Hiking the trail

Trip Start Mar 23, 2009
Trip End Jul 23, 2009

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Monday, May 4, 2009

Raven cliff Falls 
We have moved on from Watereee, not far about 50 miles or so to catch up with a 'new friend' Larry, who has been following our blog. We are continually astounded by the hospitality and friendliness of people that we encounter along the way; hence we find ourselves 'camped' on his driveway with a local tour guide service thrown in! It really does make a difference when you have someone from the area who can give you all the insider knowledge so to speak. Indeed when you have locked your keys in the car (first time ever! I hasten to add) it pays to be on someone's drive and not in a car park, with someone who has suitable 'gadgets' and friends to assist you and not stranded by yourself somewhere. Thanks Larry & Bill. Our first 'excursion' was to a nearby strawberry farm - the pick your own kind, where we probably ate more than the 3 gallons we bought. Larry is a guy who thinks in a way remarkably similar to Malc - Oh look the more we have the cheaper they are!! So we ended up making jam with one of the gallons. Sadly the peaches aren't ready yet. On Saturday we got up early and were out for 7am as our host took us to some beautiful countryside, we paused at Caesars Head State Park where at the 'head' we had stunning views across the Blue Ridge Mts  where they drop about 2000' to the piedmont below. This gave us quite a different perspective than on the Blue Ridge Parkway that have we travelled, which kind of winds along their backbone.

Our intended destination however was Raven Cliff Falls   http://www.alleneasler.com/raven.html which if you have clicked the link you can see are spectacular falls 420' from top to bottom. Now here is where the local knowledge paid dividends, if you hike to look at the falls from below, the look out point is about a mile away from the falls and in Summer when the foliage is on the trees it is barely visible. So we hiked to the top of the falls, well as near as we could get. 
This was a suspension bridge crossing the gorge that the falls rush through, it was just over 4 miles to the bridge through beautiful woodland. Not a straight and level path though! We topped out at about 3100' with steep up and down bits along the way.  It's a popular hike and we met several others, some of them looking as hot as us! We had been advised to wear long trousers as not only is there poisoned ivy along the trail, but possible snakes as well. Everywhere seemed so lush and green, it was lovely. There were a few wild flowers along the path which gave added colour.

We had taken a packed lunch with us, we ate this sitting on the rocks of the falls and it gave us renewed energy for the 4+ mile trek back. Once back at 'Camp on the drive' I took up the offer of a soak in the indoor bath- one luxury that I have come to do without. It was wonderful - without it I probably would not have been able to move at all on Sunday!
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