THE FOOTHILLS TRAIL – EAST WEST THRU HIKE

THE FOOTHILLS TRAIL

    MAJOR TRAILHEADS ALONG THE 76.2 MILE TRAIL

  • Table Rock State Park ( East terminus ) 
  • Sassafras Mountain ( the highest point in the state of South Carolina ) CLOSED – Foot Hills Trail Detour 
  • US 178 Hitch to HOLY SPRINGS STORE ( CHEESEBURGERS CANDY BARS EQUIPMENT REPAIR ) 
  • TOXAWAY RIVER ( 5 MILES TO NEAREST ACCESS ROAD ) SURE COULD USE A HOMEMADE BISCUIT AND  BACON AND EGGS ABOUT HERE. 
  • SC 130 @ NC 281  WHITEWATER FALLS RESTROOM & FOOD DROP )  4.7 MILES TO SC 107 AND HITCH TO CASHIERS
  • SC 107 SLOAN BRIDGE ( HITCH TO CASHIERS NC INGLES FRIED CHICKEN )
  • BURRELS FORD RD ( SHUTTLE TO CASHIERS THE ORCHARD BLACKENED RIBEYE RIVER RUN CONDO EGGS BENEDICT BREAKFAST BUCK’S COFFEE ) GOT TO KEEP UP MY STRENGTH.
  • OCONEE STATE PARK 


Pack
Sleeping bag
Food
Water
Clothes
Electronics
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
SUNDAY MARCH 17TH 2019

THE FOOTHILLS TRAIL 

EAST TERMINUS

TABLE ROCK STATE PARK

76.2 MILES TO OCONEE STATE PARK 

SUNDAY MARCH 17th 2019 4PM 

EXPECT TO FINISH THURSDAY MARCH 21st 2019

“EVERYTHING I NEED”

 ^^ountain ^^an & Eden

^^ountain ^^an


HIKE INTO THE NIGHT FULL MOON LIGHTING THE WAY TO SASSAFRAS MOUNTAIN

CLOSED – FOOTHILLS TRAIL DETOUR

SO I SCOUT AROUND PARKING LOT FOR A PLACE TO COWBOY CAMP
AS I ROUNDED THE TREE LINED AREA I COME FACE TO FACE WITH A BLACK BEAR
I GAVE A “GRRRRR” 
THE BEAR TOOK A TURN INTO THE TREES
I DEFERRED TO THE BEAR AND CONTINUED ALONG THE DETOUR LOOKING FOR A LOG TO SNUGGLE UP TO
SEE MONDAY AM BELOW

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
MONDAY MARCH 18TH 2019

 MONDAY AM – SASSAFRAS MOUNTAIN

The Thermarest punctured during the night!

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 

BEAUTIFUL MORNING WALK TO HWY 178 TRAILHEAD

“Father, I know you ALWAYS take care of me. You ALWAYS give me EVERYTHING I NEED! Even when I need to sleep on the flat Thermarest and eat dry Ramen noodles etc. 

Father,  I would love to have a Holy Springs cheeseburger today. And patch my Thermarest.  And I could charge my phone and battery pack!

Most of all, I know you are glorified when I seek refuge in you, Father. Just like when a child comes to a parent. 

 ONCE I GOT TO HWY 178 TRAILHEAD I BEGAN HITCHING TO HOLY SPRINGS STORE …

OK THIS SHOULD BE A PIECE OF CAKE. HWY 178 FOOTHILLS TRAIL TRAILHEAD.. TURN OFF TO JUMPING OFF ROCK la la la

ABOUT 30 MINUTES. NO TAKERS. SEVERAL PEOPLE GIVE THE “POINT” AS IF WE ARE NOT GOING WHERE YOU WANT TO GO! MOSTLY THE CLEAN LOOKING OLD FARTS. THE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS ARE PRICELESS. NOW WHERE IS THAT EX GIRLFRIEND???  I CAN’T TELL YOU JUST HOW MANY KIND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OBLIGED TO OFFER. THAT’S A BOOK OF ITS OWN!!! WOW JUST HOW ENCOURAGING IT IS WHEN YOU SEE THOSE BREAK LIGHTS. ( YOU HAVE TO HEAR MY VERMONT STORY 🙂  VT STORIES !!!!

Young lady, Chloé, passes me and continues on for at least 1/2 mile. STOPS. Turns around and comes back to get me!

