My Paddle to the Sea: Eleven Days on the River of the Carolinas

My Paddle to the Sea: Eleven Days on the River of the Carolinas

by John Lane


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My Paddle to the Sea: Eleven Days on the River of the Carolinas by John Lane

Three months after a family vacation in Costa Rica ends in tragedy when two fellow rafters die on the flooded Rio Reventazón, John Lane sets out with friends from his own backyard in upcountry South Carolina to calm his nerves and to paddle to the sea.

Like Huck Finn, Lane sees a river journey as a portal to change, but unlike Twain’s character, Lane isn’t escaping. He’s getting intimate with the river that flows right past his home in the Spartanburg suburbs. Lane’s three­hundred-mile float trip takes him down the Broad River and into Lake Marion before continuing down the Santee River. Along the way Lane recounts local history and spars with streamside literary presences such as Mind of the South author W. J. Cash; Henry Savage, author of the Rivers of America Series volume on the Santee; novelist and Pulitzer Prize–winner Julia Peterkin; early explorer John Lawson; and poet and outdoor writer Archibald Rutledge. Lane ponders the sites of old cotton mills; abandoned locks, canals, and bridges; ghost towns fallen into decay a century before; Indian mounds; American Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites; nuclear power plants; and boat landings. Along the way he encounters a cast of characters Twain himself would envy—perplexed fishermen, catfish clean­ers, river rats, and a trio of drug-addled drifters on a lonely boat dock a day’s paddle from the sea.

By the time Lane and his companions finally approach the ocean about forty miles north of Charleston they have to fight the tide and set a furious pace. Through it all, paddle stroke by paddle stroke, Lane is reminded why life and rivers have always been wedded together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820344201
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 09/01/2012
Series: Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book Series
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John Lane’s books include Waist Deep in Black Water, The Woods Stretched for Miles, Chattooga: Descending into the Myth of Deliverance River, and Circling Home (all Georgia); several volumes of poetry; and The Best of the Kudzu Telegraph, a selection of his columns. Lane is an associate professor of English and environmental studies at Wofford College.

Table of Contents

The Blessing
Rio Reventazón
Glendale and Little Five Falls
Pacolet Portages
Overnight at Louie's
Grindal Shoals
The Wild Pacolet
Night on Goat Island
Lockhart Portage
Wood's Ferry Campground
Riding the Flood
Parr Shoals Reservoir
Haltiwanger Island
Approaching the Fall Line
Columbia Layover
Green Diamond
601 Rendezvous
Lake Marion Portage
Hill's Landing
Our Bridge Too Far
The Lower Santee
Jamestown Landing
Aiming for Hampton Plantation


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