Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26. Karen Love. Today was an adventure in itself! We woke up earlier than we have this entire trip...6:00 a.m., packed up camp and headed to the launch site.
There we met with Matt Rice, a representative from American Rivers, who paddled with us for about the first 5 miles and told us all about the organization's projects and programs. We ended up hitting some rapids that we didn't know existed, and it was funny that the representative was with us because he is the man who makes the map! He said when he was leaving that he was going to put a warning on the maps in honor of us. We continued to paddle on a gracious 5.4 mile current, which was a blessed break from the lakes! After a few hours, we took a break for a veggie pita lunch. We paddled until around 3:30 and had class on a sandbar on the side of the Wateree. Jay, Thomas, Jordan and Dean all read us an entry from their journals and then we opened the discussion about Ron Rash's book Saints at the River. After class we paddle on until we hit camp around 7:00. We paddle 31 miles and were exhausted as we stomped down bushes to put up our tents. Today was an amazing day; we saw beautiful, seeminly untouched shoreline with bald eagles, turtles and even a few deer. It was an awesome experience, tainted only by the trash we saw flowing down the river. On this trip we have seen lakes and rivers in bother NC and SC, and as a SC native, I was disheartened to see that the water quality in this state is much worse than the clear, clean lakes of NC. But, that was the very purpose of this trip, to identify and learn about the dangers facing the Catawba-Wateree watershed.

P.S. Thanks for all your support! Your comments mean the world to us!


  1. Sounds like you guys are still moving along and having a great experience! Wish I was there. Keep on having fun!

  2. "Bald eagles, turtles and deer" -- Wow, how cool. A lot of paddling today ! Bet you will all sleep well tonight. Sweet dreams.... Kim's mom (Kim- great talking to you the other day) Love you.

  3. I am so glad you are reading a Ron Rash book. He was a guest speaker in our school's summer reading program. I love that he writes about this area. 31 miles, congrats all. We continue to follow your adventures. I am sure Jay loved those rapids. Jay- great talking to you on Saturday...love Mom and Dad.

  4. Wow, what an incredible trip and incredible group of people dedicated to protecting our most valuable natural resources, our rivers. I joined the team on a foggy morning below Lake Wateree Dam to paddle the first 6 miles of their journey down the Wateree River. As we were about to get on the water, the hydro plant siren sounded warning fishermen and boaters of rising water levels. This was great because the group would be able to ride the flows down river and cover a lot of miles. What we did not expect was what the addtional water would do to some of the small rapids in the upper most section. Small drops turned into much larger class II waves. Everybody did great riding the rapids in 17 foot sea kayaks no less! I think it did get a few hearts beating a bit faster though.

    On June 6th at 10:00 American Rvers along with several partners including Kershaw County, Congaree National Park, and the City of Camden will be dedicating the Wateree River Blue Trail. The trail starts at the landing below Lake Wateree and extends to the confluence with the Congaree River. The goal of the project is to reconnect communities in the area to the river's natural, recreational, economic and cultural values and to inspire them to protect it for future generations. Right in line with "voices of rivers"

    Wishing I was still on the Wateree,

    Matt Rice
    American Rivers
    Columbia, South Carolina

  5. Fellow Followers-- Go to the Brevard College VOR Facebook page to see a bunch of new photos. Great job with the camera ya'll !

  6. You all are almost there! It sure sounds like your having an awesome time. I would imagine that all of you are rocking some pretty sweet PFD tans. From one VOR alum to another: you are about to accomplish something simply fantastic but the best part is the journey. Be aware of wonder!

  7. Karen, I'm glad to finally hear from you on here! I love you and support you, and I know you're doing a good job! 31 miles is pretty impressive, even with the current being with you. I guess all the rain we keep having up here is only speeding you all down the river! Seriously, it's rained every day since Saturday.

    Don't feel bad about the water quality being worse in SC, just remember that it's all flushed downriver, and SC has the misfortune of being downstream of everying in NC in addition to whatever happens in SC.

  8. Do you know that each year Greenville County selects a book for everyone to read at the same time, and this year it was Saints at the River? I haven't read it yet, but plan to this summer.