Eighteenmile Creek, South Carolina, US
Nettles Park to US 76
||I(II) (for normal flows)
Milleken plant "falls"
Milleken plant "falls"Photo of Kevin Miller by Will Reeves @ 42 cfs
On Sunday (5/23/04), while many intelligent FPC members were running
the Upper Green, two local yahoos decided to perform a low water
exploratory trip of Eighteen Mile Creek. Two small rapids had been
sited from various roads, although one, admittedly, was a one foot
drop over a deformed weir made of thick sheet metal. After leaving a
car at the takeout, Lake Hartwell, it was decided to put in at
Nettle's Park, two miles below the metal weir. Both adventurers were
claiming a personal first descent, PFD, for the run.
The water appeared quite passable, despite a few downed trees. It
was brown, and the bottom nor any rocks were visible--typical
indications of a heavy storm dumping water into the river upstream.
However, it was soon discovered that this river is an incredible
sediment transport system. Despite not being able to see the bottom,
much of the river was too shallow to float a boat. Nonetheless,
their was just enough water mixed in with the flowing sediment to
convince the adventurers to continue the expedition.
One party member (not the author) survived a swim while negotiating a
downed tree in some flippy class B flatwater. Both party members
survived the intrepid Pendleton Street Falls, a foot-tall class I
shoals, just upstream of the Pendleton Street bridge. Further
downstream, a low-head dam was discovered that created a water intake
system for the Milleken plant. A light on a sensor blinked in
conjunction with boater movement prior to a Milleken truck arriving
at the scene. Eighteen Mile Creek is considered a navigable river
and the boaters passed with only a friendly wave and no
confrontation. It is speculated that the gentleman returned to his
work post stating that the sensor was set off by a couple of kayakers
running the dam, although the more educated would have recognized
that they were canoes and that all paddlers should be smart enough
not to run lowhead dams.
After a few more miles of paddling, pushing, and dragging their boats
through the water-laden sediment, the boaters finally arrived at the
take-out. The PFDs (again, personal first descents) were declared to
be PLDs (personal last descents). These boaters asked me to pass on
their experience so future boaters seeing the rapid upstream of the
Pendleton Street bridge who wander what the river is like will know.
They ran this river so others won't have to, and I agreed to pass the
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2005-01-10 21:56:16