Sunday, November 9, 2014

Table Rock State Park with the Georgia and South Carolina Trail Dames

This post was originally published on the Trail Dames blog.

Women from both the Georgia and South Carolina chapters of Trail Dames met on a chilly fall weekend for camping, hiking, and bluegrass music at Table Rock State Park in South Carolina.  It was the first joint trip between these two chapters, and it was so much fun I’m sure there will be more in the future.
Dames goofing off. Photo by Wendy.
 Wendy and Julie, who founded the South Carolina Trail Dames chapter at the beginning of this year, greeted everyone in the parking area.  They direct us to the Owl Tree group campsite, only 1/4 mile down the trail and with a lovely view of the lake through the trees.
Jules and Donna show off their winter hammock setups.
 After settling in, the sun set early, as it does this time of year, and we came together around the campfire.  Women who have been with the Georgia Trail Dames chapter since its beginning (7 years ago!) were joined by a few who were brand new to the Dames.  As happens so easily in the outdoors, everyone started sharing stories, exchanging tips, and telling about our past adventures.  Laughter and conversations filled the night air, warming our hearts, even if our backsides remained chilly. 
Around the campfire.
 As the sun came up the next morning, women slowly emerged from tents and hammocks.  The freezing temperatures had provided quite a challenge during the night.  Some had stayed warm, but others hadn’t fared as well. 
Fall color.
We began the day with a 1.8 mile hike on the Carrick Creek Trail.  The fall colors were incredible!  Waterfalls cascaded over rocks covered in brightly colored leaves.  Fallen leaves crunched beneath our feet as we hiked. 
Hopping across the rocks during the hike.
 After the hike, some decided to go out to eat, while others grabbed a picnic lunch and then went to listen to traditional bluegrass music at the lodge in the park.  A few Dames joined in the dancing in the aisles.  What an (interesting cultural) experience! 
Local musicians playing bluegrass music.
Our second morning, the early risers in the group took Pam’s suggestion to watch the sunrise over the lake.  Morning fog rose dramatically over the water and provided a picturesque ending to a fun-filled weekend. 
Donna, Brenda, Joan, Leah, Julie, and Kathy. Photo by Wendy.
On a more personal note...
 I was so glad to spend a wonderful weekend with the Trail Dames. I definitely missed hanging out with these gals.  Some of these women have known me since even before I learned to backpack, and have given me so much support in hiking the PCT.  It was so cool how they'd read my PCT blog and asked me so many questions about my adventures.  Spending time with them out in the woods reminded me just how much they've taught me- especially about how to laugh about everything and how to slow down.  Sure love the Dames!


  1. Thanks for the post. How good it is to laugh with friends!

    1. That's for sure! Nothing else like it!

  2. I love Table Rock SP.
    I took a group of Boy Sciuts there in Sept. We backpacked in to the Bob Cat Creek camp and hiked up Pinnacle Mountain.
    Glad to see you're back on this coast.

    1. Sure is a great park. There were so many trail I didn't get a chance to explore. How cool to take Boy Scouts on a trip up there!