Over the years, I have made a list of the places that I would like to visit near by. We live in a very unique area. We are between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. We have a lot of really amazing opportunities nearby. Landsford Canal State Park has been on my list for a while.
The park is known for its rocky shoals spider lilies. I have heard that they are beautiful when they are in bloom. So back in August, we put a plan in place to visit the lilies in May-little did we know that we would be contributing to our Wacky Wednesday list!
This trip required some preparation. We had eight people kayaking so we had to rent a U Haul trailer in order to get the kayak down to the drop in point. The park is on the Catawba River which has a fairly slow current typically. We put our kayaks in one by one. The kids immediately went off exploring. Unfortunately, on our way to catch up with them, my friend hit a rock and capsized her kayak. We spent an hour trying to get the water out of the kayak with out getting taken by the current. Once we got back underway and found the kids, they were playing on some rocks and a fallen tree trunk.
The downside was that their kayaks got hit by one of our paddlers. Paddles, life jackets and kayaks went floating down the river. Another rescue effort-I retrieved all of the items and got them to the kids. We were off again.
We found out quickly why the area is called rocky! The adults got stuck on rocks almost every 30 feet or so. The kids flew right down the river. Luckily, most of the river was shallow enough that we could get out, dump out the water and get back in. It sounds much easier that it was! The current was far from slow as we had anticipated.
By the time that we made it to lilies, we were exhausted and ready to get off of the water.
Of course we always learn things from our trip and here is our list from this trip!
- Not only check the weather but also the water depth/current.
- Take a pump (using a McDonald’s cup takes a really long time to get water out of a kayak)
- Have your plan in place before people get in the water (uhm, where did the kids go? Oh-they are WAY OVER THERE!).
- Rope is always useful when paddling-why didn’t we bring any?
- There is a reason that there are different types of kayaks. Lake kayaks are not meant for any type of white water, or rocks, or current.
- Laughter works much better than freaking out when stuck in a bad situation (we spent a lot of time laughing because it is all we could do in our minds. We helped a lady who also hit a rock and began freaking out. She could not calm down. We all realized from her example how important it is to remain calm in order to problem solve.)
I am positive that we learned a lot more from the trip, but this is all that I can come up with right now. We decided that next week, we will stick with something closer to home!