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Hike to Upper Whitewater Falls Lower Viewing Platform

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Last Satuday, the meetup group Tri-County Adventure group (Hike, Paddle & More!) hosted a meetup to hike from the Duke Energy Bad Creek Foothills Trail access area to the lower viewing platform for Upper Whitewater Falls, a distance of about 3 and a half miles. I didn't take that many photos on this trip, so I will mix in some photos from my last visit in June 2018. Just mentally erase some of the greenery and pretend they were taken in December.

The day was cloudy cold with freezing rain in the forecast that evening. As we gathered in the parking area, a snow and sleet shower passed by. I've already met some of these people, others were new to me.

This is what the parking area looked like back in June:
Last time I was here I hiked to the Lower Whitewater Falls viewing platform. Part of the way was the same as in last June, just with no leaves:
This time instead of turning down the spur trail to the viewing platform like I did in June, we continued on Foothills Trail:
Part…

Raines Mill and the Waterfalls of Fall Creek

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The recent all-too-frequent wet weather relented for a few days last week finally allowing me a chance to visit an old grist mill on my to-visit list for some time now, Raines Mill on Fall Creek in western Oconee County, South Carolina. This one made my list because of the large waterwheel and for a number of small waterfalls located upstream on Fall Creek.

I made my way there by turning off U.S. 76 on to Chattooga Ridge Road then on to Fall Creek Road. I parked by a pull off...
and walked down the road, passing by the gated road leading to the mill, to turn down an ungated road...
I didn't want to take my car down that road in case it couldn't make it through a muddy area, like this one...
I passed by the ruins of a concrete block building...
then I wandered around exploring the mill and the waterfalls.
Raines Mill and Upstream Waterfalls Raines Mill was built around 1914 by Luther Henry Raines (1887-1970), a preacher and leader of Long Creek Academy from 1914 to 1956. The …

Apple Country Tour: 2018 Edition

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About a month ago, I made my annual trek up to Henderson County, North Carolina to buy some apples and do a bit of exploring along the way. This year, much like my recent trip to Renno, I decided to revisit some of the places I've been to before to see what, if anything, has changed.
Staton's Grocery Staton's Grocery is located just south of Tuxedo on N.C. 225 (Old U.S. 25) near the intersection with Green River Road. The store was built in 1920 by Ulysses Staton who also operated the store until his death. His wife, Effie, then operated the store until her death in 1981. The building later used as an antiques store, but is currently unoccupied. My first visit here was in 2012, and looks much the same except the Dr. Pepper sign once above the left window is now gone.
Tuxedo Community Store Continuing up N.C. 225, the old Tuxedo Community Store building sits across the street from where the Tuxedo's textile mill once stood (now the site of Tuxedo Park). This building o…