With the long weekend I felt the need to hit the water. The challenge was to find a paddling venue that was relatively close, doable without killing the entire day, and not over-run by Memorial Day crowds. We found the perfect location on the Saluda River, below the Lake Greenwood Dam.
Our plans were for an 8-mile stretch of the river from Buzzards Roost at Highway 34 to the Highway 39 bridge at Chappells. I was a bit concerned about river access. I knew there was parking and river access at Buzzard’s Roost, but I couldn’t find any info about Chappells. All my resources indicated that it would be a throw-in, at best. Fortunately, Dave was able to do some advanced scouting, and concluded that it would be a challenge, but doable. We decided to go for it.
Dave, Alan, and I rendezvoused at Alan’s house early Monday morning and we headed on down. Our first stop was at the take-out at Chappells. A steep, rutted dirt road lead down to the river, and it looked like there was adequate parking, assuming one had four-wheel drive and could get down the initial hill. The bank down to the river did look steep, but not insurmountable. We decided to put all of the kayaks in my truck and leave Dave’s Land Rover at the take-out.
The shuttle for the trip was only about 3 miles. While the road goes east-west, the river takes a deep dip southward. Before we knew it we had arrived at the Highway 34 bridge and the area known as Buzzards Roost. The dam forming Lake Greenwood was completed in 1940 and was referred to as the Buzzards Roost Project. The name has been around much longer than the lake, but I haven’t been able to find any history on it.