Tyler's Travels: Rolling down the river

Tyler Ryan and Henry Rothenberg enjoy the river tour.

Columbia (WACH)"The Midlands are home to three converging rivers, the Broad, Congaree, and the Saluda.

There are miles of trails, walkways, and picnic spots, but for guys like Adventure Carolina TMs Kevin Geddings, there is nothing like the experience of being in the middle of a river.

It TMs the beautiful scenery. It TMs gorgeous out there," said Geddings.

So Good Day Columbia contributor Tyler Ryan and weathercaster Henry Rothenberg hit the scene to get an up-close and personal look.

Geddings and his team of very seasoned guides showed safety and instructional videos for the novices, and ensured them all the boats and gear were prepared for the open water outing. The team loaded up in the van, and headed to the Saluda.

Tyler gives his first-hand experiences below in a diary style monologue.

There were more instructions given on the shore, and it was in the water we went, for what was an amazing experience. There are not many ways to describe the peacefulness that exists when you are gently floating on the rather still portions of the river. You can almost forget that only 2 miles away lies downtown Columbia. The birds, babble of the river, and even the sounds of paddles knocking against the boats all seem to blend and create what some might call a symphony.

On our trip, we encountered Spider Lilies, which, according to Geddings, only grow in three places in the United States. On the list of memorable experiences about the trip down the river was seeing a Bald Eagle, keeping watch of our adventure, high atop a tree. Between the stillness on the trip came several areas of rapids, which added a little excitement, and would lead once again to a calm, nearly still water.

Along the way, we also saw points of interest and historical significance, including a bridge that was destroyed by the Confederates to prevent General Sherman from marching straight into Columbia during the Civil War.

Nationally, kayaking is becoming immensely popular, with over eight million people routinely participating. Experts say that the ability to go from beginner to experienced in a relatively short period of time is one draw to the sport.

Money is a big factor, especially when it TMs tight. (people) are turning to the local outdoors for their fun, said writer Liam Migdail-Smith.

Kayaking is also a great sport for families to get involved in. With the cost of gear and equipment inexpensive, when compared to other alternatives, it can offer a relaxing, healthy alternative.

Geddings said that Adventure Carolina hosts many different kinds of trips from the unwinding after work trip to a Dinner Paddle, where paddlers stop in the middle, and actually cook dinner before continuing on.

After seeing the capital in the skyline from the river, the rare flowers, and of course, the Bald Eagle, there is no question that a trip down the river needs to be on your list of t ravels this summer.

(This story courtesy of Good Day Columbia contributor Tyler Ryan.)