We were able to paddle out from a friend’s house on the back or head waters of Lake Hartwell. Really, this and the Tugaloo River is the very beginning of the Lake. Yesterday, the temperatures were warm enough but the wind was, once again, ruthless! It seems like every time we paddle, we are paddling against the wind.


But we made it to the opening for Longnose Falls. It’s a very hidden place and most everyone that goes there likes to keep it that way.


No wind here! Just pollen from the trees surrounding us. We paddled on easily through the water. No huge sign of beavers! We did see some evidence but certainly no beaver dams after all the rain we have had! Yea! Beavers be gone!

This is one of my favorite parts of the paddle to the falls. It’s quiet, peaceful, and smooth. I will say that we could hear repeated guns being fired near us and we wanted that to stop. But we were in rural South Carolina and people do things like that—target practice—on Saturday afternoon. I did think about my photography friends in England, and how they don’t understand our access to guns these days.  That’s all I will say.

Once we paddled further, the only sound we could hear were the birds that seemed to rush out in front of our kayaks. Here’s what I call a  cathedral of trees . . . hanging over the water!

Then we spotted the falls for the first time in two years! If the water level is low in the lake, you simply can’t paddle up to the falls. We have tried but amazingly, you cannot even get up river. So Longnose Falls greeted us on this beautiful day.

I was especially happy because last year’s battle with stage two cancer left me wondering if I would ever be able to do this again. I refused to believe anything other than the truth: I would paddle again—only I don’t have long hair any longer.

Talking with Anne and eating my power bar!

Pat and Anne paddle up to the falls which is full and will certainly be a highlight of this year’s River History Tour on Memorial Day weekend.

Me sitting at the base of the falls and feeling pretty normal even though I knew I would crash when I got home. This is the best way to live after facing something like cancer. You just get up and go again and again and again. I really have my nurses at the infusion center to thank for this attitude. They encouraged me to do whatever I felt like I could do and then stop and rest and then get up and go again.

Talking just like we used to and just enjoying the view.


With the day winding down, we realized it was time to go and get back to our friend’s dock before it was too late. It was a wonderful day, a wonderful Saturday, and a great way to say hello to spring once again!