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Posts Tagged ‘trees’

South Carolina’s Last Stand (Day 100)

October 26th, 2009 1 comment

I liked South Carolina, I’m going to miss it. Folks were polite, the tourist attractions and beaches wholly uncrowded, the swamps were quiet, weather was perfect, great barbecue restaurants. Yeah. Anyway, there was this bombed out church just maybe a half-mile from where I camped. It was called the “Church of Ease”. Cool and sort of romantic-spooky looking, IIDSSM. Like it should be the setting for some Southern Gothic novel or movie (if it hasn’t been already).

OTOH, if you’d like to pass your own judgements…

chapel-of-ease_interiorThe church’s interior with spanish moss Beilage.

chapel-of-ease_spooky-treeA tree! Also a crypt at lower-left. And some tombstones if you zoomed in real close.

chapel-of-ease_drivewayThe church driveway.

Actually, I think it just burned down rather than having been bombed.

Also, at Steve’s suggestion (he was the guy who owned the campground), I checked out this beach that no one knows about but him. Well, and some other locals, I imagine. Pretty and uncrowded, though, although if you’d like to pass your own judgements, again:

beaufort_triangle-beachOr you could’ve just taken my word for it.

And with that, South Carolina was done. OTOH, if I were to move to any of the southern states I’ve seen in this trip so far… yeah, or Virginia. Although Virginia mostly just because I imagine they have more/better jobs there.

Meh,

bkd

Toolin’ Around in the Ol’ Congaree Swamp (Day 95)

October 21st, 2009 4 comments

Crap — Day 100 is coming up. I better do something momentous.

Day 95 I went to Congaree National Park (south of Columbia, S.C.) and paddled around in the swamp. It was about as chill, relaxing an activity as I’ve done this trip. Apart from havin’ to wrench my kayak out of the cab of my truck, dig underneath my cot to find the keel and my PFD, extract my foot pump out of the nether-corner of the truck bed, and then inflate and assemble the whole thing. But, really, you know, once that was done, it was pretty dang relaxin’. Check it out:

I should probably take more photos of stuff like diggin’ under the cot to find my keel. Posterity might appreciate that kind of thing. Next trip. (Although, in my defense, it’s not always easy to take photos of yourself doin’ things like that.)

Sorry for all that paddlin’ noise on the video. Kind of kills the moment(s).

Trip lasted about three hours. By “the swamp”, I mean “Cedar Creek”. Technically, yes, the water is flowin’. Just very slowly. Made for easy paddlin’ upstream and still waters that yielded really good reflections. Photos are kind of off though — too dark to use normal ISO and a small aperture, which blew out the details. Plus there were too many snags to stop paddlin’ long enough to really compose anything. Oh well. Here’s what I ended up with.

congaree_swamp-1Mmm: swampy!

congaree_me-consternationMy apparent consternation is unfounded.

congaree_leaning-branchGlass-like.

congaree_kayak-pointAnother photo.

congaree_y-in-creekA fork in the creek.

congaree_spiderSomewhat spider-like, imho.

congaree_kick-back-floatFloatin’.

congaree_tree-canopyFall color *and* spanish moss festooning the trees of Congaree.

Other notes:

  • I saw no alligators.
  • I saw no pythons.
  • I saw no alligator-python fights.

For that matter, I didn’t see many animals at all — a few ducks and that was it. Still, a beautiful, easy-goin’ day.

bkd

Hoh Rain Forest and Five Mile Island (Day 29)

August 11th, 2009 4 comments

With the truck still laid up, my dad was kind enough to let my brother and me borrow his Jeep and head out to Olympic National Park, which we now know was almost named Elk National Park. We didn’t see any elk or Greek gods while we were there, though. Maybe they should have gone with Option C.

I wanted to do this hike along the Hoh River in the Hoh Rain Forest, supposedly the greatest example of a temperate rain forest on earth. There were no toucans in the rain forest or three-toed sloths. Just a lot of trees and moss. Some rain. Went on it with my brother and three nephews with the goal being Five Mile Island (10 miles round-trip if you can believe it).

The rain forest is probably cooler than these pictures make it look, although I had fun trying to re-correct the colors in the photos to match my perception of reality.

rain forest realityAnd then the fairies came and performed a merry jig.

hoh rain forest mossStill not sure whether the trees like having the mosses and ferns growing on them.

hoh rain forest moss 2This one, for instance, seems a little irritated. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

hoh rain forest sam rickSam and Rick negotiate a deceptively difficult portion of trail.

rain forest cut logWhat the trail looks like. Sort of. Depending on your monitor.

mineral creek fallsMineral Creek Falls

hoh river trail stream crossingA treacherous stream crossing.

hoh river bridgeWe found troll scats under this bridge.

hoh rain forest treeAnd then we saw a tree!

five mile islandThe Hoh River at Five Mile Island. Sadly, we witnessed no nuclear melt downs — heck, we couldn’t even find the containment facility (although that might have just been more evidence of failsafes working as designed).

five mile island and meProof I was there.

Only one of my nephews (Ammon) and zero of my brothers made it to the island, and not without getting eaten alive by deerflies first, which only added to the richness of the experience — for both of us, really. Plus I got to use my first-aid kit for something. Finally.

bkd