Paul Wagenknecht had a confession to make. He and several other Furman professors had been making regular treks out to the Greer Dragway for their Thursday “Practice and Grudge Night.” He invited me to come along and bring my camera and audio recorders. How could I possibly refuse?
It’s been a tough winter. I hadn’t been out on my kayaks in a long time, and I missed a great Lowcountry Unfiltered trip on Saturday. I needed to get out on the water. So, Sunday morning before the rains started, Laura kicked me out the door with my touring boat and pointed me in the direction of Lake Robinson. The plan was to give the GoPro camera a shake down and make sure it would do everything it promised.
I chose Lake Robinson over the other local paddling venues quite frankly because it’s boring. The scenery from the park is spectacular with the mountains in the background, but once you get out on the water your only view is of the housing developments that ring the lake. Granted, there are interesting birds, and if you just want to get out and paddle it’s fine. However, nearby Lake Cunningham has much more to see with its lily fields and other quirks.
Yet, this suited me perfectly. I was here to test the new camera, and if it didn’t work correctly, I didn’t want to be disappointed that I’d failed to get a shot. I had my Fuji waterproof camera and Panasonic Lumix as back-ups, but the GoPro was the focus of the mission.
UPDATE: This restaurant is now closed.
I love Eastern Mediterranean food. There’s nothing like pita and hummus for a snack, and kabobs, olives, rice, and falafel make a perfect meal, especially when rounded out with baklava. So, I was thrilled to see that a Lebanese restaurant had opened on Wade Hampton Boulevard in Greer, within striking distance for lunch.
The Rolled Pita is located in the corner of a small strip mall near the old Allen-Bennett Hospital. For a long time it went unnoticed, with only a small sign proclaiming “Lebanese Restaurant.” I didn’t even spot it until they renamed the place and put up a larger sign. That was last Friday, so Wednesday I decided to give it a try.
If it were a Greek place, I probably would have described it as “spartan” just to be witty. This goes beyond spartan. There are just a few tables in a surprisingly large area. The restaurant actually takes up two spaces at the mall, with the second space serving as a fish market. Unfortunately, the place reeks of fish, and I almost turn around and walk out.
For Christmas Laura had given me a nice paddling jacket and neoprene boots so I could do some cold-weather paddling. I had not had a chance to really try these out, but Sunday afternoon presented a nice opportunity. It was breezy and in the low 50’s (not really cold, but close enough.) Bob and Alan joined me for a semi-quick afternoon paddle out on Lake Robinson in Greer.
Bob and I arrived at the Verne Smith Park and unloaded the boats. We could already feel the breeze coming off of the lake, but the water didn’t look too choppy. Alan arrived shortly thereafter. Just before we got underway I realized I was traveling VERY light for me. I had forgotten my phone, and didn’t have any GPS gear with me.
While there weren’t any white caps, there was a definite bounce to the water. The new paddling jacket was quite welcome as it shed the spray splashing onto the boat. I was also glad I had brought along my spray skirt.
One of the things I love about where I live is that I can be on the water paddling somewhere within 15 minutes. Such was the case Saturday. While Irene was wreaking havoc along the coast, we had wonderful weather, albeit a bit breezy. I called up Tim Taylor, and we loaded up the boats for a spur-of-the-minute paddling trip to Lake Cunningham.
Tim had headed out with me once before, on a trip from Piedmont upstream on the Saluda River. Tim is a naturalist, and a great person to have along on these trips. Today was no different, as we came across lots of wildlife on the paddle.
We first stopped by the Lake Robinson office to get day passes for paddling. Looking out over the more open water of Robinson, we could see white caps churned up by the wind. We had toyed with the idea of just putting in here, but the rough water made us stick with our original plan, and head to the more sheltered waters of Cunningham.
There was a major party wrapping up at the Cunningham picnic area, but the only folks at the boat ramp were a few fishermen who looked at our kayaks skeptically. We launched, then did our usual routine of heading upstream toward the lily pads.
It’s an interesting turn of circumstances. When we first got our kayaks we would run up to Lake Cunningham a couple of times a week to get some exercise and to relax. Then we moved into our current house, which is on a lake. Now we hardly ever paddle, even with ready access to water. … Read More “Paddling Lake Cunningham” »