Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!?

Life has been pretty busy lately, and I haven't gotten out much at all. A new baby and a new house have kept me pretty occupied. Well, I was sitting in a training class with Dennis and we decided that, as long as permission was granted by Laura, we would head up to Greenville, South Carolina, for a couple of days. We got up to Caesar's Head State Park at around noon, and the weather was pretty miserable. The above picture is from an awesome overlook located near the park's visitor center. Usually you can see clean past Greenville from here, which is located about 20 miles to the south. But not today. Nothing but FOG! and lots of it.

We sat around for a bit hoping it would open up, but it never did. From there we decided to go ahead and try some hiking anyway, so we headed for Raven Cliff Fall's Overlook.

Table Rock State Park 29

Luckily, the valley this waterfall was located in was kinda protected from the fog. That meant we got some pretty good views. We spent a while just chilling at the little gazebo there, taking pictures and soaking up all the fall colors.

Table Rock State Park 30
Table Rock State Park 28
Table Rock State Park 27

It was hard to leave, but we finally did. We had to cut our return route short because we took too much time at the overlook (but who can blame us?). So we hiked back to the car and headed back into town to the Dennis residence. We were welcomed warmly as always. After some awesome lasagna and a good movie, we hit the hay, hoping the weather would get better for our trek over to Table Rock State Park the next morning.

We woke up and the weather was terrible. Absolutely terrible. The fog was still thick, and the weather people were telling us it was only going to get worse. We debated our course of action over pumpkin pancakes and almost elected to just stay at home. Dennis decided that since we had our rain gear, we should go anyway and at least get some exercise in.

With that in mind, we loaded up and headed to Table Rock. On the way there it went from thick fog to thicker fog to drizzle to heavy rain. At this point our Halloween was turning out to be more trick than treat. We sat in the parking lot at the trailhead and came close to just turning around. A little reluctant, we donned the rain gear and headed up. Halfway up the mountain we came to a little gazebo-type thing that usually offers amazing views of the valley below. The rain had finally stopped, but the fog was still there in full force. We hydrated and munched on Clif Bars and debated whether or not to head back down, when finally there was small slither of an opening in the fog. We hung around for another 15 minutes, and sure enough the clouds finally rolled back and showed us the view.

Table Rock State Park 26
Table Rock State Park 25
Table Rock State Park 24
Table Rock State Park 23
Table Rock State Park 22
Table Rock State Park 21

We sat there a while enjoying the momentary break in fog before it finally rolled back in and covered everything. The rain was still stopped, so we decided to continue climbing. Dennis had been up the mountain before and said that the views (if the fog would allow) only got better. We passed a hiker coming down and he said the fog had rolled back in and covered everything. We pressed on anyway.

When we got to the top, we were greeted with some of the best views I've ever seen on any trail anywhere. Here's the proof....

Table Rock State Park 20

Table Rock State Park 19

Table Rock State Park 18

Table Rock State Park 17

Table Rock State Park 16

Table Rock State Park 15

Table Rock State Park 14

Table Rock State Park 13

Table Rock State Park 12

Table Rock State Park 11

Table Rock State Park 10

Table Rock State Park 9

Table Rock State Park 8

Table Rock State Park 7

Table Rock State Park 6

Table Rock State Park 3

Table Rock State Park 2

Table Rock State Park 1

It started out as a trick but ended up being quite the treat. The fall colors mixed with the fog rolling in and out really made it a unique setting. It was the type of scenery that is hard to catch. We happen to be up on the mountain for the only two-hour period the fog relented for 48 hours. Can't wait to get back up there!!!