Make your own free website on


November 2000

Internet Edition

The Palmetto Paddlers meet on the last Tuesday of each month in the Gamecock Room of the Luther Lee Building, corner of Lincoln and Lady Streets in the Vista, Columbia, SC at 7:00 P.M. Please join the Palmetto Paddlers listserve at

The Palmetto Paddlers, Inc. is a non-profit corporation. Its purposes are to (1) encourage exploration of recreational waterways, (2) encourage preservation of waterways, i.e., conservation of forests, parks, wildlife, (3) promote enjoyment and appreciation of wilderness cruising and whitewater sports, (4) promote safety/proficiency in rescue/self-rescue, and (5) publish and demonstrate developments in all aspects of paddling.


Show your membership card and receive 10% discounts on non-sale merchandise at Adventure, The Backpacker, The Nantahala Outdoor Center (, and The River Runner. Bike to Nature also gives a 10% discount on merchandise other than bikes.


IT’S THE NEW YEAR.   PLEASE PAY YOUR DUES.Membership in the Palmetto Paddlers is open to the public and new members are always welcome. Individual dues are $15 per year and family dues are $20 per year. Membership is for the calendar year, January 1 - December 31. E-mail the newsletter editor for a membership application.  Please send your check to Rembert Milligan, Palmetto Paddlers, Inc., P.O. Box 984, Columbia, SC 29202.If you have paid but have not received your membership card, please contact Parkin Hunter @ or mail the club.


Tuesday, December 19: Vote, Christmas Meeting, and potluck. Bring a dish and your favorite beverages to the Luther Lee Building for the Christmas meeting.   Officers will also be elected for 2001. Consider the slate proposed by the Nominating Committee or make nominations from the floor.  Let’s talk about the year’s paddling and plan trips for 2001.


 I hope that you are planning to attend our November and December meetings as you read this!   At our last officers meeting, we discussed some things we’d like to see the club accomplish in the coming year.   (Naturally, trips were high on the list.) But, like everything else in life, you’ve got to give some to get some!   Please, please, come vote for next year’s officers. Better  yet, volunteer to serve as one.  At the very least, step forward to lead a trip. New friendships are just waiting to be born around the campfire!

School has been keeping me busy, as always. Someday I’ll graduate, honest!   I had a great opportunity this fall to do an internship with the City of Columbia and the Whitewater Kids Club. The following is excerpted from a report on our first session:

Whitewater Kids Club builds on a program started in Asheville.   The organization’s corporate sponsor is the Bank of America.It operates under the auspices of the Nantahala Racing Club (NRC), based in Bryson City, NC.There are now Kids Clubs in Bryson City, Charlotte and Chattanooga, Tenn.  Columbia, blessed with urban whitewater, is a natural addition to the fold.The clubs aim to expose children of diverse backgrounds to the challenging sport of whitewater paddling.Children learn valuable lessons in both teamwork and self-reliance.  Through Whitewater Kids Clubs, those who decide to pursue the sport have the opportunity to learn from Olympians and US National Team athletes.

On August 17th, I attended an organizational meeting for the Bank of America Columbia Whitewater Kids Club.We set September 7th as the opening date for our first session, a scant two weeks away. Fortunately, we were a team with many strong partners.  Everything came together beautifully in the following weeks.We held eight sessions, half of them on the Saluda.  We finished with a trip to the Lower Green in November.

Guy Jones from River Runner generously donated equipment, even taking extra stock off the shelf when we needed paddles and skirts.  The River Alliance provided funding and leadership.The program was administered through the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.   We used the city’s Maxcy Gregg pool for rolling sessions, and the city also helped kids with transportation.   The NRC held a training session for our volunteer coaches, and sent Shaun Smith, a competitive athlete, to join us weekly.   Woody Callaway of Perception brought lots of cool boats for our opening day bash.  Best of all, I had the support of a great group of volunteer coaches: Bryan Stone, Joe Craven, Andy Grizzell, Curt Davis, Curtis McDonald, Johnny Mayo, Cory Ruth, Susan DeFoe, Greg Lucas, and Dawn Fairey.  Parkin Hunter will be joining our ranks next year.Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission may partner with us, allowing the use of Saluda Shoals Park for sessions.

We started with 20 kids.Some of our children had obviously never spent time outdoors….one young man worried about ‘crocodiles and leeches’ and other unseen menaces below the surface of the Saluda.We had 14 regulars by the end of session….a few decided that the river was not for them. Kind of reminded me of the aftermath of my first Progressive Paddler session on the Saluda….we winnowed out the ones who weren’t serious about the river!)

Children who embrace the sport are able, through NRC membership, to attend monthly clinics at the Nantahala Outdoor Center free of charge.  NRC offers clinics for all skill levels, ranging from first time racers to advanced level Junior Olympians.  We may well foster a future Olympian in one of our Saluda River clinics!Two students from our fall sessions have been invited to attend NRC’s Thanksgiving weekend clinic.

