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Showing posts from 2016

First visit to Andersonville Island

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One of my major motivations for buying a kayak was to visit interesting places only reachable by water. Andersonville Island in Lake Hartwell is definitely one of those interesting places for me. Since my friend and fellow explorer Tom Taylor has been here before, and since he was clearly interested in heading back, I asked Tom to come along. After checking his availability, he agreed and offered to bring along a friend of his I hadn't met yet, Bennie Waddell.

I took some vacation time off this week giving me plenty of days to choose from. I selected Wednesday, the 7th, for this trip to avoid the early week rain, and the later part of the week when the weather turns sharply colder. My other vacation days are being used to work on various projects inside the house.

Before I get to the adventure, first a short-ish history of the area.

Andersonville Island is named after the ghost town of Andersonville, once located on the northern and eastern side of the confluence of the Tugaloo a…

Pinnacle Mountain fire burnout

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If you live in the Upstate of South Carolina, Western North Carolina, and Northern Georgia then you already know rain has been scarce the past few months, leading an expanding area of severe drought conditions. As of November 15th, 2016, the area classified by the United States Drought Monitor as "extreme drought" covers most of the Upstate, parts of western North Carolina, with parts of northern Georgia classified as "exceptional drought".
This drought, along with low relative humidity and falling leaves, makes conditions favorable for wildfires. In response, the South Carolina Forestry Commission announced a burning ban (but exempting campfires) in the northernmost Upstate counties (Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, and Spartanburg) on November 9th, expanding south and east to the Piedmont counties the next day.

Also on November 9th, an escaped campfire near the Foothills Trail on Pinnacle Mountain spawned a fire that's grown to over 5100 acres as of No…

Fall views of Table Rock Mountain

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After my first paddle on Lake Oolenoy in Table Rock State Park off SC 11, I decided I'd come back again to see Table Rock Mountain during the peak of the fall foliage color season. I dd just that last Thursday that turned into a partly cloudy, breezy, warm day.

This time I'd be taking out my new 13 foot Advanced Elements Expedition inflatable kayak I had just received that very morning in place of the Intex Challenger K1 I had bought just a few months ago. My space is just too limited to support a regular, hard shell kayak, so I saved up to buy one of the more premium, more well reviewed inflatable kayaks on the market.

The Expedition is a much more expensive inflatable kayak and is definitely no toy. The important improvements of the Expedition compared to the K1 is the longer length (13 feet vs 9 feet), better tracking, faster speed, and more leg room.  The Expedition is also much more resistant to scrapes and punctures. I bought the optional "backbone" that can b…