our second day in charleston was sunny and pretty, so we decided to escape the actual city, and head out to the wilderness for a bit.
on our way, we stopped in at bitty and beau’s again. not only was a cute little shop, with good coffee, but the entire reason it exists is to employ folks with special needs. the entire staff, except for one manager type person, had some sort of disability.
with coffees and donuts and lunches packed, we were on our way to the beidler forest audobon center. derek had done some pre-trip research about kayaking, and the guides there assured us that even though it was the off season, we would likely see some wildlife. our guided drove us out to the river, geared us up, and we were off to the races, girls in one kayak, boys in the other.
and then. two hours of paddling. about 90 minutes against the current. and 30 on the way back with the current. for most of the trip, the “trail” in the water was rather narrow, and required careful navigation, and derek and isaac were either far ahead of us or far behind us. and someone was frantically trying to catch up after getting hung up on a stump or turned the wrong way by an errant paddle hitting something. it was really not all that fun. and, we didn’t see any wildlife. but, we trudged along. (and derek did a much better job of capturing pics of us than we did of them).
my limited shots of derek include one from when they were waaaay behind and we were waiting for them to catch up and i spotted them coming through the trees. and some of his back as we paddled along behind. and one lovely shot of him and the boy when we were in more open waters. 🙂
eventually we were back to the launch area and we breathed a collective sigh of relief. while it was lovely to be out and about, it was disappointing at best, and we were frustrated with wasting a whole beautiful day on this trip. oh well….
oh. and i lied. we did see some wildlife. exactly one turtle on a log. and one mussel that our guide dug up from the bottom of the river. and one snail. that was it. so, back at the visitor center, we looked at the touch table. and at all of the wildlife we didn’t see. meh.
then things got a bit weird, really. our guide suddenly appeared with a possum. his possum. that he keeps as a pet. we asked several questions, trying to figure out if there was a good reason for it. was it injured? is there an overpopulation of them? was it domesticated by campers? and so on. turns out, no. he just wanted a possum, so he captured it and kept it. which really seems to go against everything i know about wildlife and sanctuaries and such. either way, we got to pet it for a bit, and learn about possums, which was cool, i guess, if there HAS to be a possum abduction.
we ate our lunch on a little deck out back, and then headed back to charleston. we stopped along the way at a fabric shop (turned out to be a dud) and to pick up some rice so derek could dry out his phone, a casualty of an already frustrating day.
and that’s day two. onto better things in the morning….