Bucket-List Cross Off: Table Rock Summit Hike!
When I look at where I see my life at this time in 2016, I see myself married and quite possibly pregnant… or at least definitely in the throws of trying to get pregnant. But before that happens, there’s a few things that I want to do because I can’t do them while pregnant or with a small child, and they’re things I’d rather do sooner rather than later.
And one of those things was to hike up Table Rock to the summit. Here’s a little bit of background: Table Rock is one of the highest peaks in South Carolina. The summit of the mountain is slightly over 3,000ft above sea level, and to hike to the top, you have to ascend 2,000ft. You MUST register at the base of the hike with the rangers so they will know if you don’t return by the time the sun goes down. There are PLENTY of places to do stupid stuff and fall off the side of the mountain.
The picture to the right is a picture of Table Rock mountain from the other side of the lake at the bottom of the mountain. The white area at the top is where you hike to for the view, but the summit is a little further back in the trees. It’s considered one of the most strenuous hikes in the state, but definitely not THE most strenuous hike (which is also on our list for the year since Erin hasn’t done it yet).
The weather last week had been pretty bad, but on Monday, I checked for the weekend: Sunday’s forecast was 77 degrees and partly sunny. We decided that if the weather held through Saturday, we’d make the trip on Sunday. I talked to my parents about watching the dogs for us because we weren’t sure if the dogs would be able to make the hike, and they said sure.
Well, the weather held through Saturday, so Sunday morning, Erin and I woke up, ate breakfast, packed a lunch and dropped the dogs off with my parents. We then drove over to Table Rock, registered, and were on our way. The start of the hike was nicely paved, with a swimming hole and a couple of small, but pretty, waterfalls. Once we actually got on the trail though, the hike really kicked in. There were more stairs than I’d ever encountered on a hike, and areas were you basically had to climb up the side of a rock with some notches for foot holds. The views were absolutely spectacular, and once we reached the top, we had lunch, enjoyed the view, and took a nap.
The hike back down was just as difficult because climbing down the rocks was a little scary, but Erin and I make a good team, so we got down the mountain together. She’d find the best possible way down and then help me balance. Afterwards, we stopped and got some ice cream before going to my parents’ house for dinner.
The overall experience was extremely enlightening and fulfilling. There were a lot of people who would pass us on the way up, give up, turn around and come back. There were areas where the trail was really hard to see and find, and we got of trail once, but realized it pretty quickly. And the silence. The silence was absolutely amazing. The lack of phone signal for seven hours (because we weren’t in a hurry and wanted to enjoy ourselves) and the quiet of the wind in the trees, the birds… It was absolutely amazing to get away for few hours and just have us, and nothing else. Those moments are absolutely wonderful.
Pictures From the Hike: