July 27, 2002, around 3:00 pm
This summit was in the middle of nowhere. The closest thing to it was Rocky Bottom, a camp for the blind. Other than that, not much for miles. It also isn’t much of a draw for tourists. I saw one car from when I passed the camp on the way up to when I passed it on the way down. At the parking area, there was no one and nothing, just a sign marking the area. I parked, grabbed the photo equipment and headed up the road.
The road forks as you are approaching the summit. I thought the right branch looked higher, so I followed it. It is actually a small loop, so it doesn’t really matter which one you take, but the summit marker is just past the fork on the left side, not the right. However, I didn’t mind walking the extra hundred feet because I actually crossed back into North Carolina. That is how far the summit is to North Carolina, about 100 feet. I actually snapped a picture of a marker that showed where the state line was. And, just over the state line, there are several noticeable places that are higher than Sassafrass Mountain in South Carolina. Anyway, I walked back around the road and finally found the marker. It isn’t very noticeable because it is just the USGS marker set in concrete. There is no monument or anything, though there are some phone towers just below it and on the opposite side of the road.
There was no one around. No one! I snapped a few pictures, relished the isolation for a few minutes, and headed back down the trail. My car looked peaceful in this abandoned parking area, so I snapped a few pictures of my Honda (best car ever) and hopped in. Off to Mount Mitchell, NC.
Here’s a map from Columbia, SC:
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