Today was, without question, one of the more epic days of our paddle to the ocean. We had a little taste of everything ranging from hot temperatures, high mileage, early mornings, awesome lunch spots, challenging portages, generosity of people we run in to, and beautiful sunsets as we set up camp for the night.
A 4am wake-up time meant that we'd be able to cover a good bit of our mileage for the day as the sun was just rising. Eventually, we had to make our open-water push across Lake Marion to a beach that had plenty of cypress trees to hammock from for lunch. After our siesta, it was time for the very last portage of the trip: the Santee Dam. Carrying our boats up the steep rocky embankment was characteristic of the easy portage we were all hoping for. Fortunately, we had a very pleasant encounter that resulted in having our boats driven to our put in on the other side. After putting back onto the water, we paddled a few more miles to our campsite for the night; possibly one of the best sites of the trip.
And yes, there are alligators.
Ocean in 3 days!