Since the beginning of October brought a lot of stress, a short road trip was in order, so I took a short road trip up through the Central Savannah River Area to Northeast Georgia and Northwest South Carolina over the weekend. The first day of the trip was a pleasant drive up through the Central Savannah River Area and Northeast Georgia on GA-17, stopping at the Traveler’s Rest State Historic Site in Toccoa, GA before heading over the Clemson, SC to stop for the night. It was a wonderful day for a road trip; it was a mild day with sunny skies and low humidity and with the start of Autumn, the farther north I drove the more the leaves were beginning to turn colors. Sunday, though cooler and overcast, was a magnificent day; I started the day with a visit to the Grant Meadow Overlook on the Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway and went on to visit the Bald Rock Heritage Preserve off of US-276 in Cleveland, SC, Connestee Falls on US-276 in Brevard, NC, and Caesar’s Head State Park on US-276 in South Carolina before visiting the Oconee Station State Historic Site and Station Cove Falls off of the Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway (SC-11) in Walhalla, SC. From there, I made my way to Columbia, SC to get some sleep before heading back to Savannah on Monday morning.
Radio-wise, it was an interesting trip because I’ve never listened to anything in the northwest corner of South Carolina, so everything I heard in Pickens and Oconee Counties was new to me. Things were slow on Amateur Radio repeaters on the trip up on Saturday afternoon, but repeater activity picked up on Sunday in the Clemson/Pickens and Columbia areas, including two different nets in the Columbia area on Sunday night. Since it was Columbus Day weekend, there was almost no military activity to hear; the only military aircraft I heard during the whole trip was a REACH flight checking in with Palmetto Ops at Joint Base Charleston on Sunday. Civil Aviation was quite busy, with a lot of commercial traffic heading toward Atlanta and Charlotte. On the federal side of things, I found some P25 traffic that might be the Nantahala National Forest: 171.7875 was active with NAC 293; there was no voice traffic, just a lot of keyups that were RSSI 5 out of 5 from the Clemson area.
GA Repeaters 147.3300 (PL 127.3) - Toccoa 443.1000 (PL 100.0) - Dahlonega 444.1750 (DMR CC1) - Wrens 444.9500 (DMR CC1) - Clermont/Wauka Mountain SC Repeaters 145.1700 (PL 162.2) - Six Mile 146.7150 (PL 91.5) - Columbia 146.7900 (CSQ) - Pickens 147.0300 (PL 123.0) - Mountain Rest 147.3300 (PL 156.7) - Columbia 441.7250 (PL 91.5) - Columbia 441.8000 (PL 110.9) - Six Mile 442.2375 (DMR CC1) - Clemson 442.3125 (DMR CC1) - Pickens 442.5125 (DMR CC1) - Columbia East 442.5375 (DMR CC1) - Walhalla 442.7750 (PL 127.3) - Mountain Rest 442.8250 (PL 127.3) - Anderson 442.8750 (DCS 315) - Columbia 444.3500 (PL 127.3) - Pickens 444.6250 (PL 156.7) - Clemson 462.7000 (PL 127.3) - Pickens
Athens 132.475 - Atlanta Center Athens Approach Joint Base Charleston 349.400 - Joint Base Charleston "PALMETTO Ops" Columbia 119.500 - Columbia Metropolitan Tower 124.150/133.400 - Columbia TRACON Greenville 120.100 - Greenville-Spartanburg IAP Tower 119.900 - Greenville Downtown Tower 133.325 - Donaldson Field Tower 118.900/119.400 - Greer TRACON Jacksonville ARTCC 127.875 - Jax Center Aiken High 132.425 - Jax Center Hunter Ultra High 132.925 - Jax Center Allendale/Savannah Low 133.625 - Jax Center Georgetown High 134.975 - Jax Center Ridgeway Ultra High Atlanta ARTCC 120.425 - Atlanta Center Georgia High 121.350 - Atlanta Center Logen Low 123.950 - Atlanta Center Sinca Low 124.325 - Atlanta Center Clark Hill Ultra High 124.375 - Atlanta Center Lanier High 125.025 - Atlanta Center High Rock Ultra High 125.625 - Atlanta Center Spartanburg High 126.425 - Atlanta Center Dublin High 128.100 - Atlanta Center Augusta Low 132.625 - Atlanta Center Shine Low 133.100 - Atlanta North Departure Low 134.800 - Atlanta Center Commerce Ultra Low 135.350 - Atlanta Center Unarm Low
