Winding Down Summer 2012

As the Edisto River’s famous black waters carry me from Colleton State Park to a daylong adventure, I am reminded that just like the river, time moves on. Summer is slowly, but surely coming to an end. The soaring triple digit temperatures will soon make way to crisp, cool mornings and shorter days. So as summer comes to an end it’s time to make the most of it.  It’s time for those last minute picnics, camping trips and day trips to your state parks!

One of the state park adventures I have always wanted to do is paddle the Edisto River from Colleton State Park to Givhans Ferry State Park -- a 23-mile stretch of river between two great parks. We picked the perfect day, overcast, and not too hot and left early in the morning, excited to paddle and looking forward to the day ahead.

As we paddled down the river, I glanced back, symbolically leaving behind the worries of the day, deadlines and hustle and bustle of world. It doesn’t take long to feel disconnected in a positive way. The Edisto takes the wheel for a while, guiding me down river allowing me not only to take a break from paddling but to take in the sights and sounds and just relax.

During 8.5-hour paddle, we see a deer dash from the bank, fish jump, waterfowl of all types and hidden in the trees along the bank a very cool hornet's nest. The features of the river change around each bend culminating with a stretch of river with unexpected wonders of high limestone bluffs and limestone ledges that disappear into the black waters of the Edisto. Finally, Riverfront Hall, the community building at Givhans Ferry, appears through the trees signaling the end of our journey.

While the river moves on making its way to the Atlantic, it’s time for me to make my way back to the real world.  I leave with great memories and a sense of renewal. With only a few weeks left of the Summer of 2012, I’m hoping I can squeeze in a few more adventures and some fun at one of our state parks.

It doesn’t have to be a trip down the river.  It could be an outdoor movie, a camping weekend, a walk on the beach, a picnic or sitting by a campfire (who cares if it’s 90 plus degrees…its camping). The point is, we all need those activities and opportunities to disconnect with the world and reconnect with family, friends and the natural and cultural resources of our great state. Those opportunities to recharge our batteries and make some memories that last a lifetime.

Summer, just like the Edisto, appears at times to be standing still, but we know both are moving quickly, on their way to a new adventure just around the bend. Summer is winding down, but there is still time for that last big bash or splash of summer --you pick!

See you in the parks,
Phil