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Kerosene
09-07-2002, 20:25
What are some of the places on the Trail that are special to you, even though they may not be special enough in their own right to merit a separate thread?

Please describe the location and what made it especially memorable to you (the season, the view, your companion, an unusual event, etc.).


Here's an example: Little Dam Lake in southern New York.

The lake is relatively small and not especially notable, although the Trail winds around the lake for a mile or so and there is a fairly big, pine-covered island only 30 yards from land. I walked by here on a day hike the day after Christmas in 2000. It had been pretty cold for awhile and had snowed the night before, leaving 2-3 inches on the ground. I had started at NY-17 an hour earlier on a sunny 20-degree morning, climbing the ice face of Agony Grind, and had not seen anyone yet (and only 3 people all day). Little Dam Lake was frozen over, and you could see animal tracks in the light snow atop the frozen channel to the island. I really wanted to walk over to the island, but I was alone and it hadn't been that cold, so I just stood awhile and took in the view, watching the wind whisk the fluffy snow across the smooth ice of the lake.

If it's not obvious, I love brisk weather (I grew up in New England); especially on a sunny day when no one is around.

Dan Bowen
09-25-2002, 18:46
Not sure if this is exactly what you wanted.But,way back when I was in 7th grade (13 years old ?),I had a science teacher that took me and 7 other classmates on a 4 day camping trip.We hiked from Mt Everett in Mass. to the town of Salisbury Ct,on the AT.Not many miles ,but it was our first time overnite camping.What fun!He took me on that trip two years in a row.Then when I was 28 I did the same spot with my best friend,we hiked that location ever year for a week each summer for 6 years.Life took us both in differant ways for a few years.This summer we got together and hiked at same spot.It brought back so many memories.Both of when I was a school kid ,and of our past times.I've hike alot of differant places and am planning a thru-hike for spring04,but that spot will allways be special to me.I will never forget the lessons I learned camping at Sages Ravine.I think I'll write my old science teacher and thank him.

EarlyRiser
09-25-2002, 20:34
one of my memorable spots would have to be on a trail near Big Meadows in SNP theres a waterfall down there and we were camping not to far away and it had been a very stressfull long day and one of the members in the group i was with a) wasnt wearing proper footgear b)didnt really want to be there cause she didnt really understand what she was getting into c) had blisters all over her feet and d) had gotten lost with another member and so hiked an aditional seven miles more than the fifteen we had already done taht day. so needless to say we were all not in the best of spirits but there was a beautiful sunset and we all just kind of sat around and talked and i really found out a lot about myself. i really saw who i was and its changed me ever sense. ill never forget that site.

chris
09-26-2002, 08:57
A bear hanging out with me (alone) at Spence Field in the Smokys for a half an hour while he ate one of my 11 trail day old socks and I drank bourbon.

Jumpstart
09-26-2002, 21:01
Galehead Hut, NH is one of my most memorable AT spots, because it was there in the year 2001 that we met a thru-hiker who was passing through on his way to Maine, while we were hiking over the weekend. It was after talking to him that I realized that my thru-hike was less than a year away, and I couldn't wait to get back and stadn in that spot, and tell someone else about MY thru-hike. Full-circle I guess!

Singletrack
10-11-2002, 18:07
I would have to say that Mahoosuc Notch in Maine is one of my most memorable places on the Trail. Being known as the toughest mile on the AT, had me concerned. But hiking out of Gorham with me was a new hiking mate, named Keil. I was glad to have someone go through the Notch with me. It is a beautiful gorge, less the sunlight, with boulder after boulder the size of cars and houses. We could rock hop some of them ( long legs help) but most had to be pulled up, slid down, or squeezed through. Down in the crecices was ice that had been there for awhile. It was quiet a workout, though not as hard as people predict. It was fun and beautiful.

Lone Wolf
02-06-2003, 17:29
Cheoh Bald. As you leave Wesser stop at Sassafras shelter, get water and go on the extra mile to the bald and camp. (weather permitting of course) One of the best sunsets on the AT is there. Also great views back south and west. I've camped there at least 10 times. One of my favorite places.

