It was a cold winter day with the temperature at mountain base altitude being about 48 degrees. You can imagine the temperature at 4,000+ feet was nearing freezing at 5pm when summitting. Originally it was a toss up between a US Highpoint and a Southern Sixer. The US Highpoint Sassafras Mtn. was a shorter drive from my apartment in Anderson so it won out. It was a nice 45 min. drive up 178 to get to Rocky Bottom, SC. I actually drove past the trailhead 3 times before I finally convinced myself it was the trailhead. The hike was not bad at all. I took a short water break about three quarters of the way up, but other than that it did not require as much resting as Mt. Mitchell. I was dissapointed at the lack of views from the trail, unfortunately they were not much better from the summit. I was impressed however with the maintenance of the trails. The bridges and steps were very convenient. I summitted about an hour + some change after setting out on the trail. I quickly found the summit register and jotted down my name, climbing date, and time it took to summit. I did notice someones entry of why does this mtn. have a summit log and Mt. Mitchell doesn't, very good question! Anyways I walked around the summit for a little while before discovering an abandoned hunting dog. It was shaking cold and clearly starving to death. I fed it two nutrigrain bars to hold it over for a little while. In the interest of the dogs life I decided to take the road downn the Mtn. since it would be quicker. I was off the mtn. within the hour and stopped by the nearest gas station 5 miles up the road. After buying a bag of dog food it was back to the Mtn. in complete darkness and fog. I drove up to the summit looked around for the dog but couldn't find it so I left it a good bit of food where I had last seen it. Hopefully he's stays alive long enough for some springtime hikers to summit and fall in love with him and if he's lucky he'll find a new home. Overall it was a good hike, relatively easy but I've had easier. Hey at least its not Britton Hill. The hike was well worth the drive and the effort. Thoroughly Enjoyable!
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