Return to Andersonville Island

Return to Andersonville Island-109

Just because it’s December doesn’t mean that we stop paddling. Heck, for this particular trip we even went swimming, but that’s getting ahead of things a bit. Fellow explorer, and now fellow paddler Mark Elbrecht proposed a trip out to Andersonville Island to see if we could spot the ruins that everyone says are there. Bennie Waddell had just gotten a new kayak, and I lacked only 6 miles to push me over the 200 mark for the year. Of course, agreed to come along. Turned out to be a great trip with unexpected finds and unexpected excitement. But, I guess the word “unexpected” is redundant. Regardless… Continue reading “Return to Andersonville Island”

The Zen of Paddling

Indian River Island Hopping on Black Friday-12

This has been a difficult Thanksgiving weekend, but not without things for which I’ve been thankful. One of those has been the ability to escape, even if just for a bit. The pattern has been for me to get in a bit of paddling either at sunrise or in the morning. Either Laura or Amy would head over to Atlantic Healthcare by 9:00 to get their mom up for the day, and I would join them there later (with a banjo on my knee, to quote the old song.) I had to limit these escapes, though. A couple of times I would get some distance from the house, check in with Laura to find her in the midst of dealing with a crisis, then find myself paddling pretty quickly straight back to come assist where I can. In those situations I found myself hitting a zen state, where I become one with the kayak, paddling as quickly and efficiently as possibly to get to my destination.. Continue reading “The Zen of Paddling”

Paddling to Jack Island

Indian River and Jack Island-4

Ever since we first discovered it nearly 30 years ago, Laura and I have enjoying coming to Jack Island. Jack Island State Park and Preserve is a 340 acre island on the Indian River side of North Hutchinson Island. Trails circle the island and cross it. There is a birding tower on the river side of the island. This was the first place I discovered the thrill of “hunting” birds with a long telephoto lens, and that capturing them in this fashion was just as satisfying (even more satisfying) thank actually shooting something. We try to come back to the island as often as we can when we’re down this way.

Jack Island isn’t very far from Amy’s house. However, I’d never been there by boat. I think I might have paddled past it on one of my extended trips, but I’m not sure. This time I had a goal. I was going to paddle until I found the birding tower. That way I could truly say that I had paddled to Jack Island. Continue reading “Paddling to Jack Island”

Paddling through Mordor

Lake Russell at Mountain View-037

I was in serious need of some hydrotherapy. I’d been in a funk ever since the election. To make matters worse, wildfires in the mountains of North and South Carolina had cast a pall of hazy smoke over everything. I told someone that I guess it was appropriate that the world looks like Mordor now that Trump has been elected. Add to that all of the other anxieties in our family life right now, and it was time to hit the water. I was able to find some solace, but it came at a price. Continue reading “Paddling through Mordor”

Mid-Week Jocassee

Lake Jocassee with Bennie Waddell-113

Bennie Waddell and I have been trying to keep to our paddling schedule, even though we haven’t been able to make it work every week. Regardless of whether or not we can actually paddle that day (sickness, weather, conflict, etc., etc) I think it’s important that it at least be on the schedule. We’re more likely actually to hit the water than simply saying, “Oh we need to do X someday…” Wednesday the stars aligned, and we were both able to take the trip up to Lake Jocassee that we had missed last week. It was an excellent day of paddling. Continue reading “Mid-Week Jocassee”

Bull Island with the Upstate Minis

Bull Island with the Upstate Minis-35

The Upstate Minis have been organizing some fantastic trips, lately, and I’ve been trying to take part in more of these. A few weeks ago Laura and I joined them for their X-Files Mystery Tour to PARI. This time, Jeff Goodman planned a trip down to the “Boneyard” on Bull Island to do some dawn photography. Sadly, Laura wasn’t able to go with us because of work. So, on Friday I swapped the Subaru for her Mini and joined the rest of the group for the drive down. Continue reading “Bull Island with the Upstate Minis”

Paddling to Ghost Island

Paddling to Ghost Island in Lake Hartwell-100

Bennie and I have been trying to keep to our paddling schedule, but the fates have been against us. On this last day of summer we had a nice trip to Jocassee planned, but then illness struck, and Bennie was unable to go. I had my boat loaded up, so I decided I’d head on out anyway, with a slightly altered itinerary. I have been wanting to check out the old Harrisburg Plantation Cemetery on “Ghost Island” in Lake Hartwell, so that’s where I set my sights. Continue reading “Paddling to Ghost Island”

Two Paddles and a Flea Market

Lake Oolenoy with Ken Cothran-56

Once again I’m playing catch-up with my blogging. The past weekend wasn’t as hectic crazy as the previous one, but somehow I still fell behind. I was able to get in kayaking trips to Lakes Keowee and Oolenoy, and check out a flea market that’s been on my radar for awhile. The lakes were great. The flea market…not so much. Continue reading “Two Paddles and a Flea Market”

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