I was pleasantly surprised at how many people went on our last paddling excursion on the Enoree and Broad Rivers. In addition to our regular Lowcountry Unfiltered group, we had seven others from the Upstate and Midlands. There are several others from fairly close by that would have gone if they hadn’t had prior conflicts. That got me wondering whether or not we should start an Upstate version of Lowcountry Unfiltered. I don’t think I’m ready for that, yet, but my inquiries yielded some interesting things.
My paddling associations have always been informal. It’s always been just whoever was available on any particular paddling day. I’ve done more paddling with my friends Bob and Alan than anyone else, but there are others that join us with some consistency.
The Lowcountry Unfiltered group is the closest thing to a formal organization I’ve ever joined for paddling. However, the thing that appeals to me most about it is its very informal nature. Apart from having a website, logo, and a set Saturday of the month for outings, it’s a very loosely-defined group. If it weren’t for the fact that some of the trips are a bit far away for me, and the fact that I’m not free every second Saturday, I’d join them on just about every trip.
While toying with the idea of an Upstate group, I decided to check the web to see what others might be out there. These range from the informal to the anal retentive, based on who’s running the group and how many paddlers are involved. Here’s are some observations I’ve made based solely on their websites…