It was the first second Saturday of 2011, and my friends from Lowcountry Unfiltered decided to brave another swamp stomp in the Congaree Swamp National Park. We did this once before in January a couple of years ago. At that time it had been raining all week, and we had one of the coldest, wettest hikes we’ve ever experience. This time around it was cold, but fortunately much dryer.
Last time we wandered around with a vague notion of where we wanted to go. This time we had a target, or, more appropriately, targets. We were looking for champion trees, and we wanted to see how many we could find before we wore ourselves out. Continue reading “2011 Lowcountry Unfiltered Congaree Swamp Stomp”
Early Saturday morning a small group of us gathered to paddle Cedar Creek, located in the Congaree Swamp National Park. Instead of kayaks, we decided that would take this trip in canoes. It turned out to be one of the longest paddling trips I’ve taken, covering about 6 miles of swamp, then paddling back.
The issue of which boat to take was only resolved at the last minute. I knew Dwight was bringing his canoe. Whether or not I brought my kayak, or lugged my old battleship 15′ Coleman canoe depended on how many people decided to go. In the end, it was the Coleman, so I loaded it into the back of my pickup with about as much hanging off the tailgate as was actually in the bed of the truck.
Alan Russell and I met James Martin (who had joined us on our last flooded Congaree hike), Dwight Moffitt, and his friend Peter at the put in on South Cedar Creek Road. Dwight and Peter would be in one boat, Alan and I would be in mine, and James had his kayak. The plan was to paddle downstream a bit, then head back. According to Dwight this would take us through some of the more remote parks of the swamp, and away from the crowded boardwalks. Dwight assured us that paddling back upstream wouldn’t be a problem. Yeah, right. Continue reading “Paddling the Congaree Swamp”