Sunday, November 24, 2013

Peak to Hope Station November 24, 2013

Peak, South Carolina over the Broad River
Stephanie Lockhart and I decided to forgo a Sunday afternoon nap for a Palmetto Trail hike!  We headed up US 176 from Columbia and on over to Alston Station via SC 213--just on the other side of the Broad River--to drop off my car at the finish line.  Then we back-tracked to Hope Station to start our hike.
 Fred and Dixiana were excited to join us on this 6.4 mile* adventure! It was in the mid 40's--chilly, but not bad.  We started about 3:00 in the afternoon.  Sundown was at 5:15 p.m., so we knew we'd need to keep a steady pace to get there with 15 minutes to spare.

 This part of the Palmetto Trail is an old railroad trail from Norfolk Southern Railroad. The part of the trail we traveled on today was first opened in 2009.
We only passed 4-5 people on our whole journey.  We thought we'd see a lot more hikers, but no.  The trees weren't in their prime, either.

 There were some sweet spots on the trail where some crafty people have made it a rustic and cozy spot to have a picnic. I wouldn't be surprised if some boy scouts had a hand in this, too.
 Just before we got to the Broad River, the little town of Peak, SC was partially visible from our trail.  It looked adorable.  I'd love to go back and visit and picnic there someday!
This is Stephanie walking Dixiana and Fred.
 Little Cabin in the Woods--just hidden in the trees on the banks of the Broad.

Stephanie and I were quite surprised when we reached the end of the Broad River at only 4 miles--instead of 6.4. Wow!  When we were about 60 yards from my car, Stephanie blurted, "Your keys are in my console!" Duh.
That's right!  I left my sunglasses and keys in her car--4 miles back.

So, we turned around, knowing it would be getting dark soon.  We made it back to her car about 5:45 pm, about 30 minutes after sundown. It was still light enough for us to see, but much farther, and we would have been walking in the dark. 8 miles round trip! The dogs did fine, too! (*When I got home, I looked up the distances to see why it was only 4 miles instead of 6.4.  There is a trail head at Pomaria, SC 2 1/2 miles up from Hope Station.  If we had started there, it would have been 6.4 miles.  And we would have been hiking in the dark. . . and in lots of pain.)

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