She gives me the most amazing fried apple pies. Not the little half-moon size. A large rectangle with a little corner broken off. OMG. The classic burn marks. Made by Chloé’s momma. Takes me to town. Makes sure I am in the best location. Refuses to accept gas money. Then I find out she is on an eight hour drive to Pennsylvania. WHAT?? Tooooo Kind. Warms your heart. Amazing Angel !!!

SAME TOWN BURGER AND BEER NIGHT. I SIT AT THE BAR BESIDE MEGAN THE SWITCHBACK BEER REP. MEGAN HAS A MOSTLY FINISHED PLATE OF BEEF TENDERLOIN AND FRIES SITTING RIGHT THERE BESIDE ME. FORK AND KNIFE JUST LAYING ON THE PLATE. NOT SURE IF SHE OFFERED OR I SIMPLY HELPED MYSELF TO HER KNIFE AND FORK AND FINISHED HER DINNER WHILE I WAS WAITNG ON MY BURGER AND BEER SPECIAL TO BE SERVED. MEGAN PAYS HER CHECK AND MINE AS WELL NICE! WELL THIS WHOLE TIME THERE IS A BAR-WIDE DISCUSSION AS TO WHERE ^^OUNTAIN ^^AN WILL FIND A ROOM FOR THE NIGHT. EVERY OPTION IS RULED OUT USUALLY BECAUSE THE CONSENSUS IS THAT A ROOM FOR A SHOWER AND BED FOR SUCH A SHORT TIME WOULD NOT BE GOOD VALUE. SO TWO GENTLEMEN AT THE TABLE BY THE BAR ( SHORT VERSION ) OFFER FOR ME TO STAY AT EARLE’S FOR THE NIGHT. EARLE WILL DRIVE ME TO HIS HOUSE ( UNDER CONSTRUCTION )  AND BACK TO TOWN IN THE MORING. LET’S JUST SAY WHEN YOU HAVE TO WASH A GLASS IN THE BATHROOM SINK TO OFFER A GUEST A WAY TO GET A DRINK OF WATER, THE GUEST MAY BE BIT HESITANT. JUST SAYING. IN THE MORNING WHEN THE GUEST USES THE SHOWER THERE IS A NOTE “USE THE PLIERS BY THE TUB TO CONTROL THE WATER”  THERE WERE MANY MANY MORE INTERESTING MEMORIES FROM THE HOUSE THAT EARLE IS BUILDING. 

HWY 178 TRAILHEAD … COMPANY TRUCK PASSES. I CURSE THE DRIVER ( COMMON REACTION FROM ME  FOR SOME PEOPLE NOT STOPPING. DOESN’T HE KNOW I “NEED A RIDE”?  10 MINUTES LATER HE RETURNS AND EXPLAINS COMPANY POLICY “NO HITCH HIKERS” HOWEVER HE REALIZES I MOST LIKELY WANTED TO GO TO HOLY SPRINGS AND OFFERS. MUST NEED A RIDE!

1. TWO BURGERS ( ADDED MY OWN HOOP CHEESE I BOUGHT LAST WEEK AT ASHEVILLE FARMERS MARKET ) OMG THIS IS THE BEST! BEEN BUYING FROM THE SAME PEOPLE FOR 30 YEARS. MORE?
2. DUCT TAPE TO PATCH THERMAREST
3. SNICKERS FOR THE AFTERNOON WALK PAST LAUREL FORK FALLS AND ON TO TOXAWAY RIVER FOR THE NIGHT.

I ACTUALLY SAT A TABLE IN THE CORNER AND CHARGED MY PHONE AND BATTERY. ATE MY BURGERS WHILE I BLEW UP MY MATTREST AND POURED WATER ON IT TO FIND THE LEAK. FOUND THE LEAK. BOUGHT A SMALL ROLL OF DUCT TAPE. PATCHED AND TESTED RIGHT THERE AT MY TABLE. THE FOLKS AT HOLY SPRINGS STORE ARE KIND AND GRACIOUS! IMO 

SNICKERS ( MORE IN MY POCKET WITH A JUMBO KITKAT ) FOR THE AFTERNOON WALK TO LAUREL FORK FALLS AND ON TO TOXAWAY RIVER FOR THE NIGHT.

