Chatooga River Trail -Nov. 5-7 2010
Just spent two weekends on the Chatooga River Trail in the NW corner of SC. The first weekend was quite pleasant, the second more of a test of the winter gear, at least here in the south.
Weatherman was calling for the coldest night yet, high 20s in this area.
Half-hitch, Aqua-man, and I reached the trailhead at Burrell's Ford about 4:00 Friday afternoon. 15 minutes earlier, it had been pouring rain on us, coming up Hwy 11. Here, there was nothing but blue skies.
We hiked north about 2 miles and found my favorite site uninhabited and setup camp.
Our shelters consisted of 3 WBBBs, UQs were two Speer Snugfits, and a JRB Mt. Washington 4, TQs were 2 down sleeping bags, and an Old Rag Mtn. TQ.
A previous renter had dragged some good sized limbs into camp and we cut them into logs with a saw.
We rehydrated some burrito meat and salsa topped it with cheese and sour cream and had burritos for supper.
I got really dark by about 7:00 and by 8:30, everyone was in the sack.
At 8:15, I was the first one up. I had hung a digital thermometer on my ridgeline and it said to wait for someone to get up and build the fire.
I love my Jetboil, but it was pretty weak on a cold morning like this. Not so with alcohol. I had my Cobalt Blue Soloist from Stoveman Dan.
You can buy one here and I recommend it.
It's under this Caldera Cone. Coffee in no time.
Scrambled some eggs, 'shrooms, and cheese and had pre-cooked bacon for breakfast.
After breakfast, we hiked up to Ellicott Rock. This is where Andrew Ellicott, back in 1811, marked the spot where SC, NC, and GA all touch. It's in the middle of the river on the left.
The dark circle on the front right corner is THE spot.
In the afternoon, we hiked to Spoonauger Falls.
and King Creek Falls.
Throughout the trip, we were blessed with some breathtaking scenery.
We had three men stop by to inspect the hammocks. They seemed pretty amazed at the underquilts. They were doing maintenance on the trail. Two of the gentlemen were volunteers on the Foothills Trail Conference, the 3rd was a ranger. As we talked, he was explaining how they sometimes have to close down an area because people drag rocks out of the river and make furniture and huge fire rings.
This was here when we arrived...honest!
He also noticed that my hammock was closer to the water than the 50 ft minimum, but since I was hanging off the ground and had MINIMAL impact, he didn't mind. He just asked that I use caution getting in and out and try not to damage the vegetation, which right here was roots and rocks.
For supper, we rehydrated some homemade chili and used up the last of the sour cream and cheese.
Time change gave us an extra hour of sleep, so we were done by 7:30 and didn't come back out til after 8:00. It was a little cooler this night, about 28 degrees. Had to break the ice on the water bucket.
We left out about 1:00 and had one final picture.
The Bad Creek Reservoir near Lake Jocassee.
It was an incredible weekend with friends and nature.
Thanks for sharing the photos. Boy, that food sure looks good!
We had to pass each other on the trail or in the parking area. I was at Burrells Ford from about 3:30 to 4:30 waiting on the last member of our party. We hiked in and out a couple times. We hiked from Burrells Ford north to East Fork. Did you notice the HUGE crowd right at East Fork? We were a site south of them. I wanted a "stealth" site on East Fork River I've used in the past but ran low on daylight and decided to play it safe. We picked a "normal, designated" site about 2 sites south of East Fork River on the SC side.
Nice report! Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
SWEET TRIP! Nice report Swampfox. Glad to see that the ranger was agreeable to your location. I'm a bit envious on the multitude of trips you take out there, we need to meet up again as I have never been to Ellicott Rock.
BTW . . . where's that dutch oven dessert picture? :D
Great trip report and pictures. Looks like a great place to backpack. Thanks for sharing.
That's a beautiful river and a very nice trip report. I've kayaked Sect. III and IV but have never hiked it's trails. It's now on my list. Thanks.
looks like a nice place to spend time i the woods, thanks for sharing.
Great report and pictures thanks for sharing.
nice trip report.. this would have made the perfect birthday trip for me:( but instead i stayed home:(:(:((
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