Georgia Public Safety
151.4300 (PL 173.8) - Emanuel County EMS Dispatch 155.880 (PL 173.8) - Swainsboro FD Dispatch (Emanuel County) 154.3700 (PL 167.9) - Franklin County Fire Dispatch 156.1800 (PL 167.9) - Franklin County EMS Dispatch 154.3850 (PL 103.5) - Madison County Fire Dispatch 151.4075 (NXDN96 RAN 10) - McDuffie County FD Tac; enc 154.4300 (PL 146.2) - Rabun County FD Dispatch 155.6625 (PL 192.8) - Rabun County 911; used for EMS Dispatch Habersham County DMR TRS TG 300 - Habersham County Fire Dispatch TG 301 - Habersham County Fire Response Jefferson County DMR TRS TG 109 - Jefferson County FD Dispatch Richmond County P25 TRS TG 3800 - Unknown; enc TG 3805 - Unknown; enc TG 3813 - Unknown; enc TG 3902 - Unknown; enc TG 3903 - Unknown; enc TG 4055 - Unknown; enc TG 4172 - Unknown; enc MCA DMR TRS (Screven County) TG 10008 - Screven County Fire/EMS Dispatch
South Carolina Public Safety
154.2500 (PL 85.4) - Abbeville Co FD Fireground 155.9400 (PL 85.4) - Allendale County EMS Dispatch 153.9500 (PL 151.4) - Anderson Co FD Dispatch 155.3625 (DCS 464) - Anderson Co EMS Dispatch 154.2050 (PL 192.8) - Laurens Co FD Dispatch 154.1300 (PL 103.5) - Oconee Co FD Dispatch 151.1300 (PL 210.7) - Oconee Co Rescue Dispatch 152.4050 (PL 192.8) - Oconee Co EMS Dispatch 155.1150 (PL 131.8) - Pickens Co EMS Admin 158.8350 (PL 136.5) - Pickens FD Dispatch 154.7250 (PL 179.9) - Clemson University Fire/EMS (Pickens Co) 154.3100 (PL 85.4) - Spartanburg Co FD Dispatch 154.0250 (PL 85.4) - Spartanburg Co FD Ops 155.8950 (PL 85.4) - Spartanburg Co FD Tac 1 159.3300 (DCS 271) - SC Forestry Lake Murray Palmetto 800 TG 6541 - Jasper County FD Dispatch TG 6542 - Jasper County FD Tac 1 TG 20010 - SC Call TG 20021 - SC State Air-to-Ground TG 23541 - Kershaw County FD Dispatch TG 24531 - Lexington County FS Ops 1 TG 24532 - Lexington County FS Ops 2 TG 24536 - Lexington County FS Ops 6 TG 24542 - Lexington County FS Dispatch TG 25053 - Orangeburg County FD Dispatch TG 25552 - Columbia FD Dispatch (Richland Co) TG 25553 - Columbia FD Ops 1 (Richland Co) TG 25556 - Columbia FD Ops 4 (Richland Co) TG 25557 - Columbia FD Ops 5 (Richland Co) TG 25569 - Richland County ESD 5 TG 25570 - Richland County ESD 6 TG 26101 - Sumter County FD 1 TG 27505 - DHEC Hospital Net Main TG 28609 - SC LifeNet (Medevac Helicopters) TG 32065 - Hampton County FD TG 40011 - SC Regional Government 3 TG 44033 - Greenville County Central 1 TG 44041 - Greenville County FD Dispatch TG 44351 - Greenville FD Dispatch TG 44385 - Greer FD Dispatch (Greenville County) TG 44491 - Ft Inn FD Dispatch (Greenville County) TG 45541 - Laurens County FD Dispatch TG 47666 - Clemson University FD/EMS (Pickens County) TG 48642 - Spartanburg County Regional 1 TG 51703 - SC AirReach TG 51704 - MedTrans SC Helicopters TG 51708 - SC Aircare TG 51709 - Careflight
Traveler’s Rest State Historic Site
Traveler’s Rest State Historic Site sits just off US-123 near the Georgia/South Carolina line in Toccoa, GA. It’s a small site, not one you would travel all the way from Savannah to Toccoa to visit, but it’s one you’ll want to visit while you’re in Northeast Georgia. Traveler’s Rest was a stagecoach inn that sat at the crossroads of the Nations Highway and Kings Highway and the southern end of the Unicoi Turnpike. The first stage of the inn was built in 1815 and it was added to in stages until it became the 6,000 square foot structure that remains today. It was a place that offered a place to sleep and something to eat for those traveling through the frontier area of northeast Georgia and northwest South Carolina. It would operate as a residence and inn through 1877, after which it became a residence known as Jarrett Manor. The other structures on site are a dairy house which was also used as a cocoonery for silkworms and servants quarters, a reproduction wellhouse, a reproduction log meathouse, a slave cabin, and cabin built by one of the Jarrett family’s sons-in-law.
