Hike 7
Congaree National Park Hike 7 -- May 3, 2008
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Today's hike had been planned for and postponed at least once during the past several months. Finally, my first
cousin Cindy and I were able to get our calendars in sync so that we were able to meet bright and early in the
parking lot at the Visitor Center at the park.  At first, I thought this might be a bad day -- rain had been
forecasted and I had arrived at the park without my camera which made me have to do a 60-mile round trip back
to the hotel to get it.  

However, sunshine and great times followed our departure from the Visitor Center. Soon we were ambling along
miles of beautiful trails together -- soaking in all that greeted us and
yakking away with each other to catch up
on all the latest happenings in our lives. This was Cindy's first visit to the park and it was fun watching her
discover all the many beautiful sites that the swamp slowly presented to us as we hiked.

Even though our goal was to reach the Congaree River and have lunch out on a sandbar near the River Trail was
not met -- we reached the river but the water level was way up and the sandbar was flooded over -- we did
enjoyed home-made pimento  cheese sandwiches while sitting up on the sandy river bank under some shade
trees. We enjoyed our hour long lunch break there while resting our aching legs and sore feet and talking
about all the stuff we had seen so far.

A close encounter with one snake on our trail, four small sized ferrell hogs, and one gutsy green chameleon on a
bridge  helped provide the entertainment for our hike this day. Even though we had both been in training --
walking on treadmills , etc. -- we were both hurting (big time) by the time we came back out of the swamp and
completed our 11 mile hike.

Bottom line as always -- even with both of us hurting -- the hike was wonderful, enlightening, and magical.