PICKENS COUNTY — Perhaps you’ve noticed them … Strolling through downtown Pickens, piled around a garden in Liberty, tucked away in the bushes in front of Easley’s City Hall. They’re popping up all over the place and you’re never quite sure where they come from — but they’re there. Painted rocks.
“Pickens County Rocks” is the newest trend to hit the Upstate, and it’s got all the kids hunting down, collecting, and re-hiding their favorite ones.
So, what is it? Well, the short answer is it’s just what it sound like: rocks.
The idea is simple: You take some smooth garden stones, paint them with whatever you like and hide them around town. People who find them have three options: they can keep them, they can leave them for the next person, or they can re-hide them in a new location.
Most people will write a date and location on the back so you can see how far the stones have traveled.
And travel they do.
One rock found behind Joe’s Ice Cream Parlor had “Austin TX. 2016” written on the back, another, found in Six Mile, was stamped “Maryland.”
“There really aren’t any rules with this, it’s kind of like that old website ‘Where’s George’ where you can track how far a one dollar bill has traveled,” said Tim Graves of Pickens. “There’s a Facebook group where people post pictures of the rocks they’ve painted and clues on where to find them. I saw one lady on there was about to head off on vacation and she was going to take a bunch of the Pickens County rocks down to Florida and hide them around down there.”
Graves’ 7-year-old daughter, Emily, said for the most part she re-hides them but she found one painted like a ladybug that she decided to keep.
“It’s a yellow ladybug and it had a pink bow,” she said. “I didn’t want to put it back outside.”
There’s options for that too: “I know there aren’t like any ‘official’ rules to this thing but I think the general idea is that if you decide to keep one — that’s fine — but you should try to paint a new rock to replace it. So we’re going to the library.”
The Easley branch of the Pickens County Library is holding a rock painting party on this Friday, July 14, at 10:30 a.m.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.