My Grandson Lake and I, almost by accident, began taking hikes to waterfalls in the mountains of South Carolina and North Carolina. 


I love the woods.  That’s the term we use in South Carolina.  Not the forest.  Not the jungle.  Not the wilderness.  Not the bush.  Just woods.  I grew up on the last street of the last subdivision in our small South Carolina town with the back of our house bordering the woods.  My big brother and I, with our friends, played war back there in the red clay gullies.  We had pinecone fights.  With the other kids in the neighborhood, we built a field in the woods and played baseball there.  We hiked.  We created bicycle paths.  We found an old still, long abandoned.  Flowers.  Wasp nests.  Mushrooms.  Snakes.  Trees to climb.  Creeks.  Swamp. Turtles.  Wild blueberries.  Wild plums.  Endless variety.


I also love the mountains.  When I was a kid, vacations meant one of two things:  visiting grandparents or going to the mountains of Oconee County, South Carolina, above Walhalla.  Dad had access to a cabin on the Chattooga River (now of Deliverance fame, but unknown in the 1950’s).  We picked blackberries, swam in the river, fished with a cane pole, toted our water from a nearby spring. Hiked.


As an adult with my own family, when I get away from home for vacation or retreat or a college football game, I gravitate toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I like the beach, too, and big cities, and all manner of other travel destinations.  But I love the mountains.


In recent years, Lake has joined me on my hikes in the mountains.  For a 12-year-old boy, a destination is a good thing, so we began hiking to waterfalls, 45 minutes in, 45 minutes out.  Sometimes, we let other folks go with us.  Two waterfalls on Friday and two on Saturday and time with my Grandson make for a very good weekend. 


Categories: Family, Health, Holiday, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Waterfalls

  1. Ray

    Marion, I enjoy your stories (when I get time to read them).
    Ray B.

    • Ray, I’m not much of a story teller. You are way better than I am. But I do like paying attention to the world we live in, and seeing it from my sometimes peculiar point of view. I’m still gonna come out to see you one day. I have never been to the Northwest.

  2. Julie Starnes

    I grew up camping in the mountains and hiking around the Chatooga River with my family. Those are some of my fondest memories!

  3. Terry Wilson

    Your writing takes me back to my childhood and the woods of Converse Circle behind Converse College in Spartanburg. As neighborhood boys we did the same stuff. I can still see the bike trails through the woods and the field for the seasonal sport in the middle of the woods. It must be an instinctual boy blueprint upon our hearts. We smoked rabbit weed and loved muscadines even though their arrival meant the start of school.

    • I had forgotten about muscadines and rabbit tobacco. And we chewed on sour weed, too. It was fun being a kid where and when I was a kid–North Augusta, SC.

  4. We lived in SC, and know the Chattooga well. In fact, we did a bit of backpacking there, and the many small streams in the area are very scenic. When we were hiking there, we could have been the only people on the planet. I kept listening for banjo music. LOL ~James

  5. Bob Shrum

    You’re doing good with this. I love reading it. This last one reminded me of Jeffries Creek Swamp in Florence which was where I played as a young boy and met all the assorted creatures you referred to plus a few. I’m glad you send it out instead of just writing and letting it lie for “whosoever will may come.”

    • Thanks, Bob, especially for the encouraging words about “sending it out,” since I’ve been doing that pretty aggressively. I’ve had a few folks ask me to delete them from my list, but as you can see from all the comments, folks are seeming to appreciate it. Over 9000 views in just a few months. Marion

  6. Pam Gaddy

    I love this area, too. My husband Tom and I spend as much time as we can in this part of the state! Waterfalls, beautiful sunsets, lakes…I love photographing these sights.

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