Anyone who’s a gardener or a naturalist knows the Earth is a great restorer. I hadn’t forgotten this fact, but it had been a long time since I’d taken advantage of it. My too busy work and travel schedule, plus the joy of a new grandbaby, had kept me tied to the computer and on the highway (or skyway), and while it’s all been good (very good, in fact), I admit to more than a few anxious days and restless nights.
But not this weekend. After months of planning, the Upstate MN group welcomed Master Naturalists from across South Carolina to the Clemson Outdoor Lab for “Connecting People with Nature,” a conference of hikes, workshops, and speakers, as well as a big dose of fun.
For me, it was also a restoration; a chance to immerse myself in the natural world and revisit the Navajo concept of Walking in Beauty. Though more complicated than can be fully articulated here, the Navajo philosophy—Hozho–encompasses beauty, order, and harmony, and expresses the idea of striving for balance.
Who wouldn’t feel better after spending the weekend relishing these natural wonders?
The weather was picture perfect all weekend. And because we’ve had a good measure of rain this spring, the waterfalls were magnificent.
Both Station Cove Falls and Yellow Branch Falls are located within Sumter National Forest. The 30-minute trial to Station Cove Falls, a stepped 60-foot waterfall, is rated easy. The 60-minute trail to Yellow Branch Falls, a 50-foot tall and 75-feet wide cascade, crosses Yellow Branch Creek three times and is rated moderate. More information about these trails, and many others, can be obtained from the SC State Trails Program.