Kerosene
05-24-2003, 09:55
Thought I'd try to restart this thread...

Memorable Scenes along the Trail
What are some of the places on the Trail that are special to you, even though they may not be special enough in their own right to merit a separate thread?

Please describe the location and what made it especially memorable to you (the season, the view, your companion, an unusual event, etc.).

See the first post for a short example.

Lugnut
05-25-2003, 00:16
Nick Grindstaf's fireplace. It was a somber reminder that we are all just passing through.

Kerosene
05-25-2003, 13:19
What is Grindstaf's fireplace, where is it located, and what's the story behind it?

U-BOLT
05-26-2003, 05:07
Grindstaf had thru-hiked the A.T. in the 1960s and quietly took in a few hikers every now and then at his home near the trail in Pennsylvania. His home was made of timber from the area and it had a huge, wide stone fireplace that could warm a body and cheer the soul on a cold evening.

In 1987 a local hiker died on the A.T. in New Hampshire, and since the family believed in cremation and thought highly of Grindstaf, they let him do the honors. He cremated the body and the family decided to let him keep the ashes, in the spirit of their son's love of hiking. Grindstaf placed the ashes in an earthen jar carved from a rock on the Pennsylvania A.T. and placed it on the fireplace.

We passed by Grindstaf's place going SOBO a few years ago and he invited us in on a cold evening. After a generous dinner and some bourbon I commented on the container sitting on the fireplace, and he told us the story. It was a sober reminder that we're all just passing through.

Lugnut
05-26-2003, 09:58
Huh ?:confused:

jlb2012
05-26-2003, 13:51
I think U-Bolt must be thinking of a different person - a bit south of Damascus is the grave of a hermit - see link for picture of grave stone : Nick Grindstaff's Grave Stone (http://trailjournals.com/photos.cfm?id=2998)

Lugnut
05-27-2003, 00:16
I think U-Bolt is from Glenview, Illinois! :D

hikerat2002
05-27-2003, 09:40
A memorable spot is the Bald Pate section of Maine. The ex-foliated rock and difficult grade of trail there makes you think of another time and place. That is the lure of the AT. It goes through varied sections of land and solitude.

U-BOLT
05-28-2003, 19:09
U-BOLT is not from Illinois.

Kerosene
10-09-2003, 20:09
Thought I'd try to resurface this thread (again)...

Blister
10-31-2003, 19:08
I have two really memorable stories. The first was either in 98 or 99. I was doing a section with two thru hikers Hooper and Joker. I gave Hooper a ride back to RT 2 in Mass where he left off after trail days. I remet up with him up at the Long Trail Inn where we all hiked North together. After the Inn, you hit a campground and then cross 100 before skirting around a lake of which the name has left my brain. On the way to the lake, Hooper fell down and rolled onto his pack clutching his stomach. I really thought something was wrong. As I rushed up to see what was the matter, he had fallen down laughing. Just ahead was the perfectly sized rock for a man to stand on while his female associate was giving a better blow job than I have ever given. She did not have to kneel - but stand and do her deed. We kept the laughter in and crawled back a little ways on the trail for a saftey meeting while the folks finished up. On there way by, the man asked how's it goin with a grin. Our reply - Alot better for you than us, giggle giggle, giggle. He had seen us however the woman never did.
I'll leave the other story for an interesting wildlife sighting forum

Footslogger
10-31-2003, 20:02
There's a tiny little shelter after McQeen's Gap, just before you get to the Abingdon Gap Shelter near Damascus, VA. I would imagine that it was once a listed shelter on the AT. It appears now however to be pretty much in ruin but has a lot of character and charisma.

I stopped there on my thru this year for a break and took several pictures of the structure. I coudn't help but think that in the next few years it will either be torn down or fall down on it's own.

