Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Sesqui State Park’s New Lake Trail

121203 Sesqui Foggy Walk (58A)You may recall that a few days ago I wrote a short piece on the new hiking/walking trail around the lake at Sesquicentennial State Park. If you missed it, click here.

02 awaiting the eventWell, last Saturday the Park Service had the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new trail. Everyone was there! From State Park Director, Phil Gaines, on down.

03 early walkersI’d arrived at the Park around 8:00 AM Saturday morning, intending only to sit in the truck, enjoying that beautiful view of the picnic area and lake, while working away on the second draft of my South Carolina RV travel mystery. The Park already was busier than usual. Probably because it was a Saturday morning. Quite a few visitors. Some with their dogs walking along the trail.

01 cleanupThe staff too was busy with final manicure of the facilities in anticipation of the ribbon cutting event. That’s Maintenance Supervisor Rusty’s truck you see parked beside the restrooms. After years of experience and dedication, Rusty can spot a gum wrapper on the ground at 500 yards.

04 setting upFolks began congregating back toward the Lake’s outlet waiting for the ceremony.

05 the ribbonA ribbon had been stretched across the entrance to the bridge, right beside a HUGE sign advertising the State tax S.C. State Parks check-off. This, by the way, is something everyone who pays South Carolina State taxes can do to help the Parks painlessly. You’ll learn how the money is used in a few minutes.

07 Palmetto Health TableThree ladies from Palmetto Health had set up an information table on the other side of the bridge. Their walking program is first rate. Read about it here.

10 carol talkingBefore long, quite a crowd had gathered. That’s Richland County Conservation Commission Chair, Carol Kososki, you see above. The Commission helped with the funding of the new trail. In addition to other projects in the Park. Such as the mid-18th century cabin over by the Dog Park.

08 daniel introPark Manager Daniel Gambrell called us all together and got things underway with opening comments. Click the button to hear what he had to say. Sorry about the noise in the background. That’s the waterfall just to the right of the bridge. Somehow, I couldn’t edit it out.





09 phil speakNext up was South Carolina’s State Park Director, Phil Gaines. You can imagine how busy he is, with 47 separate facilities spread across the State. He visits them all! But he seemed to take a special interest in this new trail. Have a listen to his comments.





Director Gaines then introduced long-serving Richland County Councilman, Jim Manning. He too has taken a special interest in Sesqui, and in the creation of this trail. 18 jim manning

12 manning philWouldn’t you know it! Just as Councilman Manning began to speak the battery in my camera gave up the ghost. Here he is before the ceremony talking with Director Gaines. Fortunately, the voice recorder was more cooperative. Click the button below to hear Mr. Manning’s comments.





13 carol jimBefore I could get the camera battery replaced, Richland County Conservation Commission Chair, Carol Kososki, had begun to speak. Her comments are available below, again, with a click of the “Click to Listen” button.




14 lori talkMs. Lori Lapin then spoke on behalf of Friends of Sesqui. In addition to her work with Sesqui Friends, Ms. Lapin sponsors “Lori’s Adventure Days” at Sesqui, and often runs the Park’s trails. She really knows what she’s talking about. Listen to her comments below.




16 ribbon cutBy the time I’d been able to replace my camera battery they were ready to cut the ribbon. Sesqui’s Lake Trail was official open. I’d walked it before, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to go around again with Park Director Gaines and Park System Videographer, Laura Mueller. You’ve probably seen some of her remarkable videos on the State Park Systems web pages. A real pro.

17 job well doneSo there you have it. Sesqui’s new trail is open officially. After the ceremony, I caught up with Parks Director Phil Gaines, Regional Manager Paul McCormack, and Sesqui Park Manager Daniel Gambrell. No wonder they were smiling! Be sure to come out and walk this new trail!

Finally, here’s a short slide show of the event.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sesqui State Park’s New Lake Trail on a Foggy Morning

05 sesqui walkSouth Carolina’s Sesquicentennial State Park here in Columbia recently made major improvements to the two-mile or so trail around the lake. Some of the trail, near the office and picnic area, is paved as you see above.

09 sesqui walkMost of the trail, however, looks more like this. For me, this is a more comfortable walking surface.

01 sesqui walkYesterday morning it was unusually foggy here in the Midlands of South Carolina. An ideal time to tramp around in the woods.

Here are a few photos from that foggy morning walk presented in a short video. Enjoy.