Saturday, June 9, 2018
Crystal Mountain TH to gate, Ballard Road, Greer East

Today is to be a HOT day in town - 95F or a bit more. Time to head up in elevation for cooler temps. There was a comment that the opening portion of the Crystal Mountain trail was blocked by deadfall/windfall trees. I had a thought to trek over and clear the trees - but someone had already tended the task and the trail was open (to the, sadly, locked gate at state land).

Back down from the Crystal Mountain area I had a choice - head east and back to town or west and head up into the mountains a bit more. The day was early and I think there is another trail set up the canyon that I've yet to explore. Maps at hand - off to explore.

Ballard Road (and related trails) seem to be logging access roads from ages back as the forest is mature. In several locations there remains a pile of wood. I don't know what they're called but to me they're refuse. It'd be nice to know when logging happened.

Through the day, much of the trails were pine-tree-canyons with scant far reaching vistas. Clear a few trees. Pick up a fair bit of trash. A relaxing day in the forest.

Length: 85.1 miles
Elapsed time: 10h 28m
Average speed: 8 mph

One of the refuse piles... I think I passed perhaps seven or nine of them. They are visible on satelite maps - pockets of "other" in a landscape of green.

A lateral - a trail extending across the face of a mountainside - it neither ascends or decends - but connects with a trail that tends the ascent/decent - often rocky and at a decently steep angle.

8000 to 9000 feet elevation
Aspen trees to be found.