CATEGORY: River Trips
It’s 7:30 am Saturday June 7, 2008. We will be hitting the river around 11:30. Prior obligations kept Ken from going earlier this morning.
It’s going to be a hot one. Weather report is calling for a high of 97 degrees. I have packed a case of water that I froze last night. (If nothing else I can pack myself in ice in the kayak.) We will be leaving from Rockingham at Hwy 74 and pulling out just below the Hwy 1 bridge at the Chesterfield/Marlboro county line.
Besides me and Ken we will have two other guys with us today. Donnie and Jerry both work with me. I asked if they would like to come along earlier this week and they jumped at the chance. I am going to publish this now and will edit as the weekend goes on. If you are reading this stay tuned.
Home! Sore, tired, blistered hands, but alive and just fine. A nice trip. I would do it again. Higher water would have been nice but you can’t have everything. The trip took longer than expected. More to follow.
We started out this morning from Laney Landing in Cheraw. Ken’s wife Sally was nice enough to drive us up in the Jeep and drop us off at the landing at Hwy 74.
The start of the trip was slow going and we thought that the water would get better. We had a lot of scrubbing through the rocks at the beginning but we had some nice spots as well. Continuing down the river we came to the railroad trestle about 2 miles from the drop off point.
After that we had some nice wilderness time. No turning back. The only way out was down the river. Not realizing what was ahead of us we pressed on. Suprisingly the heat wasn’t a problem. As of now Ken and I are sore and have a few blisters on our hands but no sunburn and I was suprised not to have a single bug bite.
The wildlife on the river is amazing. Donnie and I had never had the chance to see a bald eagle in the wild but we got that chance here. (I got as close as fifty feet from this fella!) He stayed with us about halfway down the river until we left his territory I suppose. The other great encounter with wildlife came late in the day. Ken came upon a catfish beached and still alive. Jerry and Donnie love to fish and had never seen a catfish this large.
Jerry said it had to weigh at least 75 lbs. Later we saw one as long the kayak in the picture above. You can consider that a tall tale or “the one that got away.” I guess being this far out and no real predators a fish can grow quite large. We will be back once I can talk the guys into it.
We continued down the river and sadly I have no pictures really after sunset. I have to get some type of waterproof camera for trips like this.
We ended up being on the river after sunset. Not a bad thing. We just weren’t prepared for a night run. We had two headlamps between us. Ken ran front and I tried to run back. The most amazing thing was how well your night vision can adjust out there. We ran most of the way back with the lights off, nothing but moon and stars to guide us.
The only part that had us nervous was shooting the rapids. A night trip down the rapids would be dangerous. We were lucky. The low water made it alot easier than we expected. I’ve never been so glad to see Hwy 1. Me and Brown had to take a break there at the last and just be thankful that we made it.
Let’s go home!
Then comes the fun part. We pulled into Laney Landing feeling like prisoners of war finally making it home only to find out that someone’s wife got worried and called the police and was just about to call the DNR to start searching for us! The whole lesson here is, no matter how much you think you are in charge or that she knows where you are, CALL YOUR WIFE!
Everyone is home safe and sound now. I personally can’t wait for the next trip.