Been a rough couple of weeks. Once again I was in need of hydrotherapy. I did a 6.66 mile trip on Lake Robinson last Friday, and on Wednesday of this week Bennie and I had planned to make an early start for Lake Tugalo. Sadly, illness in Bennie’s family kept him at home, so I was on my own. I decided to paddle a bit closer to home. I made the drive up to Lake Blalock in Spartanburg County.
This past Saturday Spartanburg Water held their first annual Paddlefest on Lake Blalock. In addition to highlighting paddlesport opportunities on the lake, the event was designed to promote water quality and watershed awareness. The Western Carolina Kayaking group announced the event, so I decided to sign up and check it out.
Lake Blalock is located in northern Spartanburg County. It is fed by the Pacolet River, which it shares with its upstream neighbor, Lake Bowen, and by Buck Creek. The lake is a small lake with limited boat motor size, and a watershed buffer zone around the lake between landowners and the lake’s edge. That makes it ideal for paddling.
Saturday I joined 191 fellow kayakers for the 13th annual Tame the Tyger river race. The race is sponsored by the Tyger River Foundation and the Spartanburg County Parks and Recreation Department.
I’ve run the Tyger River several times, but have never participated in the Tame the Tyger event. It falls on the second Saturday of April, and that’s when I usually have a Lowcountry Unfiltered paddling trip. This year our LCU trip got postponed for a week, so I had the weekend open.
The event consists of an actual race, where participants are timed, and participate in various categories. There is also a “fun float” for those wanting to run the river, but not compete. Since I’m dreadfully out of shape and have let my whitewater skills lag a bit I signed up for the fun float. Live music and a barbecue dinner round out the event at the take-out.