Sunday, January 17, 2010

Treasure Hunt

Internet search engines can be a great resource to use in finding waterfalls. One such listing motivated me to find Falls Creek in Upstate South Carolina. Follow the dirt road for this distance, park and head downhill, it said. There were no signs on this 1-lane, dirt road. But there was a car parked on the side on the road. The distance was correct, measured carefully with my odometer. Trees everywhere. A sudden drop to the left of the parked car. It was a leap of faith. No obvious signs of anything. But moments after beginning the steep descent, I heard water sounds. To my left and down a slippery slope, a beautiful cascade waited to be photographed. But the ultimate prize was much better, the Web site said. Follow the creek for about a mile, it said. A beautiful waterfalls waits. I believed it. I hiked the forest. No trails. I kept sight of the creek on my left. Thick brush, vines, hills and more. I kept the faith and kept going for about an hour.
Suddenly a man and woman appeared, walking towards me. They had been walking for hours, she said. Nothing, said the woman who had read the same internet posting. They were giving up and going home. I kept going. Nothing. I turned back. Almost an hour into my return, I had a hunch. Go down the slope, hack through the vines, find water. When I reached the stream, I turned a corner. There it was. Maybe not the one that was advertised, but certainly worth the effort.
Pushing through thick rhododendron, the creek expanded into this beautiful waterfalls as it flowed over rocks. Exhausted, I convinced myself that I had arrived at my destination, which was about 200 yards from where my adventure had begun.
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