Why do I bring that up? I have a passion for long distance adventure and being a sprinter makes that really hard. No matter how fit you are if you don't pace yourself smartly, you blow up. It doesn't help if you have a (as yet undiagnosed) lung problem that leaves you face up on the side of the trail content to sleep with ants and mosquitoes taking their fair share of you.
I decided to take a swing at the Palmetto Trail back late in 2011. Its taken this long to post anything about it because... well, it aggravated me. Looking back on it I definitely had Type II fun (fun to remember - not as fun to do). The original plan was to drop off in Awendaw and pedal my way up to home in Lexington, SC. That's a couple hundred miles on singletrack, jeep trail, pavement and urban sprawl. I ended up biting off 50 miles of it from Awendaw to Monck's Corner, SC. Here are a few photos from the trip...
With a full time job and two kids there really isn't a ton of time to get packed and ready before trips like this. I do get all of my gear together in a pile, plan meals, routes, etc. but it seems like the last minute preparation always suffers. That's OK, I can take care of it in the hotel room, right?
The other thing that I don't do enough is thank my wife for being pretty rad. She tolerates me taking off on silly solo adventures when most other wives would tell me to go read a book. In this particular instance, she loaded up Kate & Mason and drove down to Charleston to drop me off.
|Mason doesn't know that he isn't in a luxury crib.|
|Kate needed to set up a campsite next to the actual bed.|
She's going to be an adventure princess!
|Lots of waffles in the morning before hitting the trail.|
|Palmetto Trail trailhead. I can't describe the mosquito|
density here... brutal.
|A view of the marsh along the trail out of Awendaw.|
|Its gorgeous trail and easy going.|
|I never get used to seeing palm growing wild in the woods.|
|Don't mount your Spot this close to your GPS.|
They don't play nice together.
|A view of the 'trail' along the way. This trail doesn't see much use|
so the markings and trail maintenance are lacking in certain areas.
Keep a keen eye out for 90 degree turns and disappearing track.
|There was a lot of sandy gravel jeep trail in the lowcountry.|
Not particularly exciting but you make great time on it.
Hard-packed and fast.
|This is Turkey Creek. I filtered water here because it can be a little|
difficult to find along the way. This tannin rich black water is pretty
common in the lowcountry and gives filters a fit. I used my
MSR Hyperflow on this trip with decent luck.
|A nice bridge shot over the creek. I tested a Brooks on this trip.|
Yeah, I know its moronic to test a new seat on a long ride like this
and I knew that going in. It worked out fine but I
did learn that I prefer my Selle Italia Flite.
|There was a long run of this built up trail out in the middle of|
nowhere, SC. I can't muster a guess of why you'd do this but
it was a welcome change to the hidden pot holes I'd been
grinding through for the previous 20 miles.
|Sand sloppy enough that 2.4" tires aren't enough.|
It probably was only a couple of miles but it felt like 30.
|There was a lot of overgrown brush in the trail as well.|
Funny enough I was glad that it still had dew on it and it was
relatively stiff brush. It did a fantastic job cleaning the spider
web crud off of me and the bike. Its the little things.
|Taking a break along the way. The elevated walkway was|
in rough shape and in some cases completely rotted.
Lots & lots & lots of jeep trail.
|I remember thinking how pretty these clouds were.|
|Slight change of plans... no more pothole trails. I grabbed the map and picked some secondary roads.|
Miles and miles of secondary roads as it turns out.
I stumbled on the ruins of an old church and the cemetery along the way. Beautiful & peaceful site.