Mountains to the Sea: Backroads Boogie Around the Palmetto State – Little Bridges, On Little Roads, On a Little Bike

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Hotter than hell. If Hollywood’s depiction of hell is any kind of accurate, then this is an apt description. Lucifer would feel right at home. It has been two weeks since I have been on two wheels, and I am itching to straddle a motorbike. It is early Saturday afternoon, and the temp is 91 degrees. Not even the high for the day. The humidity? FUHGETABOUTIT! Usually I am on the bike by 8 AM, but Saturday mornings are my trail running time, hoofing it for 1+ hours in our local State Park. I really hate to gear up and start a ride this late, in this heat. but I sucked it up and squeezed my sweaty self into my riding suit. That’s how much I wanted to ride.

Looking at the bikes in my garage, the choice was clear as to which one would get the call. My legs were tired and it is, yes, hotter than hell. Take the lighter bike and ride naked. That is, ride the naked bike. The little Suzuki gets the call.

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Good choice! The minute I start rolling the breeze is flowing through the vents and mesh of my gear. It’s heaven! But hell returns at each stop.

This little tour on a little bike is only 70 miles in total, but has me re- visiting two historic sites that I had not been to in a decade, plus a one-and-one half lane road that I thought was only found in West Virginia! My first stop is the only remaining covered bridge in South Carolina: Campbell’s Covered Bridge.

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THE BRIDGE

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THE HISTORY

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MORE BRIDGE PHOTOS

In the photos above, the bridge looks as if it is leaning and about to collapse. It is not. The bridge foundation supports were constructed as to the lay of the land. The bridge itself was built true to the foundation and is a solid structure.

THE BIKE PIC (of course)

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THE BIKE AND THE BRIDGE (in the background)

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Campbell’s Bridge saw traffic from the time it was built in 1909, until Pleasant Hill Road was re-routed in 1984. Imagine the stories this bridge holds, experiencing foot traffic, horses, wagons, then belching, smoking Model T’s, maybe Indian and Harley motorbikes or perhaps a Pope or Excelsior Henderson…. all the way up to the butt ugly Chrysler         K-cars of the 1980’s. Lots of movement history here.

On the way to my next historic little bridge stop, I pass through a little road. A very little road. One-and-a-half lane roads are common in the mountains of West Virginia, but here in the Upstate of South Carolina? Who knew. But I found one that runs alongside The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. It’s not very long, has a few old abandoned houses on it, but is a short blast to ride. A forgotten road with no traffic.

A VERY LITTLE ROAD

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AROUND THIS CURVE, THE ROAD DIVES DOWN SHARPLY

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A PERSPECTIVE AS TO SIZE

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A LITTLE BIKE ON A LITTLE ROAD

014My next little bridge stop is nestled in the woods of Greenville County. The Poinsett Bridge was built in 1820 and serviced the State Road connecting  Greenville, South Carolina to Asheville, North Carolina.

THE POINSETT BRIDGE ARCH

MORE BRIDGE PICS

ORIGINAL STONE CIRCA 1820

THE OLD STATE HIGHWAY

Imagining what travel was like very nearly two centuries ago, going from Greenville, South Carolina to Asheville, North Carolina through these deep woods along this State Road is incomprehensible. I ride through these mountains a lot, on modern, paved roadways, and it is challenging. Two hundred years ago it must have been an arduous trip.

By now it is late afternoon, and the temperature has reached it’s high for the day: 94 degrees. I’m cooked and ready for a cold shower and an even colder beer. I light up the little Suzuki’s thumper, and we bee bop home on a few more little twisty roads through the woods.

Sunday I’m on my big boy bike, on the road by 8:00 AM. The big Honda will transport me to the cool, refreshing air in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Now that will truly be heaven.

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5 thoughts on “Mountains to the Sea: Backroads Boogie Around the Palmetto State – Little Bridges, On Little Roads, On a Little Bike

  1. The stonework on that 1820 bridge is gorgeous. That was a skilled mason who took pride in his work.

    The moss accent is pretty cool too.

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