Hiking is one of our favorite pass-times, but since we've moved to South Carolina we haven't really had a successful hike. We tried a couple of trails near Charleston, but they turned out to actually be flat sand paths through really low branches covered in pine straw....not my favorite scene.
So we decided to jump in the car and drive a few hours west to the central part of the state and see if the hiking improved with some miles and elevation. I can't say it was quite as fantastic as the northeastern mountains.....but it sure was better than beach trails.
The first adventure of our day - DETOUR. We figured the "Road Closed Ahead, Local Traffic Only" signs just meant they had pavement torn up or something...well...or something.
SO...we couldn't quite jump that gap...we thought about it though.
The trailhead for the section of the Palmetto Trail that we hiked was not well marked, so honestly we're not sure what section we ended up on, but we were trying to be close to the Lake Marion Passage.
The first half of the hike it rained, so I had my camera wrapped up under the rain guard on my bag...these photos are all on the way back. (It wasn't a loop trail). Megan did her usual few handstands in the field before the woods.
Aside from the spiders the hike was actually pretty entertaining. We saw snakes, bugs galore, dead snakes and possums, inch worms and ants, and three-legged dogs. It was quite the nature scene. Also we saw a deer for about 1/30th of a second.
The turtle wasn't phased by our paparazzi, he just chilled.
The wildlife was fantastic, and the trail actually had a few "hills" here and there, so it wasn't quite as boring as the coastal trail was. Gotta be honest, our buns were missing the burn of the New England mountains! We'll have to roadtrip there in the summer for real climbs.
The boardwalk on the way back was much less slippery, but still a bit treacherous...Dave decided bouncing on the semi-rotted boards while we were crossing was a good idea...
After nearly 10 miles of hiking we were definitely ready to make it back to our cars and take our soggy hiking shoes off...but when we got back I had to grab these few photos of the amazing trail head (once we finally found it).
Next time we're hiking in North Carolina so we can actually get into the mountains, but this was a pretty good little hike fix. (p.s. I SOOOO want to photo a wedding here!)
As with all great hikes we ended this one by finding a (somewhat questionable) place to eat afterwards and scarfing down as much food as they could bring us. This time we ate at a place called Old Guy's Italian Restaurant in Sumter, SC. When we pulled in we questioned our decision big time, but it turned out to be fantastic! The owner and his wife made fabulous food, and he was a hoot as a server. Clutchpoint....we got to watch Bad Boys 2 while eating. Score. If you're ever in Sumter, SC for some reason (I don't know why you'd ever be there...but your life isn't mine) you'll have to check out Old Guy's!
Maine has been pretty hot the last few weeks - but we know fall is just around the corner - so we have been taking advantage! We've also had to be out of the house quite a bit because we've had quite a few showings. (woohoo! praying for offers soon)
Last week two of our lovely sisters bought us a Go-Pro for a wedding gift, so we've had a new toy to play with some on our outdoor adventures! We LOVE it....although we're definitely not very good at it yet.
Our first Go-Pro adventure was to our favorite disc golf course, D.R. Disc Golf in Orrington, Maine. A few of our friends came along, so they're featured in these fabulous (beginner) photos.
I didn't shoot a very good round - but where's the surprise there? :-) Dave is a great disc golfer - me? I'm mediocre at best....but it's an awesome pastime for a beautiful day!
Dave and I adventured into the Bangor City Forest during one of our showings to kill some time...and give Tango a little fresh air. She LOVED it.
I like going to the city forest with Dave, because he knows the trails much better than I do. When I'm there by myself (or with friends) I'm a bit of a chicken....I hate getting lost.
Our walk was perfect, besides our dog without manners.....I may possibly let her get away with anything.....
We did run into one issue, (Warning: this is a pet peeve of mine) our dog isn't good with other dogs,....she's ok as long as they leave her alone....but some dude decided to take his dog for a walk....directly behind us.....off leash. On trails that require leashes. Grr. Thankfully there was a nice split in the trail within a few hundred yards - problem solved!
Until next time <3
I ran my first ever "5K" race two weekends ago, on July 25th, the Tough Mountain Challenge....leave it to me to pick a race up the side of a mountain through mud obstacles for my first attempt. It was so much fun! I was really thinking about backing out, but thanks to my wonderfully supportive husband I didn't. Haha.
The race is put on by Sunday River every year. Last year a couple of my friends ran it and LOVED it, so I registered. Dave and I drove over to Newry from Higgins Beach, so it only took about two hours rather than the usual three.....still plenty of time to stress about the race!
The course had 17 obstacles, and Dave was brave enough to practically run the entire thing to get photos of us and the course! He watched us start the race (and got plenty of great photos) and then hopped on the chair lift and got aerials shots on the way up to photo us midway.
The next obstacle shots were taken by Dave from the chairlift, so we aren't in them because we were WAY slower than the chairlift.
This last photo is of my LEAST favorite obstacle. It wasn't nearly the dirtiest, and it definitely wasn't the hardest..but it was so awful. We had to belly slide through a tunnel only the height and width of a hay bale. UGH! Talk about a challenge to claustrophobia.
Down the muddy slip-n-slide hill is where we finally caught up to Dave (who'd been running his own version of the race attempting to catch us at different obstacles). I made sure to run smack into him and give him a muddy kiss :-) I"m sure he just LOVED it.
The lilypad obstacle was next (after sliding through a narrow water pipe and up under the "lake" the obstacle was on) and it happened to be the one I was most nervous about.
Dave got an awesome spot and was able to get photos of us doing the whole thing!
Somehow I made it all the way across without really even wobbling too much! I was pretty sure I would smash my face slipping up the ramp at the end (by the way, it was a bobbing ramp made solely of plywood...no grip on it at all) but I avoided that mishap too. Danielle came along right behind me and made it all the way across with no problem!
