Another week and another exciting adventure. I may be setting too high of expectations for myself dear reader. I’ve been on quite the pace these last few weeks filling my time with all kinds of exciting things. This week Christina and I decided we were going to hike one of the highest mountains in South Carolina. Now, I will admit that’s not that high, but seeing as right now I’m sitting only one foot above sea level, any mountain is a long way up.
We took the three hour plus drive up to Table Rock State Park in Pickens County, SC on Sunday and started off our adventure in the wild with a road-side diner called Aunt Sue’s Kitchen. Good ol’ country food to be sure, but we opted for “western burgers” which were pretty darn good themselves. Being as it was Sunday, we got to see plenty of mountain folk in their Sunday best and the place was doing a pretty good business. It was fine and we strolled around after having some milkshakes for dessert and looked at the ‘country store’ aspects of the place. It’s not nearly as hot in the mountains so sitting on their porch in some rocking chairs sipping milkshakes was nice after a ‘long’ drive. One sure sign that you're in the country is when you check out and the lady at the counter asks you if you went to church that mornin'. I felt bad saying no, but I quickly let her know that I had spent my morning driving up from Charleston to visit her establishment. I think she would have 'rathered' I'd gone to church.
After that fun, we drove out to a short quarter mile hike up to Twin Falls, which we found out, thanks to all the rain was more like Four Falls. Awesome! We also found out that an awesome waterfall will cause Christina to get misty eyed. They were a pretty cool sight. We spent a good bit of time up there climbing around on the falls and having some fun then went back to the campsite to get showered and set up for dinner and smores!
Our first night in the tent was not a great one since it rained pretty hard and the rain caused us to cut short our smores cookin’. We made it into the tent just as the lightning and thunder started and the heavy rain followed that pretty quickly. Also, Christina’s tent is rain resistant, not rain proof so after a few hours we got a little damp. But our spirits were not dampened and we woke up the next morning ready to tackle one of the park’s hardest hikes: the Table Rock Trail.
Since we were in such a chipper mood on Monday morning we decided to take a 1.5 mile hike around Carrick Creek’s Trail before starting on the Table Rock Trail. Probably not the best idea since the climb up to the summit consists of 2,500 actual step ups that ranged from 6 inches to 2 feet. (Keep in mind that we also had to pound our legs into all of those 2,500 steps on the way down too.) This was also complimented with some steep inclines and twists and turns. It was a pretty tough task. Once we got up to Governor’s Rock we took a break since we had just about had enough. It was pretty there and we wanted to stay, but there was another half an hour climb to the summit which we were determined to reach. The air felt really thin and we were exhausted but we made it to the top and back down to the rock in good time and stopped for a while for our picnic lunch.
The climb down was not a whole lot easier. By the time we reached the bottom it had taken us about 6 and a half full hours. All we wanted was a shower and some food. Luckily we were able to get both. After our showers we drove out of the park to Pickens where we found a “quaint” place called Tony’s that served pizza that was good enough and had a banana split that only cost $2.50!
Dear reader there is so much I want to tell you about all the cool things we saw and all the fun we had, but I’m short on time and only 12 hours away from starting my next adventure. In closing, I'm pretty damned lucky to have such a cool girlfriend who let's me drag her around the woods and up rocks.
See you next week when I update you on yet another road trip.