Dead Man's Hill

The word 'snow' invokes a rainbow of emotion from anger and intense irritation to irrational joy and elation. I would say I find myself on the latter end of the spectrum.

Living in the Upstate of South Carolina has given me the ability to appreciate every season and all the intricacies of each change. Although summer does tend to run a little long (climbing to high humidity and temperatures by mid April and finally cooling down around late October or early November), I'm ready for it's arrival every year. Around March I start to long for the warm rays of the sun (as I typed that my mind wandered to my early years, laying on the warm concrete beside my grandparents pool, drip drying in the hot sun), but by September i'm ready for cool breezes in between the furnace-like gusts. 

Growing up along the Blue Ridge Parkway made Autumn the most gorgeous time of year. Sprinkled with hikes, day trips into the mountains, camping trips, street football games, soccer, and homemade potato soup, Autumn easily became my favorite time of year. It still holds the special Favorite Time of the Year spot in my heart.

By the time winter actually rolls around for it's incredibly short tenure though, it's safe to say i'm ready to see a little white on the ground and rooftops. Generally we only get to see snow once or twice a year, so its presence is highly anticipated. 

Growing up we lived in a couple different houses, but the one with the most memorable sledding experiences was located next to Dead Man's Hill. Legend has it that a man was running from something (different things have become the entity of terror) and lost control on the way down the hill, smashing into the trees at the bottom of the hill which killed him instantly.

I'm not even kidding. You think I'm joking, but the legend has been told by locals for many years, earning the hill its morbid, pirate-like name. It's also known as The Hill, The Wall, and by its formal title, Selwyn Drive.

It's a monstrosity. At least to a fifteen year old. But even adults don't dare drive on [walk up, run down, slide down, look at] or near it during one of the South's famous icemageddons.

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Icemageddon

  • Wherein ice covers everything, coating flat surfaces like roads and sidewalks with it's slick and impenetrable solidness, and where trees are so weighed down by this heavy substance that their limbs break and crush power lines and roofs alike, causing power outages,  accidents galore, food shortages, and general chaos. 

Yes i'm aware that was a giant run-on sentence. 

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During a snow day (usually qualified by anywhere from 0.5-6" of a snow/ice combo), crowds of people start at the top of Dead Man's Hill and make their way down using any method conceivable. Temporary camaraderies are mysteriously built by neighbors who wouldn't ordinarily see or talk to one another and by 'outsiders' who've come to join in the fun. People bring food and swap stories of their journeys to make it to The Hill. Some people drive or walk from several miles away to make it to this sweet sledding spot. The Hill is definitely one of Greenville's best kept secrets, and one of my favorite memories of snow days.

Out of all my memories though, my favorite snow day memories seem to settle around my friends and family. In most of my memories there is a fire in the fireplace, wet clothes and accessories dripping on the fire-screen as they dry/toast, lots of red noses and hands, and a crowded living room and kitchen full of people, laughter, and comfort food [insert 'homemade cinnamon rolls' here]. Friends were never in short supply at our house during a snow day, and my parents hospitality made it a joy for us to have them there. 

So yes, i'm hoping for snow and even ice this week. I'm hoping for a lot of it. I'm fine with saying i'm a southern girl who doesn't see much snow. I'm happy to be that person who gets excited over snow flurries and sleet, even if it doesn't stick. 

In my mind, snow equals family, love, and laughter. And I couldn't be happier about that prospect.

Bring on the snow!

  Snow is magical and hides in freezers sometimes. 

Snow is magical and hides in freezers sometimes. 

  Searching for snow with comrades a few years back. We found this patch and delighted in it. 

Searching for snow with comrades a few years back. We found this patch and delighted in it. 

  Part of my family at the top of Dead Man's Hill. This was a particularly memorable and snowy year as we got almost 8". However most of what you're seeing is ice.

Part of my family at the top of Dead Man's Hill. This was a particularly memorable and snowy year as we got almost 8". However most of what you're seeing is ice.

  Looking down Dead Man's Hill from quite a ways back. Getting too close to the edge would result in sliding snowboard-style (but much less gracefully) all the way to the bottom. Note: most of the the whiteness you see on the ground is not actually snow, but ice. 

Looking down Dead Man's Hill from quite a ways back. Getting too close to the edge would result in sliding snowboard-style (but much less gracefully) all the way to the bottom. Note: most of the the whiteness you see on the ground is not actually snow, but ice. 

 

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And lastly, taken this evening on our obligatory pre-blizzard wheat+dairy products run, this photo essay was composed to show how we feel about the sudden need for bread in people's lives [confused, curious, scared, hurt]

Leslie LoweComment