Favorite Rides & Destinations

Fall 2017

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www.FavoriteRidesAndDestinations.com | ridermagazine.com PAGE 30 FALL 2017 ISSUE 02 / VOL. 02 Route 11 becomes the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway. The first indication that I had entered the Appalachian foothills was Oconee Station State Historic Site, comprising a military outpost to protect from Indians, and a trading post, both intact stone buildings dating from 1792-95. Thirty miles later, Table Rock Mountain displays a barren rock dome rising dramatically to 3,124 feet out of the Carolina Piedmont. A sign warning of sharp turns and narrow shoulders enticed me to take U.S. Route 178 into North Carolina. This road must serve as South Carolina's Tail of the Dragon, and I could envision moonshiners making their runs along here back in the day. I returned to South Carolina via U.S. Route 276, which brought me by Caesars Head, a rocky escarpment rising 2,000 feet above the Piedmont, offering a 180-degree panorama that included Table Rock and the highest peaks in the state. Shortly after turning onto State Route 11, I stopped a Cendy's Café, with good breakfast and lunch fare. I dropped off Route This last extant covered bridge in South Carolina is named for Alexander Campbell, who operated a grist mill here. The landscaping and statuary at brookgreen gardens makes it a national historic landmark. 11 to follow county roads that led me to Campbell's Covered Bridge, the last remaining one in the state. Idyllic parkland and trails surround this site. Back on Route 11, I crossed Interstate 26 and passed the fields and orchards of Strawberry Hill as I entered peach country near Gaffney. On either side of Gaffney are two significant Revolutionary War battle sites, Cowpens and Kings Mountain. At both is where "overmountain" backcountry men of the Carolinas stopped the northward march of the British and turned the tide on England's attempt to conquer the South, leading soon thereafter to Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown. Roads leading into and around Kings Mountain are especially nice for cruising. Roads get a little congested between the city of Rock Hill and greater metropolitan Charlotte to the northeast. I shook loose and found solace at Landsford Canal State Park along the banks of the Catawba River. Merchants of the 19th century bypassed the shoals and rapids of the Catawba by using canals, culverts and stone bridges that are still visible at this site. East of Lancaster, State Route 9 turns more rural as I breezed through agricultural land, passing clumps of heather and groves of palmetto. The Perdue chicken plant and numerous fireworks stalls are highlights of Dillon. At Green Sea I made a decision. I determined there were 20 miles of expressway from there to North Myrtle Beach. I don't apologize for concluding my circuit of South Carolina and turning north to avoid the place. Table Rock Mountain exposes its granite dome high above the Carolina Piedmont.

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