Moonlight Kayaking - Saturday - September 10, 2011

RV-Dreams - Carolina Clan,    Day 3 - Part 2

Click any photo to enlarge

After our morning hike and visit with the British, we spent the rest of the afternoon just visiting at our campsite and taking a rest.  We all needed to be rested, ready and on the water by 6pm for our Moonlight Kayak Trip!!!

About 5:30, the clan began to get it together and launch their kayaks.

This is Paul and Jill adding some air to their kayak.  At this point they have no idea the seats have been reversed by Sweet Laura ;o))03b - Moonlight Paddle - Paul and Jill Prepping

One by one we launched our kayaks. 03c - Moonlight Paddle - All boats in

The last couple to launch were Jill and Paul.  Just before they put the kayak in the water, Paul checked to see if the seats were facing the right direction.  Oh darn, he figured it out ;o((  Sweet Laura was a little disappointed, but that disappointment was short lived.  Jill was in the kayak and Paul was getting in when the boat flipped over and the two of them were in the lake.  No one was hurt other than their pride. 

Of course they were soaked, so Jill ran back to the RV and changed into dry clothes. While she was gone, Bruce and Laura (AKA The Captain and Tenniel) gave Jill and Paul a new nickname…
“Dunkin Donuts!!”
  03d - Moonlight Paddle - Jill and Paul Upright
One false move around the Carolina Clan and
you will be RENAMED :o))

Once everyone was safely launched, the clan paddled across the lake to meet Ranger Mark at the State Park Boat Beach. From there, we would paddle down to the Cypress Groves in the tail of the lake and then back to the campground.  The entire paddle is a little over 4 miles.
03f10  - Moonlight Paddle - Route Map

Everybody gathered around to wait for Ranger Mark.03e - Moonlight Paddle - Waiting for the Ranger

Gail and Rick
03f1 - Moonlight Paddle - Rick and Gail

Tricia and Dan
03f2 - Moonlight Paddle - Dan and Tricia

Evin and Steve
03f3 - Moonlight Paddle - Evin and Steve   

                     Kris and Ray              Laura and Bruce03f4 - Moonlight Paddle - Kris, Ray, Laura, Bruce

Amanda and Brandon  -  Tricia’s Son and DIL03f5 - Moonlight Paddle - Branden and Amanda

Kathy  - Tricia’s Sister
03f6 - Moonlight Paddle - Kathy

03f - Moonlight Paddle - Gin

03f7 - Moonlight Paddle - Syl

Roamin’ P. Duck
03f8 - Moonlight Paddle - Roamin P Duck

Uh Oh….   I think there’s been a ducknapping!!!03f9  - Moonlight Paddle - Ducknapping

I heard rumors that “George” might be with us also;o))

Around 7pm, once Ranger Mark had given us some information and instructions, we headed down the lake.
03g  - Moonlight Paddle - Ranger Mark paddling

We paddled through a cove.
 03i  - Moonlight Paddle - Into the Cove

As we came out of the cove,
this was the beautiful view of the cypress trees!! 03j  - Moonlight Paddle - First View of the Cypress Trees

We stopped here for a rest and to get more instructions and information from Ranger Mark.03k  - Moonlight Paddle - Ranger Mike Talk Group Shot
If you enlarge the above picture, you will see Gin (waving) in the middle of the photo.  Right behind her you can see Ranger Mark's Dad tying glow sticks in the tree. We all had a glow sticks tied on the front and back of our kayaks and they tied them all along the route so we could find our way out!!  That was a good idea ;o))

03l  - Moonlight Paddle - Ranger Mike Talk
Ranger Mark gave us information about Cheraw State Park and what to expect as we headed farther into the Cypress Trees.  He explained that we may hear and see some Beaver.  They live in the Cypress Groves.

03m  - Moonlight Paddle - Ranger Mike Talk Trees
03n  - Moonlight Paddle - Ranger Mike Talk Wood Ducks
We saw the Wood Duck boxes and the Osprey Nest.03o  - Moonlight Paddle - Ranger Mike Talk Osprey

As you can see from the picture below, the sun was setting and
we could now see the moon as the night got darker!!
03q  - Moonlight Paddle - Moon Higher

Just before we headed deep into the DARK, 
Gail turned on her Droid and played Dueling Banjos,
the theme song from Deliverance…  03p  - Moonlight Paddle - Gail Deliverence Theme
Thanks Gail, we all feel much better now ;o((

03r  - Moonlight Paddle - Sun Lower
The deeper we went…the darker it got, 
but what fun weaving amongst the Cypress Trees. 

Hearing Beavers smacking their tails to let us know
they weren’t happy:o((

Learning what Cypress Knees are as our Kayaks went
 over and around them in the dark waters;o((
03s  - Moonlight Paddle - Trail Narrows

Finally, we got to the end of the trail and it was DARK!!

It may have been a full moon,
but amongst the Cypress Trees,
the moonlight didn’t shine very bright!
03t  - Moonlight Paddle - Very Dark

When Nancy took photos without the flash, the slow shutter speed
made for some interesting effects.

Doesn’t Syl look like she’s part of a parade float ;o))03v  - Moonlight Paddle - Syl in lights

We all gather together and waited for everyone
to get to the turn around point. 
It was eerie, but beautiful. 
 03u  - Moonlight Paddle - Ranger Mike Talk Dark
The quiet was broken by a loud noise, followed by a holler from Gin.  Apparently, one of the beavers thought Gin’s paddle, sitting in the water, was another Beaver.  The REAL Beaver came real close to jumping in her kayak ;o((

Once everyone had arrived, we needed to reverse direction and find our way out in the dark. 

It is a good thing the leaders knew where they were going or I think several of us would have spent the night out there;o))03w  - Moonlight Paddle - Back out of Cypress

The Moonlight Kayak Paddle was FANTASTIC !!! 

This was a first for Nancy and I, paddling in the dark. 
What a beautiful night! 
Everyone had a great time and there were
a lot of tired people when we finished around 9:30. 

No campfire tonight – just a good night’s sleep!!

But first, a quick look around the rig and campsite to make sure “George” isn’t here….


  1. You did an excellent job on this post! I relived the whole thing reading it :) You got some fantastic photos Nancy!
    I only wish my Droid volume could have been louder :)

    I'm thinking George is still lost :)

  2. We had so much fun that weekend. I know that I'm still smiling. Thanks so much for doing such a great post of the events. Maybe I should take a few notes next time to blackmail..I a better blog. Cheers to all!

  3. You guys are hilarious! Ducknapping...dueling banjos.....glow sticks.....

    come on....who ended up with George???

    GREAT pictures Nancy - terrific story Bill!

  4. LOL! I have been laughing through all of the posts. They are hysterical! It's been fun reliving a great fun time! It couldn't have been any better. I'm pretty sure too that "George" was with us on the Moonlight Kayak.

    Bruce and Laura

  5. What fun! What an adventure! Glad all y'all (a TX term meaning everyone) are having such a great time. We are jealous.