Kayaking Down the Saluda River

My parents, brother and a friend of my mom plus Lover Boy’s mom and brother are all here for the week.

The boys and I are all pretty adventurous. My hubby and brother-in-law are Eagle Scouts and my brother, dad and I are Indian Princess/Guides (haha!) Both of our families have always been big into traveling and exploring. So with everyone here we planned a fun day for us five to go kayaking down the Saluda River. LB’s HR Manager from work lives directly behind us (our backyards back up to each other) has been offering to us for the past year to let us borrow their kayaks. Because we never.ever.ever have a babysitter we hadn’t been able to take them up on their offer until today!

We hitched up the trailer and off we went…my dad driving our SUV and LB and I on the Harley!

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My dad followed us as we dropped off the bike at the end point, then we drove to our beginning destination.

Then we got ready to go!We were all having a grand ol’ time until…

We came up on some good sized rapids. LB and I were hanging back admiring a beautiful two story gazebo attached to an amazing house. Our brothers and my dad were just about ready to go down but decided they wanted a picture. My dad started paddling backwards so he could get to a slower drift and get his camera out. He was sideways in the river going backwards…Lover Boy was going straight and forward. I happened to turn my head from the gazebo, saw my dad and immediately yelled “Clayton!!! Look out!!!” At that very instant LB’s kayak hit my dad smack dab in the center side and capsized him. My 60 year old, father of 3, grandfather of soon to be 4 grandkids was flipped out of his kayak and under water. I literally about died. Here we are in the middle of the river, nothing to grab on to, a few yards away from the rapids and my dad was in the water. My dad, who is actually still pretty athletic at 60, came up and immediately was more concerned about his camera than himself (I would have done the same exact thing). Thankfully he had had the strap around his neck and it was in the case. I paddled over to him and took his camera and LB grabbed his paddle. He was able to flip his kayak back over and get out most of the water.  My dad carefully walked/swam his kayak over to a big boulder in the water and was able to climb back in, safely.

During all of this, I headed down the rapids to get to a calmer area to check out his camera. Luckily it was OK and I was able to catch this one photo.

It hardy does any justice except show off a beautiful water spot on the lens! My dad and LB were lodged up against some big boulders while he worked on getting back in (on the left).

Mind you, it is the day after Christmas. The water is pretty cold. Thank God it was a really sunny day because it helped dry him off. He was just fine and claimed he didn’t even feel cold.

A little later we arrived at our pull out stop, 3.5 miles from where we had started. We had had so much fun! It really reminded my dad, my brother and I of the yearly canoe trips we used to take with Indian Princesses/Guides along the Wisconsin River for over ten years (we let Lover Boy join us for two trips once I was older).

So glad we got to have this great family bonding time!


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