Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Table Rock State Park Camping & Hiking Trip



Isaqueena Covered Bridge


Upstate South Carolina Camping & Hiking Trip


Dana & Kenny Koogler
Friday Nov. 4-Sunday Nov. 6, 2011

Photos are here:

Upstate SC smugmug


**This is a repaired blog with two missing photos.
Lower Whitewater Falls and the bridge over the White Water River.**



      We packed on Thursday night and got up at O' Dark-Thirty Friday morning and headed to Table Rock State Park, South Carolina to camp.    We had reservations and the trip over went well.
I slept for a good chunk of it.  We were fortunate  that they let us check in early.  We were on site
and had the camper set up by 10 am.  I had asked Kenny prior to the trip if the furnace worked on the camper and he indicated it did.   Upon trying to get it to fire it refused to ignite for him.
I was cold and still sleepy and could see this might be trouble so I went in the bedroom and covered up with a quilt and my coat and went back to sleep.  I said a prayer before I fell asleep that the furnace would work and the trip would be spared. I woke an hour and a half later to my sweet husband saying "Oh there you are! Wake up sleepyhead! Let's eat some lunch and go hiking?!"
Bless him and Thank the Lord for the furnace was now working and the camper was finally getting warm.   

       We had a late start seeing as it was now nearly 1 pm.  We decided to hike to the Table Rock summit since it would not involve driving.  It would be a longer  hike with a distance of a little over 7 miles.   We gathered a few items and hit the trail.   The hike to the summit in Autumn is gorgeous.
Peak Fall colors were everywhere we turned.  We were both thrilled to have chosen this park for camping and this trail for hiking.  Table Rock is a monadnock, or a remaining chunk of elevated stone where the rest of the mountains have eroded away.   Upstate SC is full of such mountains, but Table Rock is chief among them.   The trail is tough, but has a pattern of climbs then levels off for a distance and then climbs some more.  Thank heaven for switchbacks.  There is a CCC hut along the way with a pretty view. 

       We first came to Governors Rock.  It is one of the bare, sloping, exposed stretches of stone along the hike.   It has 180*  views.  There are shallow steps cut into the stone sides of the mountain.  It is really something to see. I would not want to negotiate this area during rain or icey weather.   We talked to lots of people along the way, most of them very nice.  One man accompanied by a lady was kind enough to give us better directions for the trip home. Thanks man!
He was the kind of person I love to meet out. Knowledgable, ready to share the info, encouraging and obviously having a good time. 

       We hiked along the flat ridge of the mountains summit and passed the summit marker.
We next found an overlook to one side and stopped to rest and check out those views. We could see the "footstool" mountain to this side very well.   We continued on then to the very tip end of the mountain and the prime views of the lakes and hardly any manmade structures.  We could see a large, lengthy waterfall flowing down the sides of a mountain to the north of us.  I have since learned that it is called Slicking Falls and is off limits since it is part of the protected watershed for the areas water supply.   Puts it in the same category as Glassmine Falls in NC. 



Slicking Falls viewed from Table Rock Summit, SC
   







View from the Table Rock Summit

     The hike to Table Rock Summit was pretty strenuous and was 7.2 miles round trip so we opted for doing lots of shorter hikes the next day.  We had so many waterfalls and sights we wanted to see anyhow.  This seemed like the solution to another day of strenuous hiking.  I wanted a day to recover a little then do a longer one on Sunday.  We started off doing just that. We hit Isaqueena Falls, Stumphouse Tunnel area, Station Cove Falls, Oconee Station historic site. We ate lunch, but then Kenny did something he almost never does.  He got out the hiking guide and got a wild hair. He wanted to visit Lower Whitewater Falls. It didn't take much to convince me and since he never has a preference there was no way I was going to say no. He said "its only 2 miles."  Well that turned out to be untrue.
It was more like 4.4 miles round trip.  We got to one point after hiking 1/2 mile that said the falls were 1.7 mile further.  Damn. We kept going.  I was concerned about having enough daylight to finish, but again Kenny reassured me that "Naw! we got plenty of day."  We finally passed a road and a parking lot. I was highly pissed.
Musterground road is closed to all but hunters in these months. If we had done it any other time we could have hiked to it for a mere 1.8 mile round trip. 
Nothing for it, but to keep going.  We made it. We saw the falls which are breath taking.  We hiked the road back out because at the pace short legs here was moving we'd have been way past dark getting out.  I was cussin' out everthang dat move by dis pernt.  We got back to the truck just before dark. On the walk back we heard the siren go off for the pumped storage project. That sound will stand your hair on end.  You may realize you are not where they are going to be harmed when they release water, but that thing will get your attention just the same! 

**Image Missing** 
Lower Whitewater Falls gets far fewer visitors than Upper Whitewater Falls which is just across the state line in North Carolina. I want to go back and see these again both on the same day and do the hike the short way just on general principal. 


Pond at Stumphouse Tunnel. Never been here before and loved the scenery. What a lovely place to have a picnic. I am a fan of black water ponds.


Table Rock Mountain is a monadnock. It is what is left of the subterranean rock after the rest of the softer rock and earth has eroded away.  Lots of these in Upstate SC.


     We came in at 6.5 miles the second day of hiking. Nothing will ruin thing for me like injuring myself while doing it.  So I told Kenny @#$%^&* and %$#@^&* and I was NOT going anywhere the next day except home.  I wanted food, drink, warmth, sleep, sex, love and no more trips to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries that involved camping or hiking.  Nope.  Those things should involve balloons, strippers jumping out of cakes, pink fuzzy house shoes, warm puffy sheets and stuff like that.  I'm raising my standards and quitting being such a cheap date.

Below is a video of Lower Falls on the Whitewater River in Autumn.


 Table Rock State Park is a great place and we'll hopefully return here for more trips.  Bring whatever you need with you though because the nearest stores are a long ways off.   The store at the park has a few essentials but is open at the whim of the owner who runs it.   She flat said so to my face.   I just blinked and walked off from her.
**Missing Photo of 2 part bridge over White Water River**

Bridge over the Whitewater River. Its built in two sections to reduce the chances of it washing away. Seeing this river in flood stage would be amazing, but crossing it would be suicidal.


Below is a beautiful video of Twin Falls SC in Autumn. It is one of the favorite videos I've ever shot.  It is set to my favorite hymn "Like a River Glorious".  


7 comments:

  1. Wow! Beautiful pictures. Very nice. :)

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  2. Thanks Daisy. I appreciate the positive remarks. :-)

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  3. Wonderful photos; especially the pond one! All of your trip might not have been perfect but the photos sure were! Have a good weekend!

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  4. Thanks Mama-Bug. I have been working this weekend and dealing with an abscessed tooth. Ouch! That trip was still fun and I learned alot about some life adjustments I need to make. ;^D

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Thanks Lawfrog. I appreciate such a nice compliment!

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