LOOKS LIKE 61.7 MILES TO GO  

DISCOVER THE OCONEE BELL

 THIS MAY BE VIRGINIA HAWKINS FALLS 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
TUESDAY MARCH 19TH 2019

EARLY MORNING WALK FROM MY CAMPSITE OVER HEAT BREAK RIDGE TO TOXAWAY RIVER TRAILHEAD

 TOXAWAY RIVER CROSSING

STOPPED HERE FOR A QUICK “DIP” IN THIS STREAM

HERE I WAS INTRODUCED TO “OCONEE BELL”

CROSSING THE HORSE PASTURE RIVER

CROSSING THE THOMPSON RIVER

REACHED WHITEWATER RIVER ABOUT DARK. 2.3 MILES TO BRIDGE CROSSING AND THEN ANOTHER MILE UP THE MOUNTAIN TO US 130 TRAILHEAD FOR THE NIGHT. A FULL MOON COMES UP TO LIGHT THE WAY. THANK YOU FATHER. EVERYTHING I NEED. THE WALK WENT AMAZING AS I CROSSED STREAMS AND UP AND DOWN STEPS AND THROUGH MOUNTAIN LAUREL AND RHODODENDRON SECTIONS. THE LIGHT WAS SO BRIGHT I HAD TO BE SURE THERE WASN’T AN ACTUAL LIGHT SHINNING INTO THE WOODS.

10:37 PM CROSSING THE WHITEWATER RIVER BRIDGES IN THE DARK. BY THE LIGHT OF A FULL MOON. SECOND BRIDGE JUMPING FROM A ROCK ONTO THE BRIDGE AND THEN JUMPING FROM THE BRIDGE TO ANOTHER ROCK TO COMPLETE THE CROSSING.

UP THE SWITCHBACKS FROM WHITEWATER RIVER TO HWY 130 TRAILHEAD. CAME TO A BLOWDOWN AND WORKED MY WAY THROUGH. REALIZED THIS WAS NOT THE CONTINUATION OF THE TRAIL. LOST MY WAY AND SLID DOWN THE MOUNTAIN ON THE SEAT OF MY PANTS IN THE DIRECTION OF THE LAST SWITCHBACK. LOST MY FOOT HILLS TRAIL GUIDEBOOK ON THE WAY DOWN. FOUND THE TRAIL AND HIKE BACK TO THE “BLOW DOWN” IT WAS ACTUALLY A PLACE FOR A LEFT TURN SWITCHBACK. WELL I MADE THE TURN AND ON TO THE TRAILHEAD FOR A PLACE TO SLEEP BESIDE A NICE BIG LOG. CONSIDERABLE MOISTURE FROM THE LAKES. TEMPERATURE WAS ABOVE FREEZING AND THE MOISTURE SEEMED TO LESSEN DURING THE NIGHT. 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++WEDNESDAY MARCH 20TH 2019

 FINDING MY WAY TO TRAIL ANGEL FOOD DROP!

LOVE THOSE LITTLE DEBBIE HONEY BUNS

NOT AS MUCH AS OUR REAL CINNAMON ROLLS 

NOW 4.7 MILES TO HWY 107 SLOAN BRIDGE WHERE I PLAN TO HITCH TO CASHIERS FOR INGLES FRIED CHICKEN AND BUCK’S COFFEE.

OK HWY 107 SLOAN BRIDGE … TIME TO HITCH TO CASHIERS FOR INGLES FRIED CHICKEN

WELL THIS WAS AN INTERESTING HITCH. ALL THE GOOD OLE BOYS AND GIRLS PASSED ME BY. THE CLEAN LOOKING OLD FARTS GAVE THEIR USUAL “POINT” OR JUST BLEW BY.  SO WHAT DO YOU KNOW? LEE FROM MOUNT PLEASANT, SC REPEATS “CASHIERS” AS HE PULLS OVER TO OFFER ME A RIDE. ON HIS WAY TO MEET HIS WIFE AT HER MOTHER’S HOME IN CASHERS TO DO SOME REPAIRS. LEE LIVED IN CHICAGO UNTIL MOVING TO LAKE GLENVILLE FOR RETIREMENT. LAKE GLENVILLE WAS TOO COLD. MOVE ON TO THE SC COAST. DELIGHTFUL CONVERSATION. “WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO?” “INGLES” IT IS TO THE RIGHT ON HWY 64. THAT’S THE DIRECTION I AM GOING. DROPPED ME AT INGLES.  

