The tide quietly gurgled through marsh grass, soundling like the feeding of a tiny baby. My paddle dipped into the black water with the feeling of turning of a page in a good book. Startled ducks exploded into the air from the mouth of a creek and a fish rolled carelessly in the main channel. Above it all the fire-bright sherbet-orange blaze of the sun cracked the gray stillness of sunrise.
A new Lowcountry day had begun, and there was no better place to enjoy it than in a kayak on the water.
A new year has begun and, like a crisp dawn on the river, it is filled with promise and possibility. This space is dedicated to discovering and enjoying the unique landscape and outdoor offerings of Bluffton and the surrounding area. Whether you are a native or a new arrival you cannot help but be taken in by the beauty of the land. Getting out into it is the challenge. The creeks, swamps and beaches that we cross in our cars to and from work or view from well-trod pathways hold an allure that can seem unreachable to all but the most dedicated and seasoned adventurers. Fortunately for us the town, county and state -- along with focused nonprofit groups and landowners make much of the Lowcountry available to you -- if you take the effort to get out there into it.
From pocket parks to wildlife refuges to open land trusts, Bluffton is truly blessed to have so much of this wild world to enjoy so close to home.
This chilly dawn as our kayaks slid through the near-darkness of a new day, I could not help but think of the opportunity that was being presented and all at a minimal cost of simply being there.
A group of friends and I had put in at Bolan Hall Landing and entered the stillness of pre-dawn Euhaw Creek. We rode the outgoing tide into the Chechessee River, threading our way past piney hammocks and acre upon acre of marsh.
As the sun rose and a milky fog loosened its grip on the wet spartina grass and popping beds of oysters, we landed at the Edgar Glenn Boat Ramp. As we headed off to find a hot breakfast, we could not help but feel how lucky we are to be in such a place as this where nature and adventure meet.
This is the call of the New Year, to get out and explore the world outside our front door -- one park and one creek at a time.
Bluffton resident Matt Richardson enjoys taking day trips with his family and exploring the Lowcountry. To see more pictures from his adventures, go to www.Flickr.com and search on the username "greenkayak73." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.