making the best of the shortest day in 2013

i had planned to camp this past weekend during the winter solstice, rain or shine.  i was prepared for chilly temps and a windy night, but what we ended up with was 75 degrees and sun during the day - variable winds and high 50's at night.  it was quite delightful.  i finally dragged my old buddy natbo away from his work for a few hours, and forced him into a kayak.  we headed to lake marion, to a spot i had never paddled at - and set out to find an island to camp upon.

nate doing his best to climb into a hammock from a kayak

we kind of wanted to sleep out here, but thought we may be gator bait if we did

perfect spot to relax

nate scaring off the cormorants

bald cypress at night

the campsite, the longest night of the year meant more time to drink beer

we were roused early in the morning by the sounds of rapid gun fire, which seemed dangerously close to our island paradise.  i have no idea what the hunting season was, but what ever it was, i don't think any of those particular animals are left, judging by how many shots we heard.  i got my self up and moving, and decided to go for an early morning paddle - to get a better view than we had from our campsite.

early morning paddle

first light on the cypress

cypress trunks

cypress trunks

lake marion is a man made lake, created in the 1940's by damming the santee river. there are a few ruins left over on the various islands, but from what i understand the rocks cemetary on church island is the most significant.  it is still somewhat maintained and has a lot of folks who fought in the civil war buried there - hence the confederate flags.

home of a rebel sharp shooter

one of the overgrown plots

fallen soldier