Just recently I spent several days guiding several different groups of kayakers through the Three Sisters Swamp on the Black River. No matter how many times I find myself guiding an adventure through this magnificent place, I always see something different that I had never seen before. Maybe that is because it is a swamp in constant change, maybe it is because the water level is always changing in the swamp or maybe because you never take the exactly the same route though. No matter what the cause is, I see something new each time.
As I think about the last three adventures through the swamp, the big difference may have been the weather conditions on each day we were there. We experienced one day that was quite warm for late March, the next time it was a typical cloudy and rainy day for a late March and the last was a very cool day for an early April. For those of you who live in the Wilmington, NC area you know what I mean by the big swings in spring weather we can experience here.
One of the days was warm and we found the swamp teaming with activity. Birds darting from one old cypress tree to the next, spiders busy creating webs to catch the many bugs they were hope to catch for their next meal. We heard several great blue herons screeching as we drifted by and even heard a beaver slapping his big tail on the water to alert all others in the area to our presence in the swamp.
The next time I was in the swamp was an overcast and rainy day. What a unique way to experience on out North Carolina’s wonder and these 2000 year old bald cypress trees. That day the swamp seemed to take on a eerie feel and a since of quite. I guess all of the normal activities of the swamp animals were stopped in anticipation of the pending rain. We saw little activity that day as compared to the bright sunny days. I found myself wondering what it would be like to explore this beautiful swamp by moon light, may I will try that one day.
The last time I was there I was with a small family of three. It was a cooler day than normal for early spring, but oh how beautiful it was; the bright blue sky and no clouds we wonderful. On this day, there was little bug activity, but the birds were flittering all over the place. Some of these birds almost seem to stop and look at us, almost wondering why we were there. I’m not a bird expert, but we saw some of the most colorful birds that day.
At the end of that last adventure as I was driving home that day, I found myself thinking about how special the Three Sisters Swamp is to me and those who explore this area. Its beauty and remoteness is awe inspiring, drawing each of us to a place of gratitude. One common thing that I hear from all who dare to get out of their comfort zone and explore the Three Sister is Wow! I think this is the same for many who join me on this adventure. It is not just the adventure, but the desire to embrace something bigger than they are. Those who come to this place all come away with a since of just how small we truly are and the awesomeness of God’s creation. Also no matter how often I find myself there, I find myself feeling this same way and with a since of gratefulness at the privilege to guide others thought this beautiful place.
The next time you are in Wilmington, NC, plan to take the time and join us on the Black River / Three Sister Swamp adventure with Mahanaim Adventures. I promise you one thing; that you will come away from this adventure completely awe struck.