Rusty and Lisa paddled the 8 miles in late Thursday evening. Pat and I paddled in late Friday morning. We would head back Sunday morning. Forecast was for rain every day. It was in the 90s with patchy clouds, high humidity and very light winds when Pat and I launched. Lots of boats out on the water.
Leaving the ramp for the 2-mile open water crossing.
The Rhododendron was blooming, and the rain and wind had broken many of the flowers loose. They looked so picturesque floating on the water. We would have the pleasure of paddling through concentrations of them all 3 days of the trip. The sourwood was also blooming, and their small vase shaped bloom would often be standing up on end and float like a strangely shaped watercraft for ants.
We met up with Lisa and Rusty about two miles from camp and decided to visit the Rhododendron tunnel. It’s a short distance, unlike the Mangrove tunnels in FL. The water was the highest I have seen it which reduced the passage to almost unpassable. There is a rock overhang and a small fall when you come to the end of the tunnel. The rare Oconee Bell blooms in there.
The entrance to the Rhododendron tunnel.
There was a stand of Purple Sneezeweed to welcome us as we pulled into the campsite.
Had the tent up before the first storm but not the tarp. lasted maybe 30 minutes. Hot and humid afterward. Put the tarp up collected standing dead wood and cooked hotdogs over the fire. Retreated to the tarp as the next storm move in. Rusty played his guitar and we both listened and conversed around a Lucilight on the ground and one hanging from the edge of the tarp.
Not long after the rain stopped, we had a Fowler’s Toad come jumping toward the light. There were numerous small flying insects of the nonbiting type bugs on the ground. The Toad made a bee line for the bugs at the light on the ground. Had another one follow suit and perhaps as many as 6 more catching bugs in the glow around the tarp. We had the Toad Six-Legged Buffet and excellent guitar handling for the night’s entertainment.
The next day we Paddled up to the Toxaway river and cooled off in the river.
We passed a couple in a canoe with their dog, and it sure looks like they didn’t know which way to go.
On the way Lisa spied a likely mark (she doesn’t reveal the secret markers that tell her she will get a yes). We were shortly the proud owners of 4 cold beers.
Getting a kick out of kicking back!
That night we sat around the fire, both Pat and Rusty took turns on the guitar. Lisa played my ukulele when they took a break, and I even played some tunes on my Native American style flute i made from bamboo. The toads showed up and joined in as the chorus. They didn’t come all the way into the lights either. In fact, though they did eat the occasional bug they were more interested in calling. It seems last night they feasted and tonight had romance in mind instead.
Rusty had to leave early because he had to work the night shift This meant that we were off to an earlier start than usual. Rusty did leave before us though.
The camp host eating breakfast.
No toads on the toadstools. Too delicate!
Morning light on the water.
Heading out from camp.
We had a light shower when we left and another on the open water crossing later in the day.
Crossing to the takeout.