March 2nd, 2008
|jimbojones||10:28 pm - and it just feels *good*|
pantsnotneeded, ardaiel, and I hit the trails out at Harbison forest last weekend and did six miles or so. ardaiel was down for the count this weekend with a sore throat (LOL) but Chris and I made it out there anyway, and ended up doing about eight miles. Pretty nice. It feels pretty damn good to still be ABLE to do an impromptu eight-mile hike over fairly rough terrain, and feel little if any the worse for wear. It feels even better to actually be DOING it instead of sitting in a chair and rotting!
Protip to any other Columbia-ers that want to do the Harbison trails, though: print out your own fucking maps beforehand and make sure you've put a (correct) compass rose on it. The little map stands along the trails are frequently downright wrong and invariably oriented in a completely random fashion: North will NOT always be up; neither will it be oriented such that "up" is the direction you are looking in when facing the map. I am pretty sure that the Forestry Commission got a tax break by employing, uh, developmentally disabled folks to do the maps. Which would also explain the occasional tic-tac embedded in the map behind the plastic. "I LIKE TIC-TACS!"
Chris keeps trying to get me to run (and we actually did run a bit of the trails last weekend), but I keep telling him there's very little in this world I want badly enough to run after it, or am scared of enough to run from it. "Fight-or-flight" response in me is pretty much just simplified to "fight". Maybe after we've been banging the trails regularly for a few months I won't mind the idea so much, but for right now, the hell with that noise. Honestly, if I want more of a challenge I'm more the type to strap on a heavy pack than to break into a run, anyway.
We'll probably hit up the Congaree next weekend, weather permitting, I think. He's never been, and I haven't been but once - but it was gorgeous. Definitely a lot more to look at than the Harbison trails - and if you're going to hike a swamp, far better to do it in March than in May!
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Teddybears - Different Sound
Harbison Forest is up Broad River Road - if you're coming from I-26, take exit 104 (Piney Grove), turn right (away from where you'd go to get to movies and such) and keep going until you run into Broad River. Go left on Broad River, it's about two miles down on the right (past the teenager jail, lol).
If you're in total beginner mode, there's nothing wrong with Harbison - there are trails that start out at around a mile and a half - but you might like Congaree Swamp better. That's down (way down) Bluff Road, out towards Gaston. There's a shitload of boardwalk trails, and the scenery is generally prettier than Harbison, which tends more towards "basic woods".
There's also the Zoo and Botanical Gardens off Greystone Blvd (off I-126) - if you're feeling iffy about TOO much walking, you can get plenty in just seeing all the animals and the gardens out there, a mile or three easily, if you don't take the little shuttle in between the zoo and the gardens but just walk.