MadAussieInLondon
12-26-2003, 16:44
i know somehwere along the trail is some historic civil war graves? anyone know where exactly this POI is located?? i googled and got cold spring mountain? i assume there is more than one.. the companion book doesnt list points of interest, so i wanna jot notes into my companion to keep my eye out... rather than walk straight past and not know!!

Kerosene
12-26-2003, 18:06
Blister refers to Gifford Woods State Park as the campground, with Kent Pond just across VT-100 to the north. I'll keep my eye out for the rock next time I'm in the vicinity with the appropriate companion!

Patco
01-03-2004, 13:37
The longhorn cattle just south of Elk Park. Sausage jogging with full pack. The zillions of spring beauties climbing Big Bald northbound. Ice in the trees at Newfound Gap. Partnership shelter. Deer and horses in wide-open Grayson Highlands. The breakfast table at Lazy Fox Inn, Damascus. (enough daydreaming - I'm hungry)

Jack Tarlin
01-03-2004, 17:04
Mad Aussie---

I think you're asking about the Shelton Graves, which are loctated directly on the Trail between Jerry Cabin Shelter and Flint Shelter, a few days north of Hot Springs.

The Sheltons, though local, chose to fight for the North (as did a surprising number of folks in Western North Carolina). They came home during the war for a family reunion and were ambushed and killed, probably by people they knew well. A young 13-year old relative was killed as well.

The graves are immediately to the right of the Trail, and I always stop there for awhile. One interesting thing....the date of death on one of the grave markers is 1 July 1863, which coincidentally was also the first day of Gettsyburg, a day when hundreds of other brave men from North Carolina also fell. There's a marker on the Gettysburg field at the Pickett's Charge "High Water" mark which indicates that the North Carolina men advanced further than any others on July the third.

Incidentally, Aussie, there are lots of other war sites on or near the Trail, if you're interested. Here are a few:

1. The Chattanoga/Lookout Mountain battlefield is very close to Springer

2. The Trail comes very close to Lexington, Virginia. Things to see there are the Virginia Military Institute, Stonewall Jackson's House, and the the graves of General Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Lee's family

3. The museum at the New Market Battlefield (on Rt 81 not far off the Trail) is one of the finest civil war museums in the country.

4. There are a lot of Confederate graves in the cemetery at Front Royal, Virginia, including a monument to seven of Colonel John Singleton Mosby's men who were illegally executed by none other than George Armstrong Custer.

5. There's a ton of stuff to see in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, which is definitely worth a day off or two

6. If you can find a ride, the Sharpsburg (or Antietam battlefield) is very close to Harper's Ferry and is a remarkable place to visit. The battle at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862 was the bloodiest single day in American history.

7. In Maryland, the Trail goes right thru a battlefield at Crampton Gap, and later goes right past memorial markers to the death sites of two generals, one from the North and one from the South.

8. The Gettysburg field is maybe 13 miles or less due east from the Trail crossing at Rt. 30 in Pennsylvania (Caledonia State Park). It's an easy hitch and is a must stop; give yourself at least a day as the museum alone will occupy you for hours.

I'm probably forgetting a few others, but these are the ones that come immediately to mind.

MOWGLI
01-03-2004, 19:08
One of the most memorable places for me along the trail, was the Paper Birch stand on the backside of Pico Peak in Vermont. It's a few miles north of Killington.

When I went through there in 2000, the trail was fairly new as a relo had been recently cut. It was foggy and rainy, and I was towards the end of a 20 mile day. The forest, as I recall, had dense mats of moss, a profusion of Wood Sorel in bloom, and a pure stand of Paper Birch. I kind of expected a Forest Gnome to come out from behind a tree and kick me in the shins. Just magnificent!

The forest atop Unaka Mountain in Tennessee is another gem of a place. It's beautiful, and it's got a great "feel" to it, if ya know what I mean. For those not familiar, it's a short day's hike (12 miles or so) north of Erwin, TN.

screwysquirrel
01-04-2004, 00:32
Gulf Hagas in maine is a spectacular place.

