Autumn is slowly nudging summer aside in these parts, and she can’t take center stage too quickly for me. It’s a gorgeously overcast 70 degrees right now, and we have windows flung open and purring kitties all over the place. It’s all quite cozy.
Ben took a wonderful three-day weekend and has just gone back to work today. Yesterday, though, was set aside for an adventure. For months now, The Boy has been begging to see a waterfall, and since we live about an hour’s drive from a dozen or so, we decided to make it happen. After a bit of research, we settled on Lower Whitewater Falls in the Jocassee Gorges.
Our trip took us past some of my favorite parts of the Upcountry, including this quintessential view of Table Rock.
The Lower Whitewater trailhead is accessed through a Duke Energy hydroelectric plant, and there was not another car in the parking lot or another hiker on the trail. I’ve seen enough “Most Dangerous Game”-inspired shows that this was slightly disconcerting for me, but it was also incredible to have the entire mountain to ourselves. And I’m happy to report that no arrows came zinging from the surrounding woods.
It was a beautiful, clear day to be in the mountains. The trail was about 2.5 miles each way instead of the 1.7 miles promised by Google, but The Boy was quite a trooper and hiked the whole thing with a firm grip on Daddy’s hand. I carried The Baby in the Ergo and was once again so grateful for how comfortable the thing is. He slept for a good bit of the hike.
We crossed the Whitewater River just over half a mile from the car park. It’s a beautiful, peaceful spot, but the number of large trees that have obviously been washed down from upriver to settle near the footbridges makes it clear that you wouldn’t want to be around when the water is high!
And finally, almost two miles later, we reached the viewing platform! The Boy was a bit disappointed because he thought he would actually be able to touch the waterfall, but he was still excited about seeing it.
With only the distant roar of the waterfall and the sound of birds, it was easy to imagine that there was no outside world waiting for us just a few miles away.
The hike back was much harder, but felt shorter. Funny how that works.
The Boy was mostly excited about getting back to the bridges and talked the whole way about his plan to shout “Bridge, ahoy!” when he saw them. A few times when we stopped for water breaks, he crouched down and proclaimed that he “couldn’t walk another step,” but he kept going. The bridges were waiting to be hailed, after all!
Then we were headed home, full of fresh air and memories, and grateful once again for the beautiful corner of the world that we call home.