Horse Pasture Road: Great Riding, New Friends, and Chief's Spaghetti

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by kg4lho, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. kg4lho

    kg4lho Outside Sellin'

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    Just got back from an impromptu trip to the Upstate of SC. I threw all my gear together and posted a request for other riders on thursday, April 2nd and headed out Friday around lunch. This was just going to be a quick trip, I just had to get out and ride. Also, it was the first weekend that Horse Pasture Rd was open. SCFalconry(Marty) said he would love to ride and this would be his first trip through HP Rd also. So we met at my campsite at Table Rock State Park, Saturday morn around 9:00.

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    My Hennessy Hammock. I love it, but it does take a little getting used to. Best thing is it packs up super small and weighs around 2lbs with the tarp and stakes.
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    The tarp tie outs are reflective with the flash of the camera.

    Marty and I talked for a bit and then headed out. He took me out to a local waterfall that I had never even heard of before. Very Nice!
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    SCFalconry(Marty)
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    We left there and went to meet his brother at the Fire Dept. After leaving Ray, we headed for Horse Pasture Road. If you don't know about it, it is located to the east of Lake Jocassee. HP Rd is only open for a month in the spring and a couple months in the fall, all for hunting seasons. The rest of the year it is a hiking trail. There is another road across the lake on the western side called Bad Creek Rd, it is also only open certain times of the year during hunting seasons. It is located in the Duke Power Bad Creek Project off of Hwy 130. Marty and I had originally planned to do both of these roads Saturday. It didn't end up that way cause it was gettin late and I pussed out with Monkey Butt :2cry

    Here we are not to long from starting out on HP.
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    Marty was on his '08 KLR complete with newly installed crash bars. I guess he thought he would need them after hearing about all of the fist sized gravel waiting patiently in ambush to take him out :lol3. Marty told me to lead and just wait up for him now and then to make sure he was ok. I thought about the crash bars and asked him if he could, in fact, pick up the heavy KLR by himself if it got away from him. He assured me that he had done it a few times already and could handle it just fine. We took it easy cause it is a one lane, two way road and were told to look out for anything from wildlife to ATVs and 4X4s meeting us in the middle of the blind curves. Which did happen a few times. Including a couple of DNR Officers who stopped us and checked our liscenses.

    We then came to an intersection and the HP Rd propper.
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    You really can't tell from the pic but, this is a pretty steeply graded road and it gave us a good look at what lie ahead for the rest of the day.:evil Most of the road was either going up the mountains or down them. Very little even terrain. Lots and lots of every size of gravel from pea to boulders. Sand to clay to red mud and everything in between. Oh yeah, tons of fun! There were quite a few downhill sections that were very steep, with larger heavy gravel, that because of the grade and curves, had to be taken in 1st gear with the rear tire dragging! :eek1 My arms and shoulders still hurt from holding myself back with the bars.

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    These pics were of the easier sections, I didn't stop in the steeper sections to take pics. The erosion bars were FUN and there were tons of them to play with.
    :ricky:smile6:ricky

    We came across several overlooks that were very, very nice.
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    Here is a panoramic view of Jocassee from Jumping Off Rock.
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    Here's Marty at the same location:
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    We then proceeded to head down and up and down and down and down the mountain all the way to the lake. The road ends at an old boat ramp. Not sure why it is there as I don't see how you would get a boat and trailer through the terrain on HP :huh??

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    I was thinking that the fun was going to be winding down soon as we were toward the "end" of HP. Well, I was wrong! After being turned around by a gate, we had to ride back up and down half of HP rd to get to Cane? Creek Rd. :ricky
    :eek1:ricky I had so much fun on this section! Seeing as how we had just come down this part of the road, there were no surprizes waiting so we proceeded to "Tear it UP"! Up hill most of the way, steep grades, red mud in the erosion bars, tail sliding and jumping the erosion bars! Man, that was great.

