A group of us took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather last weekend and spent 2 nights camping and 2 days paddling. Sundays high of 79F broke the record high for that date. Friday night got down to 32F while we camped at group site 1 In Congaree NP. We had clear skies for Saturday’s paddle on Cedar Creek. We had 12 boats 15 people and one dog on the trip. Ages ranged from 2 to 66. It was the first time canoe/kayak camping for several of the folks with us.
Saturday’s paddle was about 7 miles down Cedar Creek to the Congaree. Though it was warm enough for the reptiles to sun themselves we only saw one turtle on a log. the creek was clear of obstruction for about 2/3 of the way, but the last third had about 10 down trees spanning the creek. We became somewhat adept at doing the kayak and canoe limbo through this section. We also had two take outs and portage around the downed trees. This put us at sunset before we arrived at the Congaree River where we set up camp. We had a good fire going after dark and grilled steaks, hamburgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob, and potatoes. Off course the stories around the fire were most entertaining, and I am sure there was no exaggeration involved.
The next morning we took our time packing up and eating breakfast. One of us played a Native American flute as background to breakfast. The 12 mile trip down the Conagree was assisted with a little over a 2 mph current. Surprisingly some of the trees were already flushing green with new growth much to early in the season. I hope they aren’t hurt by a freeze, but most likely this growth will be hammered before spring. The Conagree bluffs on the south bank where a sharp contrast to the low lying lswamp lands we paddled through on Cedar Creek. We ate lunch on a sandbar and took out at the 601 bridge by 2:30.
A few of the boats at the put in on Cedar Creek.
Doing the kayak and canoe limbo on Cedar Creek.
Paddling the Conagree River.
Lunch on the sand bar.