And so it was only two of us left. Chip had to get back to family, and Stephen had to get back to church. Houston and I got up, had a quick breakfast, then packed up the mountain of remaining food and gear into our trucks. At the Devil’s Fork State Park store we checked out and each bought souvenirs. We both bought copies of Claudia Hembree’s “Jocassee Valley” book, and I bought two more stickers for my kayak.
Sometimes after weekend like this it’s nice to step back and do an overview. We decided to do that quite literally. We left the park and headed up Highway 130 toward the Bad Creek Project. We had taken Laura’s mom up here for a picnic sometime back, and it has fantastic views of Lake Jocassee. This time, on our way up, we encountered a family of turkeys.
At the overlook itself we had clear views of the places we had paddled the day before. We could see where the Whitewater River enters the lake, and even had a view of the Lower Falls. We could also see where we had stopped for lunch and other places along our paddle route.
We took a few photos, but were really surprised at how windy and chilly it was. Looking at the ripples on the lake down below, I was glad we were not out paddling today.
From Bad Creek we drove on up across the SC-NC state line and pulled into the Whitewater Falls parking area. We parked the trucks and walked the half mile or so to the falls overlook. Alternating clouds and sunshine cast occasional shadows on the falls, making it perfect for delayed shutter speeds. We stood there taking several shots.
This was the first time I’d had my big Nikon out all weekend. On the paddling trips I had just used my little Fuji waterproof camera. I set up several bracketed shots to do HDR, as well as several panoramic shots of the falls.
We decided to take the steep stairway down to the main overlook. Here the views were similar, but a bit clearer.
The Foothills Trail continues steeply downward from this point, down to the river. However, there were no views of the falls beyond this point. Once I hiked all the way down to the river, and I just remember it being an ordeal. We didn’t attempt that this time. The trek back up the stairs was bad enough. Next too the wooden stairs one could see the remains of the old trail and steps.
Back at our vehicles we realized it was getting late, and we both had places to be. We stopped for a quick bite to eat (despite having truckloads of leftover food), then each headed on back home. It was a great weekend.