rabbit Railroad. This isn’t the famous one in Greenville that later became a popular trail. Instead, it’s a line constructed by the Ohio River and Charleston Railroad to serve textile communities in the Upstate. Despite ambitious plans, it was only completed from Blacksburg down through Cherokee Falls, then over to Gaffney. The railroad was short-lived, but in the early 1970s the section from Blacksburg to Cherokee Falls found new life as a scenic railroad for a bit. That, too failed, and now the railroad is abandoned.

I had explored as much as I could by land. Google Earth indicated the existence of a couple of supports for the old railroad trestle in the Broad River, but I couldn’t get close enough to see them. The trestle crossed Goat Island, which also figures prominently in the story of the Swamp Rabbit. This past week Alan Russell and I were able to get out on the water, and visit these locations. Continue reading “Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 5, Paddling to Goat Island”

Kayaking and Coffee

Kayaking Coffee

When I’m down in Florida I like to do at least one sunrise paddling trip. With the weather as iffy as it’s been, I’ve been wavering on when to paddle. I usually get up around 5:00 to walk the dog, and that usually gives me a good idea of conditions. One morning the skies were clear, but weird lightning kept me on-shore. Finally, one morning this week I decided to go for it, despite clouds and a bit of heat lightning. Continue reading “Kayaking and Coffee”

Paddling the May River with Lowcountry Unfiltered

May River Paddling with Lowcountry Unfiltered-98

It’s another Lowcountry Unfiltered Second Saturday, which means paddling with my friends. Last month we traveled up to the Fall Line to paddle Turkey and Stevens Creeks. This month we would be hanging close to home, at least for the majority of our paddlers. We would be paddling the May River, launching from Bluffton. It wasn’t close to home for me, though. I made the four-hour drive down yesterday in time to do some pre-LCU paddling with Tim Brown on the New River. Today’s exploration with the larger group would be quite different. Continue reading “Paddling the May River with Lowcountry Unfiltered”

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