Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

Foothills Trail
Day 1 - Saturday, 30 April 2005

Today’s miles: 4.5
Trip miles: 4.5

I’m finally warm and cozy in my hammock with my feet up. I made a snail’s pace today – 4+ miles in 5.5 hours!

Special thanks to Shuttle Dan, who drove me from Oconee to Table Rock so my Jeep will be waiting for me when I finish. At Table Rock, I went to the Barn to watch Tha Wookie’s presentation, “Dancing the Tidal Line.” It was great to put a face with his name (it matches) and he put on an awesome show. Then it was off to the Camp Store for 2 disposable cameras and to the trail by 1:30p.

There should have been some awesome views today, but I was socked in by fog and rain. After the sun got low it was pretty eerie, like Blair Witch or something. It rained quite a bit but I didn’t put on my jacket until it got windy. Then I fell while descending some slippery rocks and put a small hole in the sleeve…GRRR! No big deal, really…if it leaks I can put some duct tape on it.

Bridge at Table Rock Trailhead

A funny thing happened today. I sat down on a log to have a King Size Snickers (510 calories…I love hiking!), leaned back and got poked by a thorn. No biggie…I grabbed it and pulled it out of my shirt. “That’s an interesting looking thornbush – serrated, asymmetrical leaves, shiny leaves of three...HOLY $#!&” I grabbed my hand sanitizer (which I keep in my TP bag…hope I didn’t transfer any oil…). Then I thought I’d wash with soap in case the alcohol didn’t do any good, so I sat there on the trail with suds up to my elbows like a surgeon getting ready to operate, and used the last of my water to rinse it off. All over a bit of poison ivy. And actually, I’m not sure it was because I don’t know if there’s a PI variety with thorns, but the leaves looked just like it and I wasn’t taking any chances on the first day!

I saw three ladies later in the day – 1 HH Explorer, 1 Amazonas with a Walmart tarp over her, and one lady with a Walmart tarp rigged on the ground as a tent. We talked for a while, and the tent lady pointed at the hammock and asked, “Why would you do that when you can do this,” pointing at her tarp. What? Wrong question! Why would you sleep on the cold hard ground when you can sleep in a comfy hammock?!

I wanted to see the cave at Lightning Rock at the base of Drawbar Cliffs but I guess I missed it in the fog...I never even saw the cliffs! And for the one view that should have been the best, I couldn’t see beyond the edge of the rock...about 20 feet.

I made camp at 7p about a mile past Lightning Rock in a drainage just off the trail. Dinner was supposed to be Lipton Cheddar Broccoli with Tuna, but I found out that 1.5c water plus .5c milk doesn’t equal 2c of water when you’re freezer bag cooking, and ended up having Lipton Tuna Noodle Soup...kinda gross!

Now I’m laying here listening to a light rain drip onto the tarp…so peaceful.

I’m such a sinner…I didn’t hang my food bag or treat my water.

Remains of John L. Cantrell homesite
One of the area's earliest settlers
Mile 7.7

Today’s animal count:
- Several black salamanders
- Crawdad in a trickle on the side of the mountain. I didn’t realize they live up that high.
- Redheaded woodpecker while still in Table Rock

For the Trail Crew:
- The sign for the Pinnacle Mountain Spur is missing.
- The arrow sign at the campsite near the State Park border has fallen off and is leaning against a tree at the campsite entrance.

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