Flatpicker
01-04-2004, 11:04
i know somehwere along the trail is some historic civil war graves? anyone know where exactly this POI is

According to the Tenn/NC AT Guide book the Cold Spring Mountain is 5.2 miles from Devils Fork Gap and the stones are visible from the trail. These were soilders who lived here in the south but fought for the north. They were killed when they came home to see their family.

There may be others along the trail but these are the ones located at Cold Spring Mountain.

bearbait2k4
01-28-2004, 02:29
Most of the memorable spots on the trail were due to weather, company, and personal struggles for me.

My first memorable spot was Cowrock Mountain. I left Neels Gap in the afternoon, after being reunited with my water filter that I had left at Woods Hole, after some rainy weather. The forecast called for storms in the a.m., and clear skies at night. I was still a novice to everything, especially mountain weather, and thought I was in the clear. After checking out the pack covers at Walasi-Yi, I decided that I could find a cheaper one down the road, and headed out. Half an hour into the hike, it started raining. No big deal, I thought, I had rain gear. It then started storming. Walking through the rain wasn’t so bad, except that my pack was getting soaked. It grew heavier by the step. Eventually, when night fell, I stopped to find a spot to camp for the night. My hopes were to get to Whitley Gap, but I had no idea where I was, or how much longer it would have taken, so I called it a day. The temperature had dropped drastically, and I was soaked to the bone. Even worse, all of my gear was as well, including sleeping bag, and this particular spot as not the smartest of places to pitch tent. A High, exposed bald, with no relief from the whipping winds and weather. Anyway, after pitching my tent, and trying desperately to hang my food (the fog was so thick, I could barely see a foot in front of me, and the wind was ridiculous), I crawled into my rain-soaked sleeping bag, and felt miserable. It was freezing, and everything I had was soaked. I then remembered my trusty emergency blanket, and wrapped up in it. It kept me warm, but the wind and rain all night kept me awake. I got up the next morning, looked over, and saw my food bag hanging 3 feet from the ground. It just made me laugh. After trying to dry out, and packing up, I realized that, during the hiking the night before, I had wandered off the trail. It was a good thing I decided to stop there and camp, instead of trying to push on! Nonetheless, there was no view to be had, but the fog-laden surroundings provided for an eerily beautiful scene.

The second memorable spot was the walk up Clingman’s Dome. It was the first sunny day in a week, and the views were stunning. Not too long after that, we hit Charlie’s Bunyon. The day was gorgeous, and I took my first step in overcoming my fear of heights.

Another great spot was a pivotal point for me. I was walking on an injured knee, and it had gotten to be almost unbearable. We left Applehouse Shelter, and planned to hit Moreland Gap at the end of the day. Well, every step of the hike so far that day almost broke me down into tears, and by the time 2 o’clock had arrived, I had only made about 6 miles. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally, and couldn’t bear the pain in my knee any longer. I thought it was the end of my hike, and so I ambled down to Jones Falls to get one last bit of scenery in. When I got there, the sun had just come out, and the falls were beautiful. I stayed there for a good hour, and got back up with a renewed strength, feeling as if I had absorbed all of the energy of these falls into my body. After some subsequent yelling and cursing at my knee, I threw my pack on, and got this mad adrenaline rush. My outlook and attitude were suddenly changed, and I became determined to make the shelter, knee problems be damned! Unfortunately, dusk settled in, and, being as how my head lamp had burnt out two days prior, I had to find a place to camp. I settled in, as dusk turned to night, and had the best sleep I’ve had in weeks. The next morning, I packed up, walked down a hill, then up a hill, and heard some voices…the shelter was just at the bottom of this last hill! Just 10 more minutes of walking would have done it, but it didn’t matter. My mental state had done a complete 180 in the past 18 hours, and I was in good spirits again.

The next spot I can think of was the view, and ridge walk up to Chestnut Knob Shelter. I spent a good part of the day just lounging in the sun that day.

Moosilauke is a great view, by means of just being beautiful, and making yourself feel accomplished by the hike up there.

