What Do Turkeys, Gators, and the Police Have to Do with the Palmetto Expedition?

It’s been a bit since we provided an update and there have been a few developments and anecdotes worth sharing. Please read the important information below including an announcement about a change in the event date.

We’re Growing!

Trail MarkerWe continue to have a great response to the Palmetto Expedition. We now have almost 300 followers on Facebook, about 25 registered to participate (six months early!), and we get emails daily from those who are joining us or are considering doing so. Things are progressing well and we have no doubt it’s going to be a good time. We want to thank you all for your support of the Palmetto Expedition.

Another Date Change

Have we mentioned that this is not only the first annual Palmetto Expedition but it’s also the first event we’ve managed? Despite our best efforts, with some things, we’re learning the hard way.

We have three partners in this event: the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, SC’s Department of Natural Resources, and the Santee Cooper power company, all of whom are crucial to ensuring a safe and successful event. On Tuesday, we had a joint meeting of representatives from all parties and we were informed that we will have to change our event date yet again. The new event date is Saturday, May 12, 2018.

The event’s date must be changed because we learned that the trail runs through a South Carolina Wildlife Management Area Game Zone during spring turkey season. Spring turkey season is April 2 – May 5 and during that window, hunters will be crossing the trail and hunting in very close proximity to the trail. This cannot be changed nor can they be prevented from hunting. With hunters so close to the trail, there is concern for the safety of our participants.

All who have already registered for the event should have received an email yesterday directly from us regarding the change and how to request a refund if necessary. If you registered but did not receive that email, please contact us at info@palmettoexpedition.com.

Group Training Hikes

Another reminder that we have our first group training hike at Harbison State Forest this Sunday at 1:00. We’ll hike the park’s 4.4 mile trail loop but we’ll let participants know where to turn around for each mile distance in between (1 mile, 2 miles, and 3 miles) if they want to limit their hikes to a shorter distance. The event is free except for a $5 parking fee (cash only) but we do ask that you register ahead of time so we know who to expect. Likewise, if you registered for this previously but cannot attend, please cancel your registration so we aren’t anticipating your arrival. Detailed meetup instructions will be provided to those who have registered on Saturday evening. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/palmetto-expedition-group-training-hike-midlands-tickets-38777079288

Later today or tomorrow, the dates of our future group training hikes will be shifted forward a couple of weeks to align with our new event date and new Palmetto Expedition Training Plans. We’re having group hikes in both the Midlands and Lowcountry so we’d love for you to join us if you’re available.

Volunteers and Sponsors

In order for us to provide snacks and water, medical assistance, trail monitors, and event support (registration, etc.), we’re going to need a LOT of volunteers on the day of the event. If you have friends or family who are not inclined to join you for the event but will be there for your support, please encourage them to volunteer to assist with the event too. We’re asking volunteers to help for four hours per shift but if they could help for at least two hours, we’d welcome them to the ranks. We’re still working out the specific assignments but for a few more details on volunteering, see here. If you have someone who might be interested, have them contact us at info@palmettoexpedition.com or complete the volunteer form.

Similarly, this is a fundraising event so we’re looking for corporate sponsors. If your organization or one you know might be interested in supporting the Palmetto Conservation Foundation and SC State Parks as a sponsor of the Palmetto Expedition, please share our Sponsorship Opportunities with the appropriate person. We have a list of impressive sponsor benefits at each level and all sponsorships are tax deductible. It’s a great opportunity for an organization to publicly show their support of the environment, fitness/well-being, and our state.

Get Hiking!

Even though we’re changing our event date to May 12, you should still be out there training! After adjusting our event date in the training calendars to May 12, the training start date became Monday, November 13 (this past Monday). For those of you like myself who have been a little slack in getting started, you need to get on it. You won’t be able to hike 26.2 or 50 miles without adequate training. Don’t do that to yourself.

I started training again on Tuesday and plan to post my training progress weekly as I originally promised to do. My first update will be coming next Monday.

Is that a Log in the Water?

Nope, that’s a gator. On our recent visit to walk part of the trail, we looked into one of the Lake Moultrie inlets and saw something floating that could have been either a log or a gator snout. We walked a bit further, turned around and upon passing the same area, the log/gator was gone. We pulled up the photo we’d taken (which unfortunately, we no longer have), zoomed in, and sure enough, it was a gator.

We thought it was important to remind folks that this is a trail event in the Lowcountry. There will be critters in the area, including snakes and gators. You will be required to sign a waiver of liability so make sure you’re comfortable hiking in the outdoors with other animals. For our own curiosity, we talked with the SC DNR representative (mentioned in the section above) about any event concerns related to gators. He said they will be in the area, mostly in the water but as long as participants are smart about it, he does not view them as a concern.

One more reason we’re calling it an Expedition.

I Didn’t See that Sign Officer

On our recent trip to tour the trail, yours truly (Adam) got my first speeding ticket in many years from the Bonneau Police Department. He asked me if I had seen the sign I just passed dropping the speed limit from 45 to 35. Unfortunately, I didn’t. Since that event, I’ve talked with a few people from the area and joked about my lead foot. They’ve responded that Bonneau is known for this so keep it in mind if you’re driving in the area.

Email me if you’re willing to contribute to my speeding ticket fund. 🙂

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