Ahhh it feels good to finally be back to blogging. I was barely home all weekend and then our modem completely died thanks to the lovely daily afternoon thunderstorms. So here I am!
One of my favorite pastimes is hiking. I absolutely love getting outside, being active and surrounding myself with nature. It is also very relaxing. Luckily we don’t live too far from the mountains so it’s easy to make day trips like we did on Saturday.
David and I hadn’t been hiking since the spring, so we were much overdue for a trip. Usually it’s quite unpleasant to hike in the middle of the summer, but we’ve lucked out in Georgia with somewhat cooler temperatures and lots of glorious rain. We packed our water, snacks and weenie dogs and hit the road with our friends Matt and Caitlin.
We decided to go to Table Rock Trail which is in the Northwest part of South Carolina, so it was a good two hour drive. It is an amazing and difficult hike that yields several gorgeous views of never-ending trees spotted with small lakes. I was initially thinking we would go somewhere closer, but realized that Table Rock has the best views so we had to go (David and I went to Table Rock three years ago when we were just dating…see photo below).
Once we finished driving around in circles looking for a Subway, we finally found the beginning of the trail and set off at noon. Everything was going great when we started–the dogs were happy, we were laughing it up, exchanging “hellos” with other hikers and taking short breaks to sip water. After about an hour or so into the hike, dark, ominous clouds began to roll in. We were grateful for the clouds at first because it cooled things down a bit, but then the thunder started rumbling.
Within the next ten minutes, it was MONSOONING. Not only was it pouring, but there was lightning too. Luckily we approached a small pavilion and hung out there “until the storm blew over”… haha yeah right. It literally poured for over an hour and we hiked in it. There was mud EVERYWHERE. The trail was starting to flood and the dogs were shivering because they were both scared of the thunder AND freezing cold from being soaked. We had to scale these huge rocks that were very slippery. I guess I should say that this is not an easy hike when it’s not raining, so it was even harder with it coming down non-stop! There were several moments where I thought to myself, “WHY AM I HERE? WHY AM I DOING THIS? I’D MUCH RATHER BE CURLED UP ON THE COUCH WATCHING NETFLIX!” I kicked these thoughts to the curb and we pressed on. We didn’t drive two hours to turn around and go back!
Once we hit mile four, we realized we made it to the top of the mountain and the rain finally stopped. It was absolutely gorgeous up there. We took several pictures, talked to other hikers and just relaxed for a while. It was nice to finally see the skies clearing–we even saw clouds rolling through the hills below where we were standing (we were over 3,000 feet up). I am so glad we didn’t turn around!
We were relieved when we discovered a somewhat dry trail on the way back. Thank you, Mr. Sunshine! We hiked back down the mountain the remaining four miles and were very thankful for a nice, cool breeze and the sun peeking through the trees.
Since it wasn’t raining anymore, we stopped at several amazing waterfalls and dipped our very sore feet into the ice-cold water. Before we knew it, it was 6:00 p.m. and we finished! I was more than ready to sit in a hot tub with someone massaging my feet at that point…but alas, all I had was the front seat of the car.
It was a great day! I am totally addicted to hiking and can’t wait to go again. Oh and I have to say that if my two dachshunds (15 pounds and 10 pounds) can make this strenuous 8-mile hike with no problems, ANYONE can do it! They did awesome and loved it.