    Finally we came to the Creek Rd and headed right. Down hill most of the way and really steep in some sections. We then came to our only creek crossing.
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    Marty walked across it to check it out.
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    We crossed it uneventfully and proceeded down the mountain. While I was stopped waiting on Mary to catch up, we saw a fellow DSer from Missouri on a KLR. He didn't stop so we didn't get to talk to him. :cry

    We exited the Creek rd through Shooting Branch WMA and headed toward the Fire Dept to see Marty's brother and fill up on spaghetti the Chief had fixed earlier. It was around 3:30PM or so and we were both starving! I tell you, that spaghetti was fabulous! :thumb:thumb

    We cruised over to Duke Power's Bad Creek Project and rode around a bit before heading for the campsite and a place to eat dinner. We ate at Aunt Sue's Country Corner just a couple of miles away from Table Rock. The Hamburger Steak was to die for! We talked for awhile after dinner and turns out that we lived about four blocks away from each other in Fayetteville, NC back in the early 80's. Small world, ain't it?


    Thus ended our first trip through Horse Pasture Road. It was the best ride I have been on in my short time riding DS bikes. I told Marty several times, I have been thoroughly spoiled by it and am not sure I can sike myself up to ride my flat, boring, local dirt roads now. :cry But I hope to get back up there again soon. Marty and I are already talking about heading up to Bad Creek before the end of the month when they close it. Really looking forward to it! Thanks again Marty for the riding and hospitality of your brother! :freaky Wes


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    View from a lookout at Duke Power's Bad Creek Project.

    Here is a look at the track from my GPS:
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    And an elevation profile::eek1
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    #1
    Snake Oiler likes this.
  2. marshrat

    marshrat Been here awhile

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    Great report! Thanks!
    Horse Pasture was a very popular riding area in the 1970's, but got more and more restricted.
    Looks like the lakes are still way down up that way.
    I've passed by Aunt Sue's but not stopped. I'll give it a try next time!
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Beautiful ride, report and pics, thanks for posting all those sunny pics.. we sure could use some of it here :thumb
    #3
  4. Justin

    Justin Been here awhile

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    Indeed a great write-up along with my favorite parts too.... photos to follow along. Nice job Wes!

    I almost got one of those sleeper Hammocks at a flea market a couple years ago... sooo close - guess they are worth it then!?!
    #4
  5. kg4lho

    kg4lho Outside Sellin'

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    GB, sending sunshine and good times vibes your way as we speak. :1drink

    Marshrat, yeah, I would recommend you stop in for the Hamburger Steak. :thumb

    Justin, I like the Hennessy but like I said, there's a learning curve. :D

    SCFalconry should be in soon to add his pics and info to the trip report. :freaky Wes


    #5
  6. kg4lho

    kg4lho Outside Sellin'

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    Updated with track map and elevation profile. Wes
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  7. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

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    :clap
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  8. kg4lho

    kg4lho Outside Sellin'

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    Bump:1drink
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  9. kg4lho

    kg4lho Outside Sellin'

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    Keeping it active.
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  10. kg4lho

    kg4lho Outside Sellin'

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    Another year.
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  11. BarberPole

    BarberPole Short of the Clacker

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    What's the best way to find the dates these hunt roads are open, SC Forestry Dept?

    Nice report.

    Blessings.
    #11
  12. kg4lho

    kg4lho Outside Sellin'

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    I am not sure now, where I found the dates but (at the time) I did call the local forestry dept to confirm the road was open. Have a great time! :)

    Sent from my HTC EVO View using Tapatalk 2.
    #12
  13. brakedw

    brakedw Adventurer

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    #13
  14. trespalacios

    trespalacios Oh libertad

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    Nice area. Nice report and pics. I got to ride both areas as early as December 2012. I went out with a couple friends on a few different occasions.

    Here's I am with my friend Robert at HP

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    Here are the beasts

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    Spectacular views

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    Here's the Wee as seen through the pedestrian bridge over that creek crossing

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    There's another voluntary creek crossing if you decide to skip the bridge:

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    We did have some fun

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    If you want I can tell you some bad creek and NC gorges park stuff as indicated by fellow inmate knybanjo on his blogtastically fun ride report. I think I already hacked your thread. They're opening the trails again on April I believe. Let me know if you want to come over with your friend and we can do an overnight trip with camping in the area.
    #14
  15. MFS

    MFS Been here awhile

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    Glad to see someone using the Hennessey set up! I've been telling myself to get it this winter, just...haven't...pulled the trigger...

    Looks like a nice ride!

    MFS
    #15
  16. brakedw

    brakedw Adventurer

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    Just talked to DNR, horse pasture road will be open to motor vehicles March 20th to May 10th! then opens again in September. :clap
    #16