I visited my 9th SC waterfall the other night. I waited until the last minute again, and had to hike in the twilight. I went to Station Cove Falls, out past the Oconee Station State Historic Site. Apparently there are more trails and a pond and some old buildings, too. If I had more time here, I'd totally check it all out.
It was a half-mile hike both ways to the falls, so a nice evening hike. It started out fairly uneventfully. No other people around, no other cars in the parking area, so I knew I would be alone at the falls. I think the trail ran close to the pond, though. At one point, I could hear something like a quadrillion bullfrogs croaking. I'm pretty sure God stores his frogs there when he's not using them for Biblical plagues.
I hurried along to the falls to try to beat the darkness and avoid getting attacked by an army of frogs. About halfway there, I came to this:
The lower branch was about stomach-high, and there's about 3 feet between the branches. My choices were to go through or under. Well, I chose through. My problem was, I kept picturing huge spiders and nasty bugs getting on me while climbing through, so I tried to make as little contact with the tree as possible. I basically got a running start and Superman-ed my way through, and had to tuck-and-roll on the other side. It worked out better than I expected - I'm still alive. :-P
I hiked a bit farther and came to the falls. I looooved these falls.
It was secluded, but easy to get to. The falls were tall and gorgeous. There was ample room to jump around on the rocks at the base. It was pretty sweet. I poked around for awhile and tried to find some kind of wildlife... well, I got my wish:
I didn't get too close, and we had an understanding. As long as he stayed on his log, we were cool. It was getting dark, though, and I had to head back. Leaving the falls, I saw something odd:
I'm not sure if this is an art installation... a statement of some kind...? Maybe you can listen to the sounds of nature better through the headphones? Was there an audio tour that I didn't know about? I thought about taking them, if for no other reason than to throw them away, but they looked happy there. Who knows, maybe the owner will come back for them.
I got back to my roadblock and went under this time... a much better decision. It got dark quickly in the woods, so by the time I made it back to my car, I could barely see. No bears/wolves/rabid frogs got me, though.
I have one more waterfall to see before I leave. I'll just have to let my parents entertain themselves for a couple of hours some day. I'm only one away from my goal of 10; I can't stop now!
As per tradition, some supremely awkward pictures of me at the falls: