Report on a portion of a trip (bike shuttle) on the Congaree Creek in Cayce.

Congaree Creek-A Trip Report (sort of)

by edye

Teresa and I were planning on a paddling Congaree Creek, one of our favorite flat water trips right here in town, this weekend. Actually, I was supposed to lead the outing for our club. The creek is a great little black water run with lots of bends and twists, and nice current that keeps the pace and scenery interesting. It is always surprising how remote and at one with nature you can feel, minutes after sliding a boat in the water mere feet from a busy highway and within town boundaries. Anyway, with natural obstacles (trees and sandbars), zippy current, and switchback type bends, it is a great place to practice boat control and paddle strokes.

Usually, we have to travel for quite a distance to experience such a place. So given the added benefit of a short drive across town to Cayce, we were really looking forward to spending the day on the water with old friends, and new alike: Mike, Jan, Mark, Nick, Betty, Sue, Marie, Jim, and Jeffrey. An extra bonus for this trip was a bike shuttle! A quick 3-mile ride on bicycles from the takeout back to the starting point; our vehicles would be at the end of the trip so we could load up our kayaks and be on our way after the paddle. We experimented with running these types of dual exercise trips last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. While it complicates the shuttle math, which is surpassed in difficulty only by Calculus, it is a lot of fun. So we were really looking forward to the entire experience.

Sometimes life has a way of rearranging even the best laid plans; I mean there are important priorities that trump a paddling trip (however unfortunate it may be). So with the pending birth of a first grandchild, a nursery that needs to be put together, and a cosmic alignment of everyone’s schedules that freed our family to get together and assemble cribs, etc…; our paddling plans were changed.

I didn’t have much problem getting Mike to take over the leadership responsibility for our trip. And while Teresa stayed home to cook potato salad, marinate ribs for grilling, and all the accoutrements; it happened that I would be able to at least participate in the bike riding portion of the trip. Mike, Betty, and Sue were in for the full adventure excursion, so while the others stayed behind and watched kayaks, we set off for our bike ride. We rode along a newly constructed boardwalk that winds near the creek below our designated takeout, and then back onto the roadway and into town once again. Once we finished our ride, I stayed to help everyone get their skirts on, boats launched, and on their way. I hope they had fun; I had too much potato salad!

Here is a link to a video I made of our bike ride, and the festivities at the put-in: http://vimeo.com/58830091

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