Monday, May 9, 2016

2016-05-06 Hog Wild Persistence

Hog Wild Persistence
The Waterfalls on Wild Hog Creek
and the Discovery of Persistence Falls
with Brenda and Mark
Rocky Bottom, SC
Friday, May 7th, 2016

 
Me, Brenda, and Mark by a Waterfall on Wild Hog Creek


The waterfall gurus, Bernie Boyer and Waterfall Rich Stevenson first posted about Wild Hog Creek back in 2010.  I kind of forgot about it until Andy and Brenda made a visit about a year ago.  Since then, it has been back on my Radar.

So I decided to take Friday off from work and join Brenda and Mark on an exploration of Wild Hog Creek!

Note:  This trip is entirely off trail and should only be attempted by people with significant off trail bushwhacking and navigational experience!

There is a maze of old logging roads that traverse the area, but most of these are so overgrown it is easier to just bushwhack and/or creek walk via the path of least resistance. 

Mountain Laurel Blooms

If you head directly up the creek from US178, you will be trespassing across a small section of private property.   We parked and took a route that kept us entirely on SC WMA (South Carolina Wildlife Management Area) Game Lands, eventually working our way back down to Wild Hog creek well upstream from the private property.

After some rather difficult bushwhacking through Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Briers, and thickets of Rhododendron and Laurel we arrived at the first waterfall on Wild Hog Creek!

Waterfall on Wild Hog Creek.
Mark is in the photo for a good sense of scale

The journey upstream from here became even more of a challenge, but eventually we made it to this nice little cascade which is about 10 feet tall.


You really have to be a dedicated waterfall enthusiast to continue on from here, but the next one is a beauty!  A rope is highly recommended to get down to the base!

Mark descending down to the base of a waterfall on Wild Hog Creek


Mark and Brenda by a Waterfall on Wild Hog Creek

This one also has a very cool cave!  If you decide to make the difficult journey to see it, please tread lightly!  This is a very fragile environment!  Do whatever you can to avoid trampling the vegetation and minimize any impact from your visit!

Mark, Brenda, and Me inside the Cave

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

From inside the cave behind the waterfall

We backtracked a little and then continued our bushwhack upstream.  Brenda soon decided that she could go no more, but Mark and I continued on a short but very difficult distance.  We found one more drop of about 12 feet that definitely was not worth the effort to get to.

 One more drop along Wild Hog Creek

We decided to turn back at this point!  There might be more further upstream, and we might decide to come back and push on a little further!  However, I will save that for a winter time hike, when the forest is a bit more open and it is much more comfortable to stay in long sleeves and pants.


Less than a half mile south of Wild Hog Creek is another tributary (un-nammed) of Eastatoe Creek that we were eager to explore.  We backtracked downstream to below the first waterfall and managed to find an old logging road that was heading in the direction we wanted to go.

This was by far the easiest portion of our hike.  However that did not last long!  The road took us right next the creek we wanted to explore, except we were well above the banks.  So we proceeded to make the steep scramble down to the creek.

The small creek was basically just a long continuous slide.  Between the slick rocky surface and the thick vegetation, this was not easy going, but we persisted on!

 Mark making his way up the creek

I was becoming less and less optimistic the further we went.  Brenda took a few bad spills on the slick rocks and decided to hang back   I could see two large logs fallen across the creek and declared that if we get to the second log and don't see anything, we would turn back!

Bluets

Getting to that second log was no easy task, but the persistence paid off!  Standing on the second log we could see significant falling water up ahead and made the final push to what we are calling Persistence Falls!

Me at Persistence Falls

Fortunately Brenda was close enough that we were able to yell and encourage her to push on!  She elected to Bushwhack alongside the creek for the final stretch, but eventually did make it about 10 minutes behind Mark and Me.


 Brenda at Persistence Falls

 Persistence Falls

Brenda, Mark, and Me at Persistence Falls


It is quite possible that there is more upstream, but at this point we were satisfied with what we had found and didn't have the energy or motivation to continue on any further!  It was a great day of Waterfall Wandering.

Here are a few other miscellaneous photos from our hike.

Ferns

  
Cracked Wood

 Mark on a Huge Downed Tree

Brenda and Mark by a huge downed tree

Creepy Crawley

And this was how I elected to end the day!

A fitting end to a day exploring Wild Hog Creek

The complete set of photos is posted here:
 https://www.flickr.com/photos/8146392@N05/albums/72157667436577550

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