There are plenty more, but these are a few of the more memorable ones for me.

Mike Drinkuth
02-11-2004, 14:45
Well, I was hiking with my girlfriend north of the Long Trail Inn. I was feeling frisky that day and my girlfriend is known for this "special talent" she has when, just then, we came across this nice sized rock...

Kozmic Zian
02-27-2004, 11:47
Yea.....McQueen's Knob Shelter. Although, I don't think anybody really stays there. Of the places, other than shelters that I really liked was the Long Trail Inn at Sherburne Pass, VT. The place has a great 'Old Rustic Log Cabin' look and feel to it....and you can't beat that good ole' 'Long Trail Pale Ale'. Night I was there, because I was running low on funds at the time, I spread my tarp and bag out in the old woodshed outside. It was a cold night, with warm 'Long Trails'[email protected]

Aesop
04-02-2004, 11:51
A bear hanging out with me (alone) at Spence Field in the Smokys for a half an hour while he ate one of my 11 trail day old socks and I drank bourbon.
This is the best story I've heard in years! Loved it!

Pencil Pusher
07-17-2004, 15:29
Well reading one of Rainman's posts got me thinking about this Graymoor Monastery mentioned. If you're nobo from Highway 9 near the Bear Mountain Bridge and several miles later you hit that paved road near where I think the monastery is, as I recall thereafter is a dirt road going down and then the trail goes along and maybe another half mile or mile there's a side path to the right leading to a shrine on top of this little ridge. At this shrine there is a statue and some stone work on the ground and some real flowers. I assumed it had something to do with the monastery. It was a nice place and I liked the flowers, so since that area was going through one heckuva dry spell (summer of 99), I hiked in again with a couple of gallons of water to water the flowers. I just happened upon this spot the first time I found it.

Sorry I can't be more descriptive of the location, it's been a few years. I don't think the shrine is visible from the trail because it sits up on this little ridge, but I'm thinking it's less than 100m from the trail, so not a big detour and maybe there's only one side trail. Does anyone happen to know if there's a name for this shrine?

springerfever
07-18-2004, 10:57
Cheoh Bald. As you leave Wesser stop at Sassafras shelter, get water and go on the extra mile to the bald and camp. (weather permitting of course) One of the best sunsets on the AT is there. Also great views back south and west. I've camped there at least 10 times. One of my favorite places.

Watched the Leonid meteor shower from Cheoah Bald a couple of years ago. Absolutely amazing. I had set my alarm for 0100 and planned on watching the show for about and hour and then going back to sleep. Well, I stayed up till 0500 watching that show, musta seen about a 1000 meteors in a clear sky. I believe the Persoid (sp) shower is due sometime in August. might try to make it back up there........

Mags
07-19-2004, 10:52
Without a doubt, it is Mt. Lafayette in NH.

It was the first mountain I ever climbed, was my first time on the AT and was one of those rare weekends growing up where Dad was not working overtime.
(Money and time was tight in our family. For Dad to take a weekend off was something rare and special). I was 12 yrs old.

The first time climbing that mountain had an effect on me. Gave me a love of the outdoors that remaind dormant in my teenage years, but came back with a vengance on my first backpacking trip at the age of 22. Took ten years for the love to be re-kindled...

If you want to read the whole story (if you are bored and have nothing better to do :)) and want to see a blurry pic of me from that day, go to:

http://www.magnanti.com/miscwritings/troop_71.htm

springerfever
07-19-2004, 12:56
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2004/25jun_perseids2004.htm?friend (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2004/25jun_perseids2004.htm?friend)

smokymtnsteve
07-19-2004, 13:07
Yea.....McQueen's Knob Shelter. Although, I don't think anybody really stays there. [email protected]


I really stayed there this spring when I was walking to Damascus.. A thunderstorm was hitting and I just got to this "HOLIDAY INN" as it is known...I was solo so I had plenty of room but if you had two folks in there they would need to like each other but three folks would be tight. Great thunderstorm btw.

