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Upstate South Carolina
Temperature 48 F - cloudy with intermittent sunshine
The "put in" was in Cherokee county, at the Pacolet river boat landing on Hwy # 105. After un-loading our gear, we met two colorful local fellows. Mark and the local guys discussed in detail their fondness for Cabelas outdoor equipment. Their disparaging comments regarding Wal-Mart equipment were humorous. I did not mention that most of my gear was purchased at Wal-Mart and performed quite well - "thank you very much"
We were on the water at noon. The Pacolet has a steady, yet non-turbulent current. The river banks are often quite high, and marked with thick forests and hills. We saw many white tail deer scrambling up the steep hills. No development or sign of mankind except for the occasional deer stand. A very rural and pristine hardwood river bottom.
At 1:45 pm we stopped for lunch. For me, this was the high-light of the trip. The confluence of the Pacolet and Broad rivers is a beautiful spot in the Carolina back-country. The sunshine view was tremendous. As per our paddling tradition, we fired up a charcoal grill for a hot lunch. With an old camping pot as a cook top, we left no trace.
From our vantage point, we could simultaneously view Union, Cherokee, and York counties. A manly feast of Italian hot sausage was consumed. We then cracked some peanut shells, soaked up the million dollar view, and recalled a few well worn anecdotes from our days of youth at the State military college. Fortunately, we had a hearty lunch. Our earnest paddling would soon begin. Unlike the Pacolet, the Broad river has a modest current. As per its name...this river is quite wide. With some determined strokes, we pushed the 16' canoe down the river. For a while, a head wind impeded our progress. A few terse commands from the back of the canoe, and we again made forward progress. For the most part, this river was un-developed and scenic. A couple business operations are on the Union county bank. We reached the Lockhart dam at 4:30. The take out was on the Union county side of the river. No dock is present to access the riverbank, so the process of exiting the river created some comedy. A short portage is required to transport equipment to the parking lot. It was a great day on the water.
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