This weekend in South Carolina the weather was in the 60's, which is what we were hoping for on this trip, but it was kind of a shock to the system to jump 20 degrees like that.
When Cory woke up on Saturday I whined and pleaded until he joined me for a short 1/2 hour walk along the Lakeside Trail behind the cabin. I was pleased that my knees were only a little shaky and no real lasting effects were apparent from my strenuous hike the day before.
Peggy showed up in the afternoon and since she couldn't check in to her cabin until 4:00 (even though check-out is 10:00 and no one had used that cabin for days) we walked around the campground to see what the sites were like. I wasn't a big fan, most sites were incredibly unlevel, full of dips and laid out so haphazardly I had a hard time telling what site number went where. Also most were just barely big enough for 25 foot trailers, so definitely not a place for bigger RVs or if you don't want to work hard to make it level. The sites are reservable but there isn't anything posted on the posts to let you know if one is already reserved. You have to drive down the road and go to the visitor center to ask.
|one of the few nice sites for bigger RVs|
Another thing I'm not so crazy about here is their recycling effort is to have a bin for recycling drink cans and bottles at the visitor center only, which is not anywhere near the campground, it's down the highway and on the other side. So if you want to recycle (which we do) you have to load it into the car and drive miles to unload it. Not very eco-friendly. I know I've done a lot of complaining, and maybe I'm just spoiled, but there was a lot here that was just a little off and I know my other bloggers who drive bigger rigs would definitely not be happy here. I told Peggy the problem is I keep comparing every new place I go to our Wisconsin state park system or the Smokies and they all keep coming up short. I know Sharon will love to hear that!
After our campground tour we hung around outside awhile chatting about our shared photography hobby and some other stuff. Sitting outside and socializing isn't something I tend to do and it was a nice change, I'll have to work it into my schedule more often!
|Pam and Peggy - Cory said he was going for the "natural look" in this shot|
On Sunday morning Cory and I got in the car to see what Caesar's Head State Park was all about since it was just a 20 minute drive away. It turned out it's just a visitor's center where you have to buy a map for $2.25 to find out about any of the trails in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area and then pay $2 per person to hike any of them and none of them were anywhere in the vicinity anyway. Besides that the small parking lot featured a couple of picnic tables and an overlook point with a view from the top of the mountain we had just painstakingly driven up. My honest opinion? A view is a view, and the one from Table Rock was more interesting anyway.
|strangers enjoying the view - wonder what the doggies think of it?|
The best part of Sunday was going with Peggy to shoot the falls at the Nature Center. I'm not used to having a photography buddy, it was kind of neat talking shop while on a "shoot". Having someone else around kind of upped my game a little and I took a little more time and care than I usually do. Still no tripod, but I did have my handy-dandy hiking stick that turns into a monopod.
She jokingly asked me if I could get an ugly log out of her way so she wouldn't have to Photoshop it out later. Challenge accepted!
|heavier than it looks but I won't give up!|
She thought it was hilarious and took pictures of my endeavor with my new little Canon, and I was happy to entertain her and everyone else standing around wondering who the crazy lady re-landscaping the creek was. Truthfully I was surprised the ranger didn't come stop me, we were only steps away from one.
We were both a little surprised when I didn't lose my footing and end up ankle deep in the water. I informed Peggy this was not my first time removing pieces of trees for waterfall pictures, I did it before at Little Manitou Falls in Pattison State Park. Now all my followers know if they need a waterfall area cleaned up for a photo shoot all they have to do is wait for me to show up and I'll dive right in there!
Peggy was a hoot and a half, we spent a lot of time laughing. Hopefully we'll cross paths again and laugh some more.
Notice the log in question ended up in my shots when I moved down the creek to try a different angle. I didn't even notice until I loaded them up, isn't that always the way it goes?
Just before dark we checked out of our cabin early and headed for the KOA in Newport, Tennessee which has one room cabins for under $36 right now in the off season. It's small but warm, not too hard to accomplish since it's still over 50F outside! I wanted to get a head start on our drive so I could squeeze a couple of hikes in along our way....