Event 1: Hiking the Tennessee Rock Trail @Black Rock Mountain State Park


Today we headed to Black Rock Mountain State Park from Atlanta, Georgia. It typically takes 2 hrs., so it’s going to be boring. When we got there, we switched into our hiking boots(I really recommend doing this). First, we made a quick stop at the visitors’ center.  The view from the visitors’ center overlook is already great:


We then decided to hike the Tennessee Rock Trail. It is a 2 miles and a ‘more difficult’ trail so I don’t recommend bringing little kids. The views from the trail is even better:


Along the trail were some really pretty flora (plants). Here’s some examples:


We felt pretty tired so we rested a bit and headed toward our next stop.

IMAG6744<— Continental Divide

Event 2: Gemstone panning @ Rose Creek Mine


We arrived at Rose Creek Mine after like, 20 min. of driving (It’s was like in the middle of nowhere!). There was already somewhat a lot of people. The owners greeted us with a lot of kindness and guided us through. First we had to dig our own buckets.


We then panned and found lots of cool stuff (most of it was dried mud rocks). So cool! We got really muddy and dirty.


At the end, you would take the gems and rocks you found up to the owners and they would tell you the names of the gems.

Then we had dinner at Cafe Rel, a famous local restaurant(but next to a gas station!?). It was very Italian&French-ish. Although the alfredo pasta I ordered was okay, the food was very nice. The chocolate cake was AMAZING.


Event 3: Visiting Waterfalls in the Nantahala National Forest


We headed towards Highlands, NC. We started to drive onto a curvy, scenic road. We past by Cullasaja Falls. It was amazing but we did not have a chance to take a picture.  We stopped by Dry Falls. What to do with a waterfall if it is dry? Turns out it is not a dried waterfall. In fact, it named after that you can walk by without getting wet. It was fun to walk under it, but we still got a little bit wet somehow.


The next waterfall we saw was Bridal Veil Falls. It was small and unimpressive. But your car could drive under it!


Event 4: Hiking up Whiteside Mountain


Whiteside Mountain was named for its ‘white side’, which is the highest cliff on the east north America. In fact, it is already taller than the highest point in Georgia, Brasstown Bald. The trail to the top was covered with sparkly rocks and tiny streams. The view at the top was amazing.


I could see the white cliff of the mountain from the top as we hiked. Meanwhile, I found a lot of small, separate, difficult trails. They maybe for advanced rock climbers. We finished at our trailhead and exhausted.

Event 5: Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel


The tunnel was originally mined for a new route of the Blue Ridge Railroad to go from Charleston to Ohio. It stopped because the state of South Carolina had already spent one million dollars on the project so they did not want to pay any more.


We went inside and saw that the other half was blocked because the rock on top was not stable. Later, we stopped by the nearby Clemson University to take a walk.


Event 6: World of Energy @ Oconee Nuclear Station


This was the last stop before we headed home! World of Energy was located by Oconee Nuclear Station which was on Lake Keowee. This plant was controlled by Duke Energy.


The place told us about the plant and there was a map to show us where all the nuclear plants were in the world.


It was very interactive. If you wanted to see a video, you’d press your hand on the handprint. There was games that would teach you about electrons, electricity and getting exposed to radiation. It was soooo cool!


IMAG6915<– Plasma globe

Before leaving the area, we stopped by a ice cream shop called ‘55 Exchange. It was located in Clemson’s Hendrick Student Center because was created by the Class of 1955! The ice cream was soooo good!