Adventures waiting to happen
I spent some time on Labor Day visiting with Richard Mikell, owner of Adventure Carolina on State Street in Cayce. We have a canoe at our house that is used more by nesting wrens than by the humans who bought it. I have long heard stories of the legendary “cookie runs” my dad and brother used to make with Richard and his cohorts at Adventure Carolina, so I called for an interview to see if I could get something started.
The place was overflowing with people when we arrived and a group just in off the river was calling for pick up, so I took the opportunity to look around while I waited. Adventure Carolina stocks a wide variety of outdoor gear and apparel. I bought a Congaree Run T–shirt and some bendable magnetic rock–climbers.
Adventure Carolina guides hundreds of canoe or kayak trips a year. Most of them are on the Congaree, Broad, and Saluda rivers around Columbia. They also do the Edisto, the Chatooga, and Shim Creek into Charleston Harbor. The Columbia area trips are exciting because they include good cold water, good fishing, an old set of locks, and a Confederate dumping ground where Southern forces dumped equipment to prevent its capture by Sherman on his march to the sea. They have afternoon trips, overnight trips, weekend trips, and short after–work trips.
It’s not expensive to get started. Trips start at as little as $25 per person and you don’t even need your own canoe. They’ll rent you one. You can get a tube, a raft, or a kayak if you prefer.
I met Mike Haberstroh, a first timer, who was planning to spend Labor Day tubing on the Congaree with his friends. He was excited, and it sounded like fun, but I think canoeing is more my style.
The Chatooga River in the Sumter National Forest on the SC/GA/NC border is where the movie Deliverance was filmed. It is great for white water rafting. I prefer something more tame myself. I would probably like doing the Edisto, which is black water (calm) or canoeing through the Congaree National Park. I have to admit the Charleston Harbor Trip from Shem Creek Landing to the Dredge Island in the harbor for a picnic lunch sounds pretty good too. I’d like to do one of those when the wrens are done with our canoe.
After–work canoe trips are generally scheduled for 6 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for Congaree and Edisto River Runs. You can join them on September 17th at 9 am for River Sweep.
Friends of Adventure Carolina will be picking up trash from the landings, stream beds, and banks of the Edisto and Congaree Rivers. Call (803)796–4505 for assignments and locations and be sure to bring your work gloves and plenty of water to stay hydrated.
You can also visit Adventure Carolina on the World Wide Web at www.AdventureCarolina.com . By the way…they still do cookie runs. The Christmas Cookie Run is planned for sometime in December. If you like canoes and cookies, maybe I’ll see you there. Richard says, “All you need to start canoeing is an adventuresome attitude!”