Fun for me is Scuba Diving. Combined with a road trip is double the fun!
I just returned from a trip to Lake Jocassee in South Carolina. If you have never been here, this is the area that was shown in the 1972 movie, Deliverance . My dive buddy and I booked our dive through Lake Jocassee Dive Shop.
I drove from Alabama to meet up with my dive buddy in Macon, Georgia. She moved into a new house last year and this has been the first time I got to visit her. Her house is beautiful!!! I could go on and on but your here to read about the trip. Well…….my friend, with this beautiful house has an unwanted PET! We have named it …. well, I won’t say. Let’s call him Crazy bird! I spent an hour before we left trying to get a good photo of this bird because I just wasn’t convinced it was a Cardinal. But in researching, it’s the best I can come up with too. But the poor thing is one ugly Cardinal, and a bit on the crazy side. Every day, several times a day, he bangs on the windows. She’s done several humane things to get him to change his behavior but nothing has worked so far. But she continues to try. The newest idea is to put the bird feeder back up in hopes that some other, bigger bird comes and as she says “kicks his ass”!.
Please don’t think my friend is a bad person. It’s just that this bird is relentless. I feel bad for the bird because I really do think something is wrong with it. It is constantly banging itself on the windows. All of the windows on the back side of the house!
This is “crazy bird”:,
Back to our trip: We arrived on Thursday evening and booked a room at Walhalla Motel about 15 minutes away from the dive shop. I’ll say this for the motel, it was clean and reasonably priced. The staff was very nice and offered us bottled water when we arrived and checked in. The beds were very comfortable.
It rained for a bit on Friday. There isn’t a lot in Walhalla to do (with the exception of hiking and the state park) but we did eat at several places while we were there which were good. The hotel itself is an older Motor Lodge type place. It’s old and in need of some repairs and paint. But it wasn’t bad. I’ve stayed at worse. As divers, we like to take lots of trips so that means that we don’t always stay at the nicest places, but look for affordable accommodations.
That evening, after arriving, we went and found food, and ate while the room cooled off. The AC was not turned on in the room when we arrived so it was rather “toasty” to say the least. August in the South is hot! So we went in search of some water falls. We had a “guide” book to direct us. Let’s say that this guide book’s directions isn’t the most accurate. Through out the weekend we attempted to locate about 8 water falls and we actually saw two. We saw three if you count the river we found which wasn’t in the guide book.
The worse part of the stay at this particular motel (through no fault of the motel) was on Friday night, the person, or persons in the room right next to us decided to start tapping on the walls. The walls are obviously very thin as we could hear a man talking, as well as the TV was on. At 2 am in the morning this was going on! It went on for over 45 minutes. Eventually we had to call the front desk as it was keeping he/she was keeping us awake! I guess they couldn’t sleep and wanted the rest of us to be awake as well!
This could be why so many were hard to find.
Trying to find the waterfalls became a big quest for us, and we had both seen the movie Deliverance, we often found ourselves imagining that we were hearing banjo music. We would follow a train for a considerable amount of time without ever finding the falls. Sometimes we could hear the water but just simply couldn’t find the falls. These were only during the times we would try to follow the foothill trails and the guide book’s directions.
We never did find Licklog & Pigpen Falls. We just kept driving and driving down a gravel road until we eventually gave up. There were no signs up for directions other than the first sign indicating it was supposed to be down a certain road. We must have traveled that road for miles and that banjo music was playing pretty loud in our minds right about then. The directions we had were not like the ones listed in the above link which seem a little clearer. I found an internet photo of Licklog and Pigpen falls. Really wish we had found it. It looks beautiful!
Friday we toured the town of Seneca, SC. This is a quaint, small town near the mountains of SC with a lot of historical buildings. We ate lunch at a very nice, old fashioned, tea house sort of place called Circa 1930. If you are ever in the area you need to stop by this place. Their chicken salad sandwich is amazing!
Friday evening we listened to some Blue Grass music at the Silver dollar Music Hall in Long Creek SC.
Saturday morning we headed for our dive!
Both dives were about 45 minutes each, with a max depth of 61 feet. The water temperature was 74 degrees. Both dives were done in the same place. I would have liked to have dove somewhere else one dive but hey, it was all new to me.
A brief description of Lake Jocassee: In the early 1970’s this valley was flooded by the Duke Power plant in order to expand their services. There are several natural springs and rivers which run into this area. What was once a valley, is now a 7,500 acre man made lake with depths of at least 300 feet in some areas. We only dove a very small portion of it which has been made into an area for divers. There was lots of boat traffic and it looks like a great place to fish and just hang out in a boat and have fun.
Remember, we came to scuba dive. The hiking and looking for water falls was not the priority so we weren’t as prepared as we would have been if we had gone solely for this purpose. If I ever get the chance to come back this way I will be more prepared to find all the waterfalls.