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The Protest  continued

Old Folks

Before this issue, there was not any controversy in this sleepy little town. Most of the 78 residents of Peak were at peace with each other rarely locking their doors. In a recent visit to the town several residents could be seen sitting on their front porches reminiscing about days gone by. Some are veterans of foreign wars, others are veterans of a life of toil in the cotton mills. The attire that the folks were wearing could be considered "Carolina Casual". Ball caps and flowery dresses. Some expressed worry about the influx of "Big city strangers" and the crime that may follow. The trail is not expected to bring great economic benefit to the average resident. Hikers don't usually spend a lot of money in adjacent towns, because most of the food and supplies that they use are brought from home. Young folks with brightly colored and sometimes outlandish clothing, walking in the backyards of the elderly, may be a frightening site also.  Hikers that don't wave as they pass by might promote even more suspicion.

Compromise

This is a very complex issue at best. The compromise offered by the citizens of Peak is not ideal for the hikers. The compromise involves moving the trail to a different location, crossing the Broad River on a busy highway. The Palmetto Conservation Foundation has proposed a small shift in the trail and compensation for the retired couples and widows that live along the trail. No significant change in the original location of the trail. After spending 25,000 dollars on the 11 miles of railroad right of way, the foundation can ill afford to purchase more land in the area.  A drawn out legal process would add far too much to the cost of an otherwise inexpensive trail..  The residents of Peak,  most live on a fixed income, can not afford anything more than the cost of survival. It is our hope that both sides can come to an equitable solution in the near future. It is our sincere hope that we as hikers do not scare or otherwise adversely affect people that could be our own Grandparents.  Perhaps in the interest of peace with our neighbors the much younger hikers can bend a little more and move the trail to another location. After all the citizens of Peak were there first ! 

More information about the Palmetto Trail

Resources to contact Politicians involved in this issue

Central Midlands Regional Council of Governments

webmaster@cmcog.state.sc.us

US Congressional Representatives

http://hpi.www.com/congress/45071.html

State Legislators

http://hpi.www.com/scleg/45071.html

Statistics for Newberry County

http://hpi.www.com/sccty/sc45071.htm

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