Foothills Trail Day 3

Sumter National Forest
MM 28.80  Upper Whitewater Falls Parking
11 miles

Hello South Dakota…..wait…..why am I in South Carolina with snow and wind this morning? Woke up to frost covering the tent and flurries that blew sideways across the saddle I was tented at.  Temps are in the 20s today, luckily I brought my winter clothes with me.  By the time I’m packed up and ready to go, I’m wearing most of my winter gear as well as freezing hands.

Cold weather is a great motivator to keep you moving.  Traveling like this is not new to me, but I still feel inexperienced with it and worry constantly about getting too cold.  At the same time, I constantly sweat, and trying to find a pace to stay warm but not overexert myself is a fine line to travel.  Stopping for breaks and lunch ends up being just enough time to pull my food out and continue walking. Cold weather also means not as many pictures.

Today I do run into some other people.  Near the Sloan Bridge Picnic Area were two guys going on a run. Then a couple backpacking a section of the trail for the weekend. They informed me to check the creek bottoms for white flowers that I can’t remember the name of and not to miss Laural Fork Falls. The last person I saw was a thru hiker with 2 days left of the trail.

Due to the cold snap today I make arrangements to get picked up at Upper Whitewater Falls parking lot.  This part of the trail is on the South Carolina/North Carolina border. Sleeping in teens tonight is not exciting, so I am going to bail into town for a night. It still is a good day of hiking and the constant moving did keep me warm. We both meet up at about the same time.  Then take a walk up to Upper Whitewater Falls. It is 1/2 miles from the parking lot so a quick hike.  I was expecting a typical waterfall that I have seen the last three days. It turns out this is the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains with a 411ft foot plunge.  The viewing area seemed pretty far away but the crashing sound the waterfall made was quite loud from our spot.

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Comments 4

  • Dave : Mar 14th

    I’m a little confused, your post says Pacific crest yet your in SC with 3900 to go??? Regardless, army, marine vet…God bless you sir and safe travels!

    • MAV : Mar 15th

      Dave, I am doing shakedown hikes before starting the PCT in July. Stay safe.

  • Birdy : Mar 15th

    Hooray for trail angels and especially ones lucky enough to call friends! ?

    • MAV : Mar 18th

      Both are always great to encounter!


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