Grant Meadow Overlook
The Grant Meadow Overlook is on the Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway (SC-11) in Pickens near the Table Rock State Park. It offers a beautiful view of Table Rock and Grant Meadow. There is a parking area and a couple of benches so you can stop, take photos of the meadow and Table Rock and enjoy the beautiful scenery before getting back on your way. In the photos below, you can see how the leaves are beginning to turn their Autumn colors in Piedmont South Carolina.
Bald Rock Heritage Preserve
The next stop on Sunday’s drive through the South Carolina Piedmont was the overlook at the Bald Rock Heritage Preserve on US-276 in Cleveland, SC. After parking at the Bald Rock Heritage Preserve, you step out onto a massive rock outcrop that overlooks the surrounding foothills and mountains. Except for the graffiti, it’s a gorgeous view of the landscape. It’s not signed so it doesn’t stand out as you drive by, but you won’t regret stopping to visit.
After I left the Bald Rock Heritage Preserve, I made my way up US-276 to Connestee Falls just across the state line in Brevard, NC. After you park, it’s just a short walk on a boardwalk to view the 85′ high falls.
Caesar’s Head State Park
After Connestee Falls, I headed back into South Carolina on US-276 and stopped at Caesar’s Head State Park in Cleveland, SC. There’s a terrific overlook at the Caesar’s Head State Park Visitor’s Center (including another view of Table Rock). The view from the overlook is spectacular and a short walking trail takes you down into a narrow rock formation called the “Devil’s Kitchen” and another view of the landscape.
Oconee Station State Historic Site and Station Cove Falls
The last stop of the day’s travels was Oconee Station State Historic Site off the Cherokee Hills Scenic Byway (SC-11) in Walhalla, SC. Oconee Station consists of two structures: the first is a blockhouse built around 1792 to serve as a base of operations for militia defending the area from attacks by Cherokee and Creek Indians. As the frontier moved farther west and the Cherokee and Creeks were pushed farther from the area, it became a trading post and trader William Richards built the second structure, a house in 1802. It’s an interesting piece of American History, part of the post American Revolution frontier history and part of the story of American expansion west, pushing Native American tribes out as white settlers moved in. If you’re interested in the History of the site, it’s best to visit on a weekend when they have both the house and blockhouse open to the public from 1pm to 5pm.
A 1.5-mile trail from Oconee Station leads to Station Cove Falls, a 60 ft high water fall on Station Cove Creek. Don’t overlook walking the trail to the falls if you visit Oconee Station, you’ll be glad you did – the stepped falls are simply beautiful. You can also take a shorter version (.75 mile) of the trail by parking at a different location.
For dinner on Saturday evening after I checked into the hotel in Clemson, I went to a nearby Mexican restaurant – Habanero’s Mexican Grill. I decided to try something new and ordered the Traditional Mexican Molcajete; which is steak, chicken, and shrimp cooked with onions, mushrooms, cactus, chorizo, sausage, and cheese served sizzling hot in a molcajete bowl. I can’t vouch for how traditional or authentic it was, but it was wonderful, and more than I could eat in one sitting. Habanero’s has great food and good service at a fair price.