Hike 11
Congaree National Park Hike 11 -- May 23, 2009
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This was a great hike in that the weather was good, I felt relaxed, and just took my time wandering down to the
river on the River Trail to check out the sandbar along the Congaree River. I was in luck today in that the water
level in the river was low and the sandbar was totally exposed for me to explore.

On the way down, when I was on the top section of the trail that forms a huge loop before it headed down
towards the river, I came across the weirdest sight I had ever witnessed in the park before. Spread out all
around me -- especially floating in the water that was high in some of the areas -- was what looked like tons of
white cotton just floating by.

It looked like a crop-duster airplane had flown over the swamp and spewed out a trail of cotton. It was every
where -- on the water, on the ground, and in the trees. I finally realized that it was not cotton but actually the
flowering part of "some tree/bush" I have yet to find the name for. Anyway, it was a beautiful sight.

After a quick lunch on the sandbar, I headed back to the Visitor Center -- five long miles away. After getting
back to my car, I headed for the hotel where I always stay (Holiday Inn Express at Clemson Rd Exit on I-20)
and took one of my relaxing soaks in the Jacuzzi tub in the room.

Afterwards, I had no longer set down in my favorite chair to "look out the widow" and see what was going on
when a huge, BAD wreck occurred right there at the entrance road to the hotel off of Clemson Road. Fire
trucks, police cars, ambulances -- the works. It looked like two people were carried off in the ambulances.

I  watched the police and wrecker crews clean up the whole mess. Seeing the aftermath of a wreck is always
disturbing -- your mind thinks up all sorts of stuff.  One of the cars was full of tourist -- I assume -- because of
all the luggage they took out of one of the cars and placed it in another vehicle that came to help them.

Anyway, they finally got it all cleared up and I just sat back and watched the sun set on another great day while
hiking in the Congaree National Park near Columbia, South Carolina.
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