Hike 6
Congaree National Park Hike 6 -- October 13, 2007
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I am always amazed at the difference a few months can make when hiking in Congaree. Back in March when I
hiked here, I was "up to my waist" it seemed in water because the park was flooding.  

Today was almost the extreme opposite. The forest floor and the swamp itself seemed to be almost bone dry.  I
noticed a white colored substance on all the leaves on the low trees, bushes, and shrubs that I passed.  In some
areas, it looked like one of those crop duster airplanes had flown over and sprayed everything with "DDT."
I have to assume that the residue I saw was "months" of air borne crap settling down on the leaves and not
enough rain to keep them washed clean.

I had come to the park early and headed out for the River Tail. With the trail being a little over 10 miles in
length, I knew I needed to get going so that I could take my time and not have to hurry back. Fall colors were
appearing all over the park and since I had beat the "crowds," I seemed to have the whole place to myself.  I
was amazed at places I saw today along the trail that were utterly bone dry and back in March, they
were 6 feet deep in water.

A walnut tree down near the river had dropped its fruit on the ground in a BIG way.  At first, I thought someone
had throw a dozen or so of old green, scuffed-up tennis balls away when I suddenly realized, that they were
walnuts -- the largest ones I have ever seen in my life.  Soon afterwards, I was at the sandbar
and the Congaree River itself.