We arrived at Table Rock State Park late on March 7th 2012. Next day, after some breakfast at the camp and some clean-up, we headed to meet Interpreter Roger Scott. Scott welcomed us in a lodge that was build during recession in order to provide people with employment. The lodge was build by Civil Conservation Corps, and later used as hotel located on a hill right next to an artificial lake.
After looking around the lodge for sometime, we went to the other visitor information station where we were scheduled to meet State Park Director, Phil Gaines. Meeting with the Director was one of highlights and “coolest” parts of the trip. The Director started with the history, mentioning how he went to school with African-Americans for the first time when he was bussed from his rural town into into Greenville in the sixth grade. He also discussed segregation in in the State Park system, and how the state closed all parks at one point, rather than desegregate them. Explaining in his Southern accent, early interaction with African American community helped him understand racial discrimination present in the society.
He then moved forward in explaining the finncial challenges the parks in South Carolina are facing especially parks like Table Rock. The state wants the parks to be economically self sufficient, so the parks must generate revenue on their own to manage the parks . However, the Director explained there is more administrative freedom in running self-sustaining parks as suppose to State controlled parks.
The Director further shed light on the structural make-up of the parks in South Carolina and Table Rock. He also suggested us to visit the Green space in Greenville and definitely walk around Main Street. The final destination for the day was Greenville, South Carolina and catching a train to Washington DC.
We took a lunch break after talking to the Director. In the meantime, some students along with Dr. Doug White played Frisbee while Tim Bob napped in the warm sunny day.
After lunch we took a mile long hike up the table Table Rock State Park accompanied by Ranger Scott. As we took this very refreshing and rejuvenating hike we were able to wintness some Dusky Salamanders and Water Snakes along the stream.
Hannah Pankratz, a geology major,looking at the rock structures on a hike to Table Rock. Courtesy: Tim Bob
After the hike were then headed to Greenville South Carolina. On the way to Greenville we also stopped at Caesar’s Head and in Devil’s kitchen.