FRIED CHICKEN. FRIED RICE. DUCK SAUCE AND HOT MUSTARD. SITTING OUT FRONT IN THE SUNSHINE. SOON ACCOMPANIED BY MY RIVER RUN NEIGHBOR FROM CLAYTON GA AND SHORTLY AFTER MICHAEL ON HIS WAY TO HIS LUCNH MEETING. IF YOU WANT TO SEE ANYONE IN CASHIERS GO TO INGLES. EVERYONE GOES TO INGLES AND EVERYONE HAS LUNCH SOMEWHERE. NEIGHBOR AND MICHAEL DISCUSS SOMETHING ABOUT CASHMERE HATS AND JUST WHAT COLOR. I AM ENJOYING BASKING IN THE WARM SUNSHINE AND EATING MY CHICKEN AND RICE AND RELAXING DRINKING MY JUMBO FOUNTAIN COCA COLA ( ONE FREE REFILL ). MENTALLY PREPARING FOR MY AFTERNOON HITCH BACK TO SLOAN BRIDGE AND 7.2 AFTERNOON HIKE TO BURRELLS FORD RD TRAILHEAD AT THE CHATTOOGA RIVER.  WELL MICHAEL DROVE ME IN TO BUCK’S COFFEE AND OFFERED TO BE MY BACKUP HICTCH BACK TO SLOAN BRIDGE. JUST IN CASE! WHILE AT BUCK’S I CALLED TAZ A LOCAL FOOTHILLS TRAIL VOLUNTEER FOR A SHUTTLE.  “LOOKING TO GET A SHUTTLE FROM BURRELLS FORD RD TO CASHIERS THIS EVENING ABOUT 7PM” “WHERE ARE YOU NOW?””CASHIERS” “WHY DO YOU NEED A SHUTTLE TO CASHIERS?” “TO CASHIERS THIS EVENING AND BACK TO BURRELLS FORD RD TOMORROW AM” “WHAT? I AM NOT A TAXI” “OK I WANT TO COME BACK TO CASHIERS TO EAT AND WARM NIGHT SLEEP BEFORE 16 MILE FINALE TO OCONEE STATE PARK TOMORROW. I EXPECT TO COMPENSATE YOU FOR YOUR EFFORT.” “OK I WILL PICK YOU UP AT BURRELLS FORD AT 7PM. WE CAN WORK OUT TOMORROW THEN I HAVE CHECKED MY CALENDAR AND I AM AVAILABLE” TAZ WAS INTERESTING AND KIND AND GRACIOUS. 

THANKS TO TAZ FOOTHILLS TRAIL VOLUNTEER SHUTTLE I AM ON TIME FOR DINNER WITH MICHAEL AND RADHIKA AT THE ORCHARD IN CASHIERS. D

OMG BLACKENED RIBEYE DINNER AT THE ORCHARD

GOT KEEP MY STRENGTH UP FOR TOMORROW’S FINALE

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
THURSDAY MARCH 21st 2019

 LIGHT BREAKFAST IN CASHIERS BEFORE SHUTTLE TO BURRELLS FORD RD TRAILHEAD

TAZ SHOWED ME THIS FOOTHILLS TRAIL MAP

READY FOR THE FINALE TO OCONEE STATE PARK 

WALKING ALONG CHATTOOGA RIVER ON WAY TO BIG BEND FALLS, SIMS FIELD, LICK LOG FALLS AND ON TO OCONEE STATE PARK

CHATTOOGA RIVER 

CHATTOOGA RIVER 

CHATTOOGA RIVER 

CHATTOOGA RIVER 

CHATTOOGA RIVER 

CHATTOOGA RIVER ( CAMPSITE AREA FROM 1973 BACKPACKING TRIP )  I DON’T LIKE FISH 😦 OK I ATE TWO AND YOU HAD ONE! I THOUGHT YOU DIDN’T LIKE FISH?? NEVER HAD FISH LIKE THIS!  FRESH CAUGHT. CORNMEAL. COOKED IN BACON GREASE AND BUTTER IN SKILLET OVER CAMPFIRE :)))

SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO STOP AND ENJOY THE MOMENT. AND LET YOUR FEET COOL OFF. THANK YOU L’IL BEAN FOR SHARING A COUPLE OF DAYS ON THE AT IN MAINE. HOW BOUT A BLACK & WHITE MILKSHAKE? 

LOOKING DOWNSTREAM IN THE DIRECTION OF SIMS FIELD 

CHATTOOGA RIVER 

THE FOOTHILLS TRAIL 

WEST TERMINUS

OCONEE STATE PARK 

76.2 MILES 

SUNDAY MARCH 17th 2019 4PM 

THURSDAY MARCH 21st 5 PM

“EVERYTHING I NEED”

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