The other day I was going through photos of our various paddling trips and itching to get back on the water. As I was looking at the pictures, for some reason the theme song from The Incredibles by Michael Giacchino kept running through my mind. I started collecting some of the shots, and wound up … Continue reading Lowcountry Incredible
This time our Lowcountry Unfiltered group got two rivers for the price of one, plus a few ghosts and goblins thrown in for good measure. On Saturday we paddled a portion of the Enoree River to its confluence with the Broad River, then down to our take-out at Strother’s Landing.
Planning this trip proved to be a challenge. The group wanted to paddle an Upstate river, but didn’t have the boats for whitewater. There was also the matter of distance. These guys would be driving for 3-4 hours just to get here, so the paddling trip couldn’t be too long. If they’re driving that far, then the trip needs to be worthwhile, and not a drag through the mud.
My first plan was to paddle a stretch of the Tyger River. It had all the elements I needed – it was remote, full of history, and even a ghost story. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much water when Bob and I paddled it last month. It was more of a muddy hike while dragging boats.
Fortunately, I was able to find a suitable route. We would put in at Keitt’s Bridge on the Enoree near Maybinton and float to its confluence with the Broad River, then paddle down to Strother’s Landing at the Highway 34 Bridge. According to Google Earth, the route would be about 7 miles. This route takes us through Sumter National Forest, so it’s suitable remote, and there’s even a ghost story – The Hound of Goshen.
This was not a good sign. Pinpoints of light danced across my vision as I checked last minute e-mail. The truck was loaded, and in a few minutes I would be heading south to Sumter to spend the night with my brother, Stephen. In the morning we would join the band of miscreants known as Lowcountry Unfiltered for another epic journey down the Edisto River. A migraine headache was the last thing I needed.
I had taken some preventative medicine and decided to go for it. The drive down was interesting, as various extremities alternately numbed and chilled. As long as I kept my eye on the road and didn’t look down the visual aura stayed to the edges. I managed to keep a couple of plain McDonalds hamburgers down and make it safely to Steve’s.
The day broke full of deep fog. We still had a two-hour drive to the put-in, and we speculated about how cool it would be to paddle through this. We might even stumble upon some ancient civilization, kept hidden until the mist burned off. Given our knowledge of the area, this was a real possibility. Continue reading “The Curative Powers of the Edisto”
This Saturday our Lowcountry Unfiltered group gathered for its monthly outing. We rendezvoused just southwest of Columbia to explore the Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve, managed by the Nature Conservancy and the South Carolina Department of Natural Services. Dr. John Nelson, botanist at USC, director of the state’s Herbarium, and member of our group would serve as our guide for the day.
In addition to John and myself, five others joined us. We gathered at the entrance to the preserve at about 9:00, and got some preliminary information from John. The area is one of the first set aside by the Nature Conservancy, and contains several unique habitat areas, including a long-leaf pine ecosystem. The geology is also unusual. A hard layer of rock called ironstone covers softer layers of sandstone. The sandstone has been eroding out from under the resistant upper layer, creating unique geological formations such as the namesake Peachtree Rock. Continue reading “Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve – Unfiltered”
For the second Saturday in a row I got up very early to head out on a photo trek, this time with the Lowcountry Unfiltered group to the Congaree National Park. Instead of paddling, this would be a hiking trek. I think we would have stayed drier if we had been in kayaks.
I left a foggy Greenville at 6:00 AM, with the plan to meet the rest of the group at the park between 8:00 and 8:30. It was a cold mid-30’s, but I was appropriately dressed. The forecast called for rain later in the day, so even though it was cold, I was glad we were getting an early start. Continue reading “A Flooded Trek through the Congaree Swamp”