Our friends from Lowcountry Unfiltered wanted to do an Upstate River this fall. Since I’m the only one in the area that regularly paddles with them, I was tasked with finding a suitable trip. I had scouted the put-in and take-out points on a section of the Tyger River that flows through Sumter National Forest, and thought it might make a good trip. Today Bob Donnan and I scouted the section to see if it would, indeed, be a good paddle. Long story short – it wasn’t. However, it was a good day on the river, and that is always better than a day doing just about anything else.
I had my doubts about this trip. It had been raining all weekend, and when I got up Sunday morning there were flash flood warnings for Oconee County. However, I had the boats and gear already loaded onto the truck, and a phone call to Bob reported that they hadn’t received much rain. We decided to head on down to the river and check out conditions before committing to the trip.
I met Bob at our rendezvous point and we drove to the put-in at the Rose Hill Boat Ramp. Both of us remarked that this area seems “ancient”. There is very little development, and it seems remote. Sumter National Forest covers most of the region, and large hunt clubs have bought up huge tracts of land. The area seems almost mystical, as if just about anything beyond the realm of reality could happen.