Paddling the Congaree–Saturday–April 21, 2012 2

Nancy and I had a great day with our son, Brian and his wife, Chris!! 
We drove the 3 miles to their house Saturday about 12:30pm.


After Brian got all his kayaking equipment together, 02---Brian-is-ready-for-anything_thu

the four of us drove just outside of Columbia to
 Adventure Carolina in Cayce, SC.    03---Carolina-Adventure-Sign_thumb3

The kids gave us a kayak trip for Christmas and today we were cashing it in. We were not using the Sea Eagle as the tour included all the equipment… just needed to choose our weapon;o)))

There was a total of 7 people plus the guide for this 3.6 mile trip down the Congaree River, in Columbia.

Arriving at the launch point

Final instructions from our guide, Justin06---Final-Instructions-from-Justin_

It seemed strange to be so close to the city.  However, it's no accident that Columbia has three beautiful rivers running through it. The state legislature decided to move the state capital from Charleston to near the geographic center of the state. In the late 1700's river travel was a primary transportation mode, so the new capital city was laid out just up from where the Broad and Saluda Rivers confluence form the Congaree River.

Looking up river from the launch point.07---Up-river-on-the-Congaree_thumb2

Looking down river from the launch point.07b--Down-river-on-the-Congaree_thum

Everyone got onto the river!!

This was Brian and Chris’ first time kayaking and they chose single kayaks.  Nancy and I got a double as usual.  Of course, Nancy does more picture taking taking than paddling;o))

We had not gone far,
when we came to the first set of rapids. 

We watch Justin go through first!!

What made this trip fantastic—it was all downstream!! So little paddling was involved.  The majority of trip was just floating and steering while enjoying the beautiful weather and great company!! We had three other folks with us: Lisa, a young high school biology teacher in Columbia and her parents from Michigan. 

They were the first to brave the rapids and
the rest of us follow suit ;o))

Way to go, Lisa!!

Lisa’s parents and our guide, Justin18---Justin-and-Lisas-Parents_thumb2

As always, Nancy clicked away capturing all
the fun, scenery and wildlife.
12---Turtle-Parade_thumb213---Big-Tree-Roots_thumb231 - Little and big turtle_thumb[2]15b---Great-Blue-Heron_thumb217---Turtle-Island_thumb2

Justin took a detour under some down trees.19 - Guide Justin paddles under the trees_thumb[2]

Of course we knew Brian was going to follow.
He made it without too much problem!!20 -  Brian takes on the trees_thumb[2]

The rest of us just paddled around that area. 
Before long, we were approaching the old river locks.21 - Approaching the old locks_thumb[2]21a - first group through the locks_thumb[2]

When you enter the locks,
you hit some small rapids!!
22 - Rapids through the locks_thumb[3]
They were flowing pretty good today.

Justin, Lisa and her parents are first through.23 - first group made it through the locks_thumb[2]

Brian and Chris are ready to brave the rapids;o))24 - Brian's turn, bring it on_thumb[2]25 - Everybody through the locks_thumb[2]
Everyone made it through safely. 

it was a bit of a struggle to get the kayaks beached
 just below the locks.
The current was strong and made for a fun time!!26 - beaching the kayaks_thumb[2]

We climbed to the top of the locks for a look around.27 - Everybody on top of the locks_thumb[2]

It was a beautiful view back up river. 
A train was passing right over the railroad bridge
we had just went under.
28 - The Locks with train crossing bridge_thumb[2]

Yes, we really were on this trip;o))
29 - Yes, we were there_thumb[2]

We took a little break and just enjoy the beautiful view. 
That break was abruptly interrupted when
we saw our kayak floating away from the beach;o(( 

Justin was our hero and recovered our runaway kayak!!30 - Justin retrieves our runaway kayak_thumb[2]

We continued our float down the river. 

The weather was perfect…
mid 70’s, slight cloud cover and gentle breeze:o))

Of course some of us don’t know whether
we are coming or going!!!
32 - coming and going_thumb[2]

All too quickly we were approaching the take out area;o((33 - Approaching the takeout point_thumb[2]

Over on the right,
you can almost see a fisherman in the picture above. 

No one realized he had cast his line past the end of the dock. 
However, they found it when they got there.

It was fun watching them maneuver under;o))34 - Uh Oh Fishing Line_thumb[6]

All packed up and ready to head out.35 - packed up and heading back_thumb[3]

It was a perfect Sunday afternoon. 
Great paddle, fun people and perfect weather!! 
It doesn’t get any better:o))

Thanks Brian and Chris!!


  1. Great paddle, especially doing it with the kids :)

    Just curious what you thought of the hard kayak vs your Sea Eagle?

    Enjoy the rest of your time with Brian & Chris!

  2. Looks like a great day on the water!!

  3. That was such a fun day for you! Very thoughtful of Brian & Chris to get think of that.

  4. Looks like a fun day. I may have to consider getting a kayak. There would be no way Judy would join me though.

  5. Looks like everyone had a good time on the water. I think we would enjoy a float like that too.
    Funny how SC made sense when they made Columbia the capital. NC on the other hand founded Raleigh as the capital because there was some property near Isaac's Tavern, a favorite watering hole for the gentlemen of the time. :-)

  6. Bill said he got wetter in the hard kayak and the seat was hard. Paddled easy, but of course we were going with the current. Not ready to trade in the Sea Eagle:o))

    Nancy said she really couldn't tell the difference. Her camera work just fine;o))

  7. Hi Nancy & Bill. Not sure if you know that Neil & I have sold our stick & brick house and will be joining all you full-timers soon. We just started a blog and would like to invite you to follow our journey. We love reading your post and so enjoy all the pictures, time and effort you put into it. Thank you for sharing. Find us @

  8. I should also add - we would love for anyone who reads our comment to Nancy & Bill, we would welcome all followers. We are on Facebook and enjoy following you in that way also. Thanks for listening.

  9. Great gift for mom and dad! Well done Brian & Chris. Looks like a fun paddle but the best was seeing your kayak floating away. I laughed and laughed. Wish I'd been there. You two are the dynamic duo for sure!!

  10. Thoughtful kids, they knew what you'd like.

    I'm beginning to think there won't be a single turtle left unphotographed with Nancy around! ;c)