Monday, October 31, 2016

2016-10-28 Table Rock, SC and some other stuff near Highlands, NC

The Table Rock Trail
Table Rock State Park, SC
and some other stuff near Highlands, NC
Friday, October 28th, 2016
Panorama View from the end of the Table Rock Trail

All I knew to start the day was that I was meeting Andy somewhere near Highlands, NC sometime between 1:00pm and 7:00pm.  He said he would text me the details later the day.

I used my last last vacation day of year (our vacation year ends on October 31) and took Friday off.  I packed up my hiking and camping gear and hit the road towards Highlands with no definite plans in mind.

I knew I needed to go somewhere with Cell Service so I could keep in contact with Andy.  It has been about 5 years since I have last hiked Table Rock, SC and I knew I would have good cell service throughout the hike.  I also figured that it would be a bit less crowded on a Friday.

So Table Rock it is!

It is about a 3.7 mile hike  (7.4 mile out and back) with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain making it one of the more difficult trail hikes in South Carolina.

Here are a few photos from my hike:

On the hike back down I heard from Andy

Andy:  "Do you have Kevin Adam's Book with you"
Me:  "Of Course!  I never leave home without it"
Andy:  "Meet at the Chasm Falls Trailhead   Probably 5ish"

The other interesting thing I ran into on the way down was about a dozen Park Rangers and Paramedics heading up the mountain.  I never saw anything on the news, which makes me hopeful that it wasn't anything too serious!

Paramedics on the way up Table Rock Mountain

After Table Rock I continued my drive towards Highlands with plans to stop at Silver Run Falls.  However, I decided to pass on that when I saw the parking area overflowing with cars.

I did make a stop at the Shadow Bear Overlook on US-64 between Cashiers and Highlands.  It was a bit too early in the day for the Shadow Bear to make an appearance, but there was some nice fall color!
 View from the Shadow Bear Overlook

Stopping off at Highlands,  I grabbed a bite to eat and enough Subway Sandwiches to last me the rest of the weekend.  I also picked up some interesting beer for the weekend, including a six-pack of Kevin Adam's Favorite Beer  (Graveyard Fields Blueberry Coffee Porter from the Boojum Brewery in Waynesville, NC).  Definitely interesting, but I would not put it up there with my favorites!

Kevin Adam's Favorite Beer

I was running about a half hour early when I passed some excellent looking campsites.  Amazingly I still had a cell signal.  I got a message from Andy updating his ETA to 5:30ish, so now I was an hour ahead!

Rather than waiting around at the trailhead, I sent him a message telling him that I was grabbing a campsite on the road in to Chasm Falls and would just meet him there.

 Our Campsite along Blue Valley Road (prior to Andy's arrival)

Andy arrived right at 5:30pm.  I would just hop in his car for the few more miles down the road to the Chasm Falls Trailhead.

Backpack = Check
Hiking Pole = Check
Water = Check
Tri-Pod = Check
Cell Phone = Check

So off we go to the trailhead.  It wasn't until we got there that I realized I had left my camera in my truck at the campsite!  This is now the third time over the past few years that I have forgotten my camera when riding with Andy to a hike.

I settled with cell phone shots for this evening.

 Andy at Chasm Falls

Note:  I would get back the next morning for some shots with my better camera, as Chasm Falls is definitely an impressive sight and well worth getting some real shots of!  (those shots will come in my the next blog post).

With Team Waterfall, you never know who is going to show up or when the will arrive, but for tonight it would just be Andy and I hanging around the campfire.

Andy and Me hanging out around the campfire

Interesting things happening around the campfire

The complete set of photos from today is posted here:

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