When Hannah and I travel, I always check the USAPA pickleball website for places to pickle. Once I find one that fits our schedule with day and time, I email the ambassador. Today John Moore welcomes us to the stunning six new dedicated courts at Timmons Park in Greenville, SC.
With a 9A temp of 73F, we sharpen our game on this last Monday in October. Shout out to Sue, who is the highlight of the morning for Hannah. As pickleball partners, they laugh, encourage each other; they win some, they lose some. Good folks like Sue don’t come along every day, but she sure did this morning in the Palmetto State.
While waiting to play, I ask picklers about hiking in the area and learn of Paris Mountain just outside of town. Perfecto!
Thirty minutes after leaving the pickleball venue, we pay $3.25 each as seniors to hike the trails at Paris Mountain. At the welcome center, the ranger lists the various trails, and we opt for the Sulphur Springs Trail, the park’s macho trail. Rated 9 out of 10, the Sulphur Springs Trail has Dan and Hannah written all over it.
At the trailhead is a large wooden map of the Sulphur Springs Trail which I take a picture of. (And yes, prepositions can be at the end of sentences!) The advice to hike clockwise has us tackling the heavy lifting part of the trail at the start.
Our trail begins with a walk in the woods through upstate South Carolina forests. Within the first fifteen minutes three separate millennials pass us by. Greeting them in passing, we always love seeing others on the trail to know that we are not lost.
Entering the checkered section of the trail, which is one that prohibits mountain bikers, we step up and around rocks and small boulders. This section gives the trail its 9 of 10 rating as our hearts pump and lungs respond rhythmically as we venture further into the Carolina woodlands.
And hour into the hike, we come upon a wide fire road and turn right towards the trailhead. Having bagged the toughest part of the trail, we are James Taylor-ing it (i.e. we have Carolina on our mind) and know it is all downhill from here.
With the trailhead in sight, we check our Fitbits to see that we’ve done the 3.8 miles of this macho trail at Paris Mountain State Park in less than two hours. It’s a high-flying 20,000 step day!
I have hit the daily double of vacation travel – morning pickleball and afternoon hiking with Hannah Banana on a sunny day.