Exploring the Old Santee Canal – Part Four, Paddling the Canal

Lake Moultrie and Santee Canal with LCU-71

Second Saturday had finally arrived. I’d spent Friday exploring Berkeley County, specifically the Old Santee Canal Park. Now I’d be joined by my fellow kayakers from Lowcountry Unfiltered to explore the upper end of the old canal from where it enters Lake Moultrie. It was time to get on the water. Continue reading “Exploring the Old Santee Canal – Part Four, Paddling the Canal”

Exploring the Old Santee Canal – Part Three, Moncks Corner to Santee

Pineville Chapel

So far I’d had a great day out exploring. I had an interesting visit at the Old Santee Canal Park, and the next day I’d be paddling part of the canal from Lake Moultrie. Now, however, the afternoon sun was sinking and I had to get to my night’s lodgings. Along that route I found some more cool bits of history. Continue reading “Exploring the Old Santee Canal – Part Three, Moncks Corner to Santee”

Writer’s Block, again

Old South Tour with Upstate Minis-65

Call it writer’s block, winter blahs, or post-inauguration depression, but for whatever reason I’ve just not felt like blogging. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing interesting things, each worthy of their own post. It’s just that I haven’t been able to muster the energy to do in-depth research or document our adventures. However, on this lovely Sunday morning I have a bit of peace and quiet, so I’ll try to backtrack a bit and bring everyone up to date. Continue reading “Writer’s Block, again”

Henry Mill Village Excursion

Henry Mill Village Sketch

It has been tradition for Alan Russell and me to take a photo excursion on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This time we decided to make the trek up to North Carolina and visit the Henry River Mill Village. This choice ticked lots of boxes – it’s a ghost town, and it served as the shooting location for “District 12” in the movie The Hunger Games. It turned out to be a day that went beyond expectations. Continue reading “Henry Mill Village Excursion”

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”

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