The guy running the platform obstacle told me I should try to hit the bell when I jumped (obviously he thought that since I'm tall I could jump....HA) and if I did I'd be only the second female that day to make it. I tried.....
Of course, Dave was the in perfect spot to catch us walking...so he requested a pose. :)
He didn't catch photos of us at the next few obstacles (I'm not really upset, they were a little terrible) so our trip under the barbed wire and my graceful fall off the backside of a wall will have to go undocumented.
The rest of the race seemed to fly by....we only had a short run to the concrete barrier obstacle, and then the last one of the race was the slide! The barriers were pretty easy for me, another advantage of being tall.
The run to the slide was only a few hundred meters, it took us longer standing in line then it did to actually get there. The slide itself, though? SO FREAKING FAST! I was actually pretty nervous near the end (as you can tell from the photo) but I just had a quick dunk at the end, nothing terrible.
Quick dunk in a dirty pond, and quick sprint (ok, jog really) down to the finish line!
Success! Crossing that finish line felt so good...I know we could have done the course faster, and next time I probably will (not next year, but hopefully the year after that!) but just finishing it felt so good.
Part of our registration was a "free" beer on race day - we could either have it at the shotgun station in the middle of the course (no thanks....I'd prefer not to puke while attempting to run) or celebrate with it after. We chose the latter, obviously. :)
My final thoughts on this day - amazing. If you have an opportunity to try a race like this, take it. You'll probably surprise yourself at how well you can actually do.
Dave and I have this "tradition" of hiking on the 4th of July. It didn't really start with that intention, but the first year we were dating we were both flat broke - and after our first idea of tie-dying a couple of old t-shirts, we decided the second cheapest thing we could do on a day we both happened to have off was to walk through the woods.
Our first 4th of July hike was to Little Wilson Falls. I'll never forget that first hike, because we drove his old Impala (VERY little ground clearance) up a dirt road that I was positive we would get stuck on, and then about a half hour into the hike we got hit with the worst thunderstorm I've ever seen. We were going to attempt to finish the hike in the rain, but when the lightening started hitting close, and then we were getting pelted in the head with quarter-sized hail we figured we should probably turn around. We ran (yes, ran) the trail back to the car as fast as we could...and literally the minute he unlocked the doors and we got in the storm stopped. Hike = fail.
Thankfully this year was a little different. We left Bangor around 6:15am, and actually had Megan and Taylor (two of my sisters) join us! We started the day off on a great note, because they were BOTH on time. (Actually, Taylor arrived 10 minutes early and already had a coffee....seriously...world record). Neither of them had ever been, so we decided Gulf Hagas was the perfect hike. Taylor brought her dog, Boris, with us.....which we weren't initially super excited about, but he turned out to be a fabulous hiking partner.
We weren't sure it would ever happen, but it actually got hot this year - so the hike was pretty sticky...but trust me I'm not complaining! The first part of the full Gulf Hagas loop trail is through the woods. You have to cross one river (pretty wide, but only about knee deep during the summer) so we carried water shoes, and then after the river crossing there are lots of wooden bridges across marshy areas in the woods. Gorgeous, but definitely a mosquito breeding ground!
We stopped about halfway through our hike to eat lunch...this just happened to be where we finally came out of the woods and started seeing the rivers. We ate out on some sunny rocks, and Boris "played" in the water. (He actually kept trying to swim downstream, but Taylor kept a good eye on him).
Bringing Boris along wasn't just so Taylor could have his company, he also carried all of her gear! I'm still not sure if I think this was extremely smart, or unfair. ;-)
The trail from lunch on skirted through the woods beside the river, with plenty of "viewpoints" to check out of the gorgeous water.
I actually didn't even have my camera out for most of the prettiest parts of this hike....unfortunately the prettiest parts are also the most technical, and in an effort not to smash my camera, or teeth, I decided to leave it in my bag. You'll just have to hike it yourself to see.
As she so kindly does on our hikes, Megan took my camera and got a couple shots that I'm actually featured in....that way it doesn't look like my camera hiked without me!
We have fun. :-) I think we stopped at every viewpoint possible, and Boris kept trying to jump into the water! (yes, even off the giant cliffs....)
This hike is so beautiful, I had such a hard time putting my camera down (thus the million pictures)....but seriously, it is so hard to relate the beauty of this place.
The next rocks we got to had an amazing group of butterflies, and they were just hanging out! (I'm sure there's a reason why they were congregating, but we figured it was just for us to hang out with them)
I'm not sure what the actual name of this spot is....but it's basically the most dramatic canyon on this hike. Megan took over my camera again for a few minutes to grab some shots of Dave and I.
Meg kept telling us to smile (apparently we had camera smiles this whole time...oops) and finally tried to make us laugh - by telling us to think about Tango falling into the canyon. FAIL!
Poor Meg re-twisted her ankle walking down over some rocks....it was still pretty sore from our Tumbledown hike! She was a trooper, though, and kept right on trucking!
We stopped at this next spot because Meg was hurting pretty bad, and luckily it was a low spot where she could actually put her ankle into the cold water and "ice" it a bit.
It was a pretty long day, but so worth it. Definitely glad we had bugspray (go Dave) because we would have been eaten alive otherwise. (word to the wise, BRING BUGSPRAY) When we got back to our cars we found that people had written in the dust from driving...literally ALL OVER the cars. Not impressed. I guess that is our punishment for hiking in a popular place on a holiday - but thankfully it was only an annoyance. No permanent damage! Overall, fabulous hike!
Happy Birthday, America!
Dreamer, decorator, wife, business owner, personal fitness trainer. 20-something.