Groundhog Day Ride – Welcome To Your New Home “Shark”

I promise, the name “shark” is going to last about two hours with me behind the wheel – it just seems so impersonal…I digress.

To ease questions on the Groundhog Day welcome home ride, I’ve gone ahead and sort of dumbed down the incredibly complex details of the route. A few things should be noted:

  • We were intially going to meet at the “Welcome Center”, this was, ahem, a bit of a challenge since most of our visitors are coming from the opposite direction. In order to ease life for everyone, we’ll meet at Exit 1, in South Carolina at the Fireworks store, trust me, you can’t miss it. Just make sure it’s the Fireworks store at exit 1, not exit 4 – there is a difference.
  • For those ambition ones, the Queen City Cra-Z’s are planning an early morning adventure ride down to meet the rest of the bunch wanting to ride. If you want to caravan with them, check out their website or get in touch with me and I’ll hook you up with the appropriate honcho over there.
  • This ride is in no way going to be a race, a competition or concourse of any shape or form. All cars are welcome, all people are welcome, family friendly event for certain!
  • After the ride, there will be a private room at the Pebble Creek Clubhouse for us to congregate, celebrate and watch the Super Bowl – if you need a place to watch it at. Of course, we’re planning on getting to the Clubhouse around 3, so that will still give you about three hours to get to where you have to be to watch the game. (Just sayin’)

Otherwise, if you have any other questions, let me know. I’ll answer them as soon as possible.

To get there:

Take the Exit 1 ramp to SC-11 – it’s the last chance for cheap fireworks and potentially stretch your legs before our ride. You’ll see Phantom Fireworks on the

And then the route begins:

Out of the parking lot in an orderly fashion turning right heading down lovely Highway 11.  After a good long stretch of 11, I’ll realize that it kind of bores and depresses me, all the straightness and sketchy houses, so we’ll turn.

At an exciting and seemingly out of place interchange, we’ll get onto Highway 24 and skirt out to the West a little bit. Perhaps it’s the sharks nature to try to get back home…

We’ll eventually get dumped right into Westminster, ooo, should we stop for post cards? Nah. Here we’ll take a left and follow 123/76 to see all of lovely Westminster. The first opportunity to get out of town, we will.

Take a right on 183 and stay on it for quite a while, it’s a lot better looking than 11 and has a few more curves. The best is yet to come, we’ll get to see scenic Walhalla while we’re at it – there is nothing like a tiny town on a  Sunday afternoon in the south to bring out the welcome home vibe. I wonder if they’ll throw a ticker tape parade. Caution-Walhalla police are known to be by the book. . . just sayin’ again.
After seeing just about as much 183 as we can stand, ahem, we’ll get back on 11 – turning left and heading towards the familiar stretches that span along Keowee and Jocasee.

To really confuse all – we’ll take an obscure right on Flat Shoals Road and see a little more of the rustic nature of the upstate. It’s a slight right, not a sharp right and there is a barn type edifice that will note where you have to turn. There is also a blue sigh with a “w” on it pointing in the direction in which you want to travel.

Don’t veer from the road until you see “Mountain View Rd”, there isn’t anything exciting about this turn, you just have to take it. Eventually you’ll be dumped out on some boring stretch of road.

Ha, but it’s a trick, we’re not going to do that, that’d be boring – we’re taking my all time favorite strip of road in South Carolina 130.

Turn right onto 130. I’ll let you make your own commentary and tell the story as to why 130 is my favorite stretches of road of all time later.

We’ll cross over water, cross back over water, then see some more water. Heck, we’ll even see the World Of Energy – which we’ll stop for a photo op. I love that place, don’t ask why, again, I’ll tell you later.

After leaving the World Of Energy, we’ll say adios to my old friend 130 and visit another old friend, but just for a little while. A left on 183 will take us closer to where we really want to be…

133. Taking a left, we’ll head back towards more civilized lands – or as some call it – Pickens. 133 will be our guide until we hit…

Wait for it…

11 again, but I promise, this will be the last time, and we’ll only be on it for a very short while, trust me. After getting our fill of that, a quick right on 178 to a left on 288 complex will take us through some rather spirited twisties out in horse country. It’s easy to spot, gas station take a right, church take a left.

288 will abandon us at 276, but that’s okay, we’ll take a right and another quick left onto 414 – another great stretch of twisty horse ridden fields and one heck of a right hander with serious camber – just look for the black skids and the really tacky water feature on the left – on second thought, keep your eyes on the road. Let your passenger do the gawking.

When we hit 25, take a right and then a pretty quick left onto 290, which can be a tricky left if the traffic is bad. Also, be a little ginger approaching the hill, it had scraped my underbelly once before. Caution should be had, one because it’s a boring road, two because it’s usually slap full of mopeds.

After a few minutes, we’re going to take a right hand turn when you “Behold The Lamb” onto 253. This is an excellent stretch BUT it has a history of taking people off the side of the road (I’ll tell you that story too). From there, We’ll take a little left onto Pebble Creek Drive and end up at the Clubhouse.

I’m tired typing it out. Really, I don’t see us having a problem staying in a group, but a good rule of thumb while driving in groups is never lose sight of the person behind you. If that does happen, slow down until they come into your view, if they never do, pull over. This will inform those in front of you that there is a “man down”.

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