We have a waiting list of children for the spring sessions.   I hope to begin pool rolling clinics in February and March, using the pool at USC.Our next river clinics will be in April and May.  Additional weeklong sessions could be held during June for beginners and intermediate level paddlers.As the Kids Club grows, we will need additional support from the paddling community.Please consider volunteering with us this year.We may do some river trips, perhaps some Sundays on the Saluda. Sharing the joy of paddling with a child is pretty rewarding!Please call me or e-mail me for more information.

Karen Kustafik:   920-3898


Mark your calendar for these proposed trips for the first quarter of 2001.We all go on trips and would like to join others.  If you are interested in leading a trip, please let the cruisemaster know.Also, if you are planning your own trip and would like to have company, let us know. We can post the trip on the website.  This is another reason to subscribe to the listserv described later in this issue.  The listserv provides a way to get information out instantly about trips and other matters at no cost.  Please consider subscribing and using it.

January 13-14:Brr!Want to test your coldwater readiness?  Karen is planning to lead a whitewater trip on the French Broad on January 13, 2001. This trip will require whitewater experience and proper gear for cold water.Contact Karen (635-4191, for details.We will probably camp and relax at Hot Springs, North Carolina. See for some information about the Hot Springs area. For information about the French Broad River Basin see  Also see for the AWA description of the French Broad in its listing of North Carolina rivers.

January 27: Steve will lead a day trip on Cedar Creek.This will be a blackwater paddle in the Congaree Swamp National Monument.   Depending on water levels, there could be some scrambling over deadfalls.However, this trip should be appropriate for paddlers with minimal experience as long as they are comfortable controlling their boats and scrambling in and out.   Contact Steve (732-5662), for details.For some interesting thoughts about safety and an experience in this area see the section about Cedar Creek in the Thoughts About Safety Section of the Second Quarter, 2000 edition of this Newsletter at

February 10-11:Parkin will lead a blackwater trip on the Edisto.  We will plan to camp on the river (carrying gear in the boats) or at Givhan’s Ferry or Colleton State Park, depending on the weather and campsite availability. If you have not been on the Edisto, it is a beautiful, blackwater river.   The current can be fast and the shore has a lot of potential strainers.Though not a difficult paddle, it will not be an appropriate winter trip for someone who cannot control their boat in current to avoid strainers.   Contact Parkin (799-0362, for details. If you would like to see a topographic map of the area, go to Colleton State Park is just below the ash pond in the southeastern quadrant of this map.For maps and other information look at (1), (2) and (3)

March 3:  Black River with Sandlapper Sea Kayakers.

March 31: Steve will lead a trip on Turkey-Stevens Creek in the Sumter National Forest.  Depending on the water level, there can be some minor rapids on this float.We will probably plan to camp Saturday night at Hamilton Branch State Park. Contact Steve (732-5662, for details.   See

April 28: Karen and Steve may combine to lead trips on the Chattooga Sections II and III, depending on interest.  Section II is appropriate for all abilities so long as you have reasonable boat control in current.  There are a few rapids, all of which can be portaged.If you have not been on the Chattooga, it is a beautiful river and this is a good opportunity for a relatively easy introduction to it.We will plan to camp as one group and then divide up into those that want to do Section II and those that want to do Section III for the day.   Section III is a whitewater float and requires some experience. For those that are interested, there may be an opportunity to run from the Highway 76 Bridge to Woodall Shoals on Sunday. For information about these sections of the Chattooga, check out the USDA Forest Service site at Contact Karen (635-4191, and Steve (732-5662, for details.


 Trip participation requires a signed release.  Participants must contact the trip leader or sign up at a regularly scheduled meeting.  Participants are required to know their abilities and make their own decisions with regard to the trips taken.  These are not “guided” or “outfitted” trips.   Participants must be properly equipped for the trip chosen.PFD’s must be worn on all trips.On whitewater trips, participants must furnish properly outfitted (with flotation) whitewater craft and helmets must be worn.  Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent at all times unless the trip leader makes an exception in the leader’s sole discretion.


Augusta Canal. On August 5, Steve Soltys led a trip on the Augusta Canal. Designated a National Heritage area in 1996, constructed in 1845 and enlarged in 1875, the Augusta Canal runs along the Savannah River in Augusta, Georgia. It survives as one of the most intact canal systems in the United States. Today, the canal remains part of the City of Augusta's water supply system, continues to supply hydropower to two textile mills, and provides outstanding educational and recreational opportunities. We canoed a 7.0-mile stretch and saw many historic structures along the towpath. See for more information. The Augusta Canal and the Savannah River are on this quad: .


Yakima Railrider 1 towers, fit in existing luggage rack for many cars (I have a list of these cars).  New I paid $65, sell for 32.50.  Call Rembert at 803-787-7999.

CLICK for a map of the location of the Bridge to Nowhere from Lone Star to Rimini.

Contact the Newsletter Editor for any comments, questions, or suggestions.

Return to Main Page