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Time to bring this thread back up to date.

October 4th 2020. 

My middle son had bought a 4WD Xterra and was itching to try it out, so the entire family got together and spent the day wandering the Francis Marion NF. The wife and I in my Cherokee. My eldest and his kids in his Suburban. My middle son, daughter and youngest son in the Xterra.

We did a little hiking on the Palmetto Trail.

It had rained a fair amount the previous week so things were a little sloppy. The roads themselves weren't bad, but some of the unmaintained roads were a challenge. Since there were 3 vehicles I took some chances I usually don't. We managed to get everything except the Xterra stuck. 

Stopped back at the Santee River and cooked lunch. Kabobs and brats are pretty tasty when cooked in the middle of nowhere.

Picked up a couple of bags of other peoples crap. angry

And generally just had a fun day as a family. 

Get out there. 

 

The following weekend, my daughter and I packed up and went camping. We stayed at Givhans Ferry State Park Friday and Saturday nights at a walk in spot away from the RVs and noise. That is one of the most relaxing weekends I've had in a long time. Mostly sat around, read books and cooked food. It was outstanding!

Good Times!

 

Today was the start of a new adventure. If you have been following the Cherokee thread you know I'm planning several trips over the next year or so. One of those trips is the South Carolina Adventure route. 

The SCAR is a 1000 mile route that circumnavigates the state of South Carolina using back roads. About 60% of it is dirt roads. With the bumpers and winch done, it was time to get started on it. The section that runs through the Francis Marion NF is close to where I live and is mostly made up of roads I've traveled before, but rather than cheating and calling that part done I decided to run the route as published. That 130 miles was done today so I can concentrate on the rest of the route over a week this winter. 

Unfortunately the route covers a lot of the most boring parts of the Francis Marion so there aren't any cool pictures to show. I took pictures of the XJ instead. If you ever decide to run the SCAR, hit me up and I'll give you a FMNF route that is a lot nicer and has some better waypoints. 

First stop was a swamp. These are neat areas and the forest is littered with them.

The next stop was a small pond I visit on occasion. It's a good place to stretch your legs. 

The last stop was a dead end road for lunch. I had grabbed a freeze dried meal on the way out of the house rather than packing a sandwich or a cooler. 

Not an exciting trip by any means. No challenging areas, no 4WD needed. Just a cruise through the forest. With that section done, I can concentrate on the areas I've never been. 

More to come in the next month or so. Until then, get out there. 

 

Time to update this thread again. 

Last time out I spent the day running the Francis Marion portion of the SCAR. 

This trip I traveled another 150 miles or so on it headed northwest from where I left it last trip. Round trip was right at 300 miles and it took 10 hours. 

There was a fair amount of pavement in todays run. The following pictures were shot in the Manchester State Forest and the Liberty Hill Wildlife Management Area. 

I can't figure out how to save the map to post here so you get a picture of the screen. 

 

All in it was a really pretty day. Cool and sunny. 

Down here you can tell how old a road is by how high the banks are. This one has been around a while. 

 

There are some very pretty places to stop along the way. 

 

We don't get much red clay down on the coast. I'm glad I let the roads dry out an extra day. It would have been a gooey mess otherwise. 

As I got farther into the trip it still got pretty nasty is places. This stuff is slick as snot and sticks to everything. It's not going to be fun to get off the XJ.

I shot some video that I will put together over the next day or so. 

All in, a fun trip. Looking forward to the next installment. 

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