Sunday, May 2, 2010

Table Rock Hike - Table Rock State Park, SC

Table Rock State Park

Pickens County, SC
Sunday, May 2nd, 2010


The complete set of Photos is posted here:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/577536267AMawwu


Today my buddy Blair decided to join me on a hike to the summit of Table Rock Mountain. We met up at the Manufacturing Plant where I work (and Blair used to work), and he rode with me for the hour long drive to Table Rock State Park in Pickens County, SC.

After paying the $2.00 per person State Park entrance fee, we made a quick stop to check out the view of Table Rock Mountain. The top half of the mountain was covered with fog. I figured the fog would certainly burn off by the time we climbed the 2000-ft over 3.6 miles.

Normally without the fogTable Rock Mountain would be in the upper center of this shot


The trail starts out alongside a small creek with several small waterfalls and nice cascades.

Small Waterfall on the Table Rock Trail


I am doing an abbreviated trip report so I am just going to point out some of the highlights.

I saw my first Mountain Laurel blooms of the season:

Mountain Laurel

And we ran across a few interesting critters:

Red Salamander


Snake


By now we were in the meat of the 2000-ft climb! While it wasn't really hot outside, the humidity was about 110% and we were both sweating up a storm. Then the storm hit and it started raining. We were so wet with sweat it didn't really make a difference and the rain actually felt really good.

The hike to Table Rock is known mainly for the great views, the first of which is at the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) Trail Shelter. However, by this time we were already into the fog zone and there were no views to be had.

Climbing up Govenor's Rock through the fog


I was dead wrong about the fog burning off by the time we got to the top. In fact, it seemed to be getting thicker!



Fortunately, I really enjoy hiking through thick fog. I hope Blair wasn't disappointed that we didn't get to enjoy the views.

Blair, stretching out!


While there were some wildflowers out, I didn't make much attempt at photographing them. They were all varieties that I have seen before and it was too much hassle trying to keep the misting rain off the lens.

Raindrops on a Pine Tree


However, we did run across one variety of flower that I don't think I have ever seen before:

Cross Vine


By the time we completed the 7.2 mile round trip hike, we could see the fog lifting and Table Rock Mountain became visible:

Table Rock Mountain


Despite the fact that we missed all the awesome views, it was still a very enjoyable hike.

Additional Photos from our adventure are posted here:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/577536267AMawwu

5 comments:

HemlockMan said...

That macro lens is great! Those closeups are fantastic!

Kim said...

Jack the pictures are just beautiful... Thank you for sharing... my favorite was the waterfalls and the red salamander.

Jack said...

Thanks Bob! I acually didn't use the Macro Lens. In weather like that I don't like changing out lens, so I just stuck with my all purpose 18mm-250mm. The closeup shots were done by just zooming in.

Kim, I liked the Red Salamander's too! There were a bunch of them hanging out on the trail. I hope I didn't step on any!

Blair said...

It sure offers a neat perspective when you see quality pictures like that from a trip you were part of! I wasnt disappointed at all...the fog made for a great experience!

Thanks again man!

~Christina~ said...

What a fabulous life you are living Jack!! What a wonderful array of captures! I love the salamander!! Ive never seen one myself or one captured so closely, very cool!