October 11, 2009 by Bethany
This is where the planning ended…
In Myrtle Beach, Steve T. and his family took us in for the night. It was an unforgettable stop because Steve took us to the heart of Myrtle Beach Bike Week. It was over the TOP. I had no idea what biker culture was like really and we got to go to 5 biker bars that night, taking it ALLLLLL in. We witnessed tire burn outs, old school bikers, new school bikers, nudity, hells angel wannabe’s, the burn-out king, an AC/DC cover band, and santa. It was absolutely overwhelming and crazy. Thanks for taking us Steve! Now we can say we’ve been to biker bars. Oh and Stephen cooked us an amazing breakfast the morning we left.
The next day we paddled down the Waccamaw river to Pawley’s Island. The river was a new environment for us and was a nice change from the normal beach scenery. Once we arrived Kat picked us up at the Reserve Harbor Yacht Club because they very kindly let us keep our boats there overnight. Kat is a dear friend of the Foy’s who let us stay at their beach house for the night, even though they were out of town. We ate a really yummy dinner and slept well.
Paddling away from Reserve Harbor was tough mostly because we knew we were headed towards camping for a few days AND it was gray, chilly, and rainy. We paddled rather cheerfully for hours until we rounded the corner into Winyah Bay. The wind and rain really picked and the bay begun to get choppy. Thankfully the guys at the Yacht club had let us know about a campsite on a really small island right in the middle of the bay. We decided not to head all the way out to the ocean and made it to that little tiny campsite just as everything got worse weather wise. Thank goodness. We curled up in our tent, snacked on trail mix, and looked up a bed and breakfast for the next evening on our blackberry.
The next day was filled with nothingness. Boring. hot. slow. ugh… one of those days that it’s hard to remember much at all about the paddle other than time passing slowly. We made it to McClellansville tired and called the Cape Romain B&B that we had looked up the night before. Jim, one of the innkeepers, came and picked us up at the boat ramp and took us back to the inn. We met his wife Marianne and later his son Joe (Jr.) and his lovely girlfriend. We enjoyed a filling tasty dinner and shared lots of stories with eachother of “peril” on the water. It was really fun. Joe and Marianne actually offered to let us stay at no charge for the night. We could not have asked for more. It was a perfect recharge after such a lame night before and a hard slow boring day of paddling.
It was a good thing we slept so well at Joe and Marianne’s because the following day we paddled hard all day against wind and current to get to Caper’s Island to meet Clyde Carter and the Brevard College Immersion Group that was out for a week seakayaking. I (bethany) went to Brevard College for my undergrad and went on this same type of trip in 2005 and Clyde was my professor. I also had the opportunity to co-lead the trip 4 more times after I graduated. We had been trying to make it to Capers in time to meet up with the group for over a month and it was the best feeling to finally make it to our long awaited waypoint on the gps after so much anticipation. It was so fun to see all the students and participate in the learning process. We got to hear a lesson on yeast baking (which i was assigned to teach when I was a student) as well as a lesson on firebuilding. We had a blast. Clyde Carter is probably my #1 role model in my life after my own father, (who is awesome as well….). I just cant tell you how much it meant to be able to make this happen.
We paddled with them the following day until our paths diverged and we headed on to James Island in Charleston. The paddle was upbeat and we enjoyed following winds and current. Not bad at all. When we finally landed though, I was exhausted, even slicing my heel on an oyster shell getting out of my boat. Not fun. My old friend from college, Lance Elzie, came to pick us up and let us stay with them for the weekend. Lance gave me my first kayak paddle and really was very influential to me in my first kayaking years, not to mention now. He even helped me pick out the boat I am using for THIS trip. His wife, Tracy is an incredible photographer who takes amazing shots. You can check out her blog at Tracy Turpen Photography. You will love it too. Trust me.
We have been taking a break here in Charleston for the past few days. The highlight of our break was when we got to meet Tom of Habitat Crew. He is ROWING a SAILBOAT from Cleavland Ohio, to Key West, Florida! You read that right. He is in Charleston taking a break too and we were able to meet up for dinner. Tom is so wonderfully laid back and has the same outlook on life it seems that we do. He invited us on his boat for a little while, made us some “boat oats” and then we went to Hyman’s Seafood for dinner. We had a great time swapping storied about our adventures and the common things that we have experienced on our journey’s. It’s not often you get to meet someone having the same type of experiences and someone who understands what a trip of this nature is like. We couldn’t get enough of him. If you have a place for him to dock his sail/row boat from here to key west, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org (and you can email us too if youve got a place to stay for that matter)
So… off to more southern shores tomorrow. Had a great last week or so.