This morning I got up at the same time I usually do on weekdays – 5:30 am. That’s ridiculous for a Saturday of a long weekend, but I had a goal. I wanted to capture sunrise of the Piedmont from Bald Rock.
Primed with coffee and a biscuit from McDee’s, I drove straight up to the rock. Along the way I looked for spots where morning mists might gather. These might be good spots to shoot on the way down. With the delay for finding breakfast, it took about 45 minutes to reach my goal, at about 6:45.
Located on highway 276 on the way up to Caesar’s Head, the Bald Rock outcrop was a regular stopping place for a view of the Piedmont when I was growing up. It’s also been a favorite hang-out on Friday nights, and the location has always been plagued with litter, broken glass, and graffiti. To counteract this, the entire area has been designated as a Natural Heritage Preserve. However, traditions die hard. Even with signs in place, I saw very recent graffiti, and the new bridge installed by DNR had spray paint all over it.
I unloaded my gear and a folding chair, then walked down the rock for a good spot to wait for the sun. I tried shooting a panorama of the area, but have so far been unable to stitch the various shots together. If I got time, I’ll try again and post them. Soon, though the sun was breaking over the ridges. I just kept snapping away.
From Bald Rock I had planned a leisurly route back. Houston was supposed to join me mid-morning for more photography, so I couldn’t dally too long. First I stopped at Wildcat Wayside, which was right on the way back, and took a couple of shots of the little waterfall there.
I decided I had just enough time to run over to Jones Gap State Park and get some shots in the early morning light. By this time I really was running short on time, so I shot a few pictures of the Saluda River, then headed home.