What a hike!

Today was the big day for us to get up, get around and get moving!
We were up at the crack of dawn, on the road to our first waterfall stop.

The Twin Falls (first set) are only about twenty minutes from the house, not too bad.
As we are three quarters of the way there, I realized that I forgot to place the battery back the camera. I was busy making sure some snacks, water, Gatorade, and the dogs were fed that I er, umm, forgot to put the charged battery back in the camera. Great, just great.
It turned out that dh had our little point and click camera with him, so we would be able to get some photos.

Now, on the way up we had to look for a place called Bob’s Place Tavern, which should be easy to find. Dh and I were deep in conversation but keeping what I thought was an eye out for this place to make our left turn. Turns out we hear Spencer in the back telling us that we just passed a place called Bob’s. Fine, go up the hill a bit more and find a place to turn around.
Go back down, make our turn to find out we are on a severely twisty road.
*gag* (I am prone motion sickness.) We make it through all the turns and finally get to our next road. Drive down the road, when I noticed a HUGE orange sign that stated bridge washed out, fall access closed.
You have got to be kidding me.
Take the next turn for the falls and sure enough there is no bride, two large barriers on either side of the road and no way to cross. Drat! (It would appear that the bridge was washed out last fall when we had some really heavy rains that washed out various parts of the county. Now, it would have been nice if that nice orange sign was a bit farther out on the road – perhaps near Bob’s.)
That was a bust; we deiced to head back home to get the battery that I had forgotten so each of us could snap some pictures.

Once back home, dh decides to sharpen the Swiss Army knives they were carrying, let the dogs out to stretch and we use the bathroom. Dh was not able to find the sharpening stone in the drawer, so I took everything out and well, it was not there. Climbed a chair to reach a high cabinet and found another kit that we have. While he is doing that (sharpening), the boys decide to watch the morning news and I begin to rearrange the drawer. With the drawer nicely rearranged, knives sharpened, dogs content again, we leave fifteen minutes later. This time we head out a different way (more direct) to get to our next stop.

We arrive at Caesar’s Head State Park, it is still kinda cool out and there are some clouds still around in the distance.

We walk over the look out (3,200 ft – highest point in SC) and what a site we see.

This view is of Table Rock & one of the lakes.--->

We walk through Devils Kitchen – a very narrow passage between two huge rocks, walk around a bit then walk over to a map to see where the next waterfall is and pick up some pamphlets on other attractions.

<--- This is Devils Kitchen

We drove about two minutes to the parking lot for the fall hike area. All the spots are taken, we were about to park the car near the exit off the road, when I noticed one person leaving.
Uh-huh, we moved the car and unloaded and noticed that there was a $2.00 fee for adults. You have to pay in order to get your parking ticket, and it is one of those honor system boxes. So, now we are looking around for change to pay the fee, money in, parking ticket on car we are

The sun is nice and bright (remember this) and it is slowly warming up. The walk way was marked quite well. Nate was the trail blazer, he was just zipping right along, and it was as if nothing could stop him. Spencer was doing his best to keep up with him and at points he did. Dh and I were doing our best just to keep up.

Along the way, I gained a walking stick and boy, am I happy I had one.

<--- My new walking stick. I even brought it back home with us, I will use it on other walks we take.

Walking over roots, ducking under fallen trees, down some stairwells, through various twists and a few water stops, we were almost there. *phew* The next fifteen minutes were not too bad; those we passed kept telling us that it was just around the bend.
Right, which bend would that be?
The bend we are one, the bend in front of us or the one bend around the next bend?

Finally, we did turn the last bend and were rewarded with a wonderful site of the Raven Trail Waterfalls. Truly breathtaking; the pictures do not do them justice. I am happy we opted to hike up there in the spring because I don’t think once the leaves come out the view would be very good. We take a nice ten minute break and then it was time to head back to the car.

<--- Spencer relaxing.

The walk back was not too bad; it seemed to go quite fast. The last mile of the walk was the hardest. Nate was the first to arrive back at the starting point, then Spencer, then Dh and finally, me. We stopped to look at the trail map to see what we had just accomplished. On the one website we found, it stated that the walk was 1.5 miles one way, so 3 miles all the way around.(sounds good!)
Well, they were wrong.
The map on the trail stated 2.2 miles (one way), so yum, yeah, that would be 4.4 miles round trip.
Wow.. now wonder, we were a bit sore and our feet were burning.
It was fun and it was a great time.

It was now 1:30, time for lunch. We opted to head to Brevard, NC (about 15 minutes away) to grab a bite to eat. While we were waiting for lunch, Nate read one of the pamphlets and found another fall that was close to where we were. Lunch eaten, we head for the Conestee Falls.

The Connestee Falls were not easy to find, really easy to access and such a treat to see. An older trail that would have taken you down farther had the access blocked off, that was a shame.

<---- Connestee Falls

We opted to head back home through Hendersonville, NC, that is where I snapped a photo of this apothecary sign.

Once home we began to really feel sore and remember I said the sun was nice and bright?!
Dh and myself are a wee bit burnt tonight. :-/
The Noxzema has been broke out and a mental note to take sunscreen lotion has been made.
We have decided we will visit more of the falls over the next few weeks, there are so many more to see in North & South Carolina.

Now, I think I am going to go crash; I am so tired and sore.

** I will try to post more of the pictures in Flicker and add it to the post.**
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