Pencil Pusher
07-27-2004, 03:12
Bumped to see if anyone knows what the shrine is, that is described in post #31.

BlackCloud
11-20-2004, 22:52
Mad Aussie---

I think you're asking about the Shelton Graves, which are loctated directly on the Trail between Jerry Cabin Shelter and Flint Shelter, a few days north of Hot Springs.

The Sheltons, though local, chose to fight for the North (as did a surprising number of folks in Western North Carolina). They came home during the war for a family reunion and were ambushed and killed, probably by people they knew well. A young 13-year old relative was killed as well.

The graves are immediately to the right of the Trail, and I always stop there for awhile. One interesting thing....the date of death on one of the grave markers is 1 July 1863, which coincidentally was also the first day of Gettsyburg, a day when hundreds of other brave men from North Carolina also fell. There's a marker on the Gettysburg field at the Pickett's Charge "High Water" mark which indicates that the North Carolina men advanced further than any others on July the third.

Incidentally, Aussie, there are lots of other war sites on or near the Trail, if you're interested. Here are a few:

1. The Chattanoga/Lookout Mountain battlefield is very close to Springer

2. The Trail comes very close to Lexington, Virginia. Things to see there are the Virginia Military Institute, Stonewall Jackson's House, and the the graves of General Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Lee's family

3. The museum at the New Market Battlefield (on Rt 81 not far off the Trail) is one of the finest civil war museums in the country.

4. There are a lot of Confederate graves in the cemetery at Front Royal, Virginia, including a monument to seven of Colonel John Singleton Mosby's men who were illegally executed by none other than George Armstrong Custer.

5. There's a ton of stuff to see in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, which is definitely worth a day off or two

6. If you can find a ride, the Sharpsburg (or Antietam battlefield) is very close to Harper's Ferry and is a remarkable place to visit. The battle at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862 was the bloodiest single day in American history.

7. In Maryland, the Trail goes right thru a battlefield at Crampton Gap, and later goes right past memorial markers to the death sites of two generals, one from the North and one from the South.

8. The Gettysburg field is maybe 13 miles or less due east from the Trail crossing at Rt. 30 in Pennsylvania (Caledonia State Park). It's an easy hitch and is a must stop; give yourself at least a day as the museum alone will occupy you for hours.

I'm probably forgetting a few others, but these are the ones that come immediately to mind.
To add to this list, I would say that the greatest number of graves on/along/near the AT are on South Mountain, in Maryland. Large portions of the Union & Confederate armies clashed here the day before Antietam; so much so that some of the ridgeline was recently acquired by the National Park Service & designated as the South Mtn Unit of Antietam Nat'l Battlefield.

Not a single grave is marked however; all the better for those men. Be advised that metal detecting in a National Park is a federal offense, & can qualify as a felony under the right circumstances.......

The Hog
11-21-2004, 08:07
Alone in the lean-to, I awoke at about 5 AM and realized that the whole shelter, a large log structure, was rocking back and forth! In my groggy state, I tried to imagine what was causing this, and the only thing that came to mind was a bear, so I stamped my feet loudly on the wood floor to try to scare it away. I learned later that it was an earthquake!

Far better from my point of view was the day the earth moved at Gentian Pond. My lovely female companion and I went swimming in the pond, then walked a few yards away to an overlook, where the rising sun's rays were shining on the tops of a cloudbank below us. We made love on the spot.

Jaybird
11-21-2004, 09:00
"What are some of the places on the Trail that are special to you, even though they may not be special enough in their own right to merit a separate thread?

Please describe the location and what made it especially memorable to you (the season, the view, your companion, an unusual event, etc.)"...................etcetcetc...................... ........................... KEROSENE



i guess ROAN MTN/CARVERS GAP is the special place for me.
it was the place i stepped on the A.T....& made the statement (like so many people do..)..."i'd like to hike the Appalacahian Trail one day!"

still love visiting Roan Mtn every year on vacation & catching the awesome views!

and now...several