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Begins: Apr 9, 2015
Date: Sat, May 24th, 2014
Start: Cantrell homesite
End: Laurel Fork Falls Campsite
Daily Distance: 14
Trip Distance: 22.6
Entry Visits: 495
Journal Visits: 2,280
Guestbook Views: 216
Guestbook Entrys: 0
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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Atop Sassafras Mtn
For yesterday's entry from the Foothills Trail, please see my AT journal for 2013.
I was up and out of camp early this morning, hoping to catch the uphills before the temps moved up. The top of Sassafras Mtn has a lookout area, as well as a plaque marking the highest point in SC. Nice views. After coming down the west side of Sassafras, there is an area of timber clearing which has left the trail out in the open, which was very welcome, in contrast to the overspreading mountain laurel of other parts of the trail. Needless to say, there is a lot of downhill, all the way to F. Van Clayton Hwy, then heads back up, until reaching 178. There is a large creek running across the road here, which makes an excellent spot for lunch on the rocks. Then the fun begins with all new sets of steps!
Eventually, the trail follows the creek, crossing and re-crossing, until passing a camping area near Virginia Hawkins Falls. Laurel Fork Falls camping area is next. Be aware that many of the direction signs were put up by Duke Energy (their land!), and are brown with a sort of gold lettering. This, along with fact that the signs are low to the ground requires close attention not to miss junctions. The white blaze and the blue blaze for camp/water areas is not used nearly enough.
It was Memorial Day weekend so camping areas were full, but always room for one more tent! There was no rain in the area, so cowboy camping with the bivy was in order ( with tent deployed in case the thunderstorms materialized)!
This was going to be the end of my hike, shortened by a flare-up of Right knee IT band swelling. Sitting in the cold creek took away some of the swelling, and Vit I helped, but I knew I was no match for the steps coming up in the Toxaway section of trail. They would have to wait!
Jim, the volunteer shuttle, was more than happy to pick me up at the boat landing there at the falls--he was so gracious about spending his Sunday afternoon nap time rescuing busted knee hikers! Thanks, Jim!
So, we're putting this short hike down to "training", learning to deal with the physical problems, as well as the equipment failures. One more week-long hike is planned in September for a final checkout, before several shorter hikes leading up to PCT time in April!