Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jumping Off Rock & Sassafras Mountain

This week for "Fun Friday" as Holly puts it, we took off for Jumping Off Rock and Sassafras Mountain.  

I don't think she and the kids, or Eleanor Woofsevelt were prepared for what we would find!

We made our way through rugged mountains in my trusty Honda Element.  We saw mostly 4 wheelers, 4 wheel drive trucks, and one older lady driving alone in a Lincoln Continental!!  

How weird was that?  

But hey, who drives through 10 miles of dirt and treacherous ridges?  A crazy science teacher and home school mom with two fun kids and a dog, thats who!

If you like a nice clean car don't take this road.

Words simply cannot describe the view when you finally arrive at Jumping Off Rock.  Stunning, spectacular, glorious, lofty, ethereal...  Pictures can not capture it either.  You simply have to go.  The road is open from September 15-January 1st and again in the spring from March 20 to May 10th. The road is closed in summer to give wildlife populations like black bears and migratory songbirds a break from humans.  We, quite by accident, picked the peak fall color week to visit the overlook.  
A pair of peregrine falcons have nested there for several years now.  You can be sure we will be back in the spring to look for them.  We have listed this on our "Fun Friday" bucket list!  

After we got back to Hwy 178, we headed to Sassafras Mountain.  It is a short drive off the 178 up to a windy mountain range and where the Foothills Trail wanders up and through it.  Sassafras Mountain is the highest point in South Carolina.  You can view four states from here:  Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  The Geological Survey puts it at 3533 feet above sea level.  From the top of this mountain you can see 6000 or more mountains in the distance.  It sits along the Eastern Continental Divide and follows the ridge of the Eastern US mountains.  All the precipitation that falls on this mountain either flows into the Atlantic Ocean or to the Gulf of Mexico.  The flow to the Gulf of Mexico will travel through nine states and 2,000 miles.  Some of the water will go to underground aquifers and who knows where that winds up?  

See you next time we take off for our "Fun Friday" adventure!

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