This was my last Second Saturday with Lowcountry Unfiltered before we move out west. I was hoping for an epic trip for this outing, and Matt came up with a perfect venue. This particular Saturday we would be exploring the wilds of the Lynches River through Florence County. It would be one of our longer treks, and take us through areas we had not yet explored. It did turn out to be an epic, and most excellent trip.
It was time. The Second Saturday in July marked our Ninth Annual Edisto River Rope Swing and Beer Commercial Float. This trip is by far the most relaxed of all of our trips and, as the name implies, features rope swings and beer. Throw in a few sand bars, bratwurst and sauerkraut, and good friends, and it becomes the epitome of why we do this.
Once again it’s time for the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies (hymenocallis coronaria) to make their appearance along the rivers of the Southeast. This past weekend marked the peak bloom for the lilies and all week I was seeing photos taken at Landsford Canal State Park posted to social media. A paddling friend also posted a link to a tour run by the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. Laura was away on a Furman trip, so I decided it would be a great opportunity to head back to the Catawba River for this event.
I’m always looking for new paddling companions. Not that there’s anything wrong with the close friends I’ve developed in my other paddling groups, but different people bring different perspectives and and expertise on new paddling venues. The more the merrier (most of the time.). So lately I’ve been keeping track of the Tri-County Blueway Paddlers Meetup group. Ed Deal and Deb Mims have been organizing some insteresting trips over waterways I’ve wanted to explore and at times that I can attend. This week they scheduled a trip to the Old Santee Canal which I’d visited back in February with Lowcountry Unfiltered. I enjoyed that trip so much and the scenery was spectacular, so I decided to head back for this trip.
It was time to plan another Second Saturday trip with Lowcountry Unfiltered. We’ve been trying to expand our trips, visiting places that we haven’t done multiple times. There are lots of waterways in this state, so I don’t think we’ll exhaust our opportunities, but it’s fun to see new stretches of water. This time we decided to paddle part of the Little River Blueway, specifically, a section of Long Cane Creek. Our route would take us through a very remote, historical section of South Carolina, but there would be many, many obstacles before we reached the end of our paddle.
Laura was in Florida for the Easter Weekend visiting her mother and sister, and I was spending time with my brother Houston at his home in Georgia. Every time we get together Houston tells me about all the paddling opportunities near his house, but I’d never had a chance to try them out…until now. On this Saturday before Easter we decided to launch from the Dyar Pasture Recreation Area and explore Lake Oconee and the Oconee River.
Several weeks ago I received a Facebook friend request from Deb Mims. Deb and I had never met, but she had read several of my posts here. I’m usually very cautious when I get a request like this out of the blue. However, Deb had some interesting things going on, so I accepted. I’m glad I did, as it led to an excellent kayaking trip and the potential for more exploration.