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.
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.
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.
As the sun came up, 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.
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.
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 experience!
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.
This post was contributed by Joan West, who has been a Georgia Trail Dame since 2009 and leads wildflower hikes and beginner backpacking trips. She writes about her hiking adventures on on her blog, Rambling Hemlock.