Close calls of the river kind....

My groups of paddlers are planning a trip for the Edisto (SC), and one of our group is planning to enter the river far upstream a few days before the rest of us (he’s retired) and meeting us where we intend to put in. He’s coming down from NYC and he’s a bit concerned about paddling alone. Although paddling alone might not be the best plan, he is a very safe, prepared paddler. His biggest worry is running into someone with ill intentions.

I’d be interested to know of any “close calls” of this nature that folks have encountered while paddling, and suggestions for being “prepared” for such encounters.

"Squeel like a pig!"
You know I’ve never met anybody with bad intentions on any river I’ve paddled.

I suppose it could happen. I’d say it’s less likely on the river than in NYC.

If he’s really worried maybe a satelite phone would alow him to call the cops. $$! My cell rarely works in river valleys.

I have been paddling the NC and SC
rivers including the Edistoe and Lumber for the past twenty years, and have never met someone who was not friendly.

All the fishermen will always give you a friendly hello, and many times if it is at a put-in, they want to BS with you longer than you want to BS with them.



I Think
he has either lived in NYC too long or watched too many movies. I paddle solo a lot and have not met the first unfriendly person on the water yet.

Happy Paddling,


Tell HIm To Stop…

– Last Updated: Sep-01-06 10:20 AM EST –

watching "Deliverance..."


PS. You'd figure someone from NYC would have learned to project "bad intention" when confronted with someone who is doing the same. Generally, predators like easy prey.

No real concern
…but I became curious after the topic came up. Just wondering if anyone had experienced any encounters anywhere.

I’ve been researching “river cruising” (motorboat) for several years, and there are some stories out there, but most seem to occur when the travelers are docked or moored near remote public access areas.

Where’ll he be sleeping?
Will he be camping on the overnights, if so will it be guerilla camping or at designated camp sites? And how civilized is this stretch - pure woods or thru developed areas? I can’t imagine any likely problems on the water, but the reality is that stuff does occassionally happen once you are parked on land. And it can get aggravated by the beholder - I’ve run into some from real urban environments who see the guys from Deliverance under every rock once they are really out in the woods.

There may be some choices he can make that will leave him more at ease and at less risk of encountering something that is difficult for him to handle.

Fishermen, etc.
Just try to avoid running over their lines or making unnecessary noise where they’re fishing. Good manners go a long way in keeping you out of trouble.

The worst thing I’ve encountered on a river is your basic loud drunk. Just smile, wave, and keep moving…

Just bring your banjo.
Those Deliverance gentlemen are suckers for a good plucker.

Better yet, a zither!
Keeps ‘em guessin’ as to whether you’re dead or really The Third Man. Or, after the 100th or so arpeggio, sends ‘em howlin’ back into the surroundin’ underbrush beggin’ for acoustical mercy.

If you tell me the date of the trip and
where the loner is putting in, I might just meet him and make that part of the trip with him. Seeing as how I am planning on the rest of trip anyway. He wil need someone to help him find his tent. Sorry I missed the last trip with the group -work bites.

Edisto River
The worst I’ve ever encountered on the Edisto were some people firing their guns across the river. They quit when they saw us. Most Edisto bank dwellers are friendly, although some have annoying dogs that bark hysterically at anything on the river. Kinda kills the peace and quiet.

Tell him to watch for hornet nests in the willows, too.

Attacked by a couple big dogs

On the AuSable River, I had just come ashore at one of the designated canoe camps, when all of a sudden two large dogs came running out of the woods.

They were barking loudly as they headed straight for me. I froze in my tracks, completely unarmed. There was nowhere to hide. No tree to climb. Visions went through my mind of being torn to shreds, by dogs and not bears! They were almost upon me when I heard a womans voice call out. As she walked into sight, the dogs turned and ran to her.

Turns out, she lived nearby and was taking her dogs for a romp through the woods. Didn’t know anyone was at the campsite. She apologized for the incident, but I smiled, shrugged it off, and said it was nothing. She left, and I never saw them again.

Then, I changed my pants.

Probably no problem
Statistically speaking, he’s got nothing to worry about. He’s in much more danger driving to and from the river.

He might want to think about what he might do if he has a non-life threatening injury…dislocated shoulder, badly sprained ankle, broken bone. If slipping and falling and oh s— happens miles away from anyone else he’s going to need to figure out a way to stagger or crawl to safety, or, the pals are going to have to go get him.

Good luck and have fun (do most of my kayaking and hiking solo).


We have never had a problem
on any river. At one time in Georgia, a very possessive landowner was shooting near paddlers to deter them from scouting a rapid from an island he owned. He also claimed the right to block river traffic. He lost in court, because of an obscure GA law protecting common passage on that particular river.

Groups are more likely to attract attention from drunks than individuals. About thirty years ago there was an ugly set-two between a college group trying to take off a river and a bunch of drunk locals.

Close Call
Genesee River about half way between Belfast and Caneadea

June 22nd 2002

You tend to remember where you were when you get shot at.

Apparently (as I later learned)pot has replaced monshine in more areas than the blue ridge mtns. and we must have looked like DEA agants or something.

Put a nice hole in the Loon of a friend.

Saw a bridge comming up…Oramel Hill Road…

Took out there.

It’s been the stumbling block to attempting an Eldridge to Portville paddle on the upper Allegheny solo or with less than a half doz. other paddlers.

Basic loud drunks…

– Last Updated: Sep-03-06 10:53 AM EST –

We have run into our share of those. Kids waving empty booze bottles and yelling at us, and a pack of 20-and-30-somethings on a creek bank having an impromptu par-tee who harrassed us loudly as we paddled by.

We try to be polite and respectful of the fishermen, but we have met our share, over time, of those who don't take kindly to paddlers. One told us to GET OUT OF HIS F---ING CREEK! Another groused at us: "I hope you're NOT going to stay here, as this is a PRIME fishing spot!" (even though he arrived there AFTER we did). A third, who I'd say was drunk, told us we "scared" him so much when we approached, he practically fell in the water (even though he clearly saw us coming and acknowledged our presence). Then he called us a certain word that I won't repeat here.

However, no one shot at us yet. ;-)

Ok…it took me more than a few minutes to figure out who “tinkerbell” is…but I finally got it!..LOL!

Yeah! missed a great trip if you crave razor-rock and punctured boats…:slight_smile:

I’ll pass your suggestion on to MM…he’s looking for company.

Scott apparently checked out the proposed campsite this weekend…sounds like a great place to use as base camp!

BTW…I picked up a Tarpon 140…and Jo took the Tsunami 145 away from me! :slight_smile:

dress like a hunter
When I wore a blaze orange vest to avoid getting shot, other people on the river seemed to just assume I was a hunter.

Better yet dress like you work for DNR!!! I have been all over the Edisto including some of the upper remote sections, never have i had ANY problems. Really i have had more problems at the lake Joccassee boat ramps!! The Edisto is a pretty laid back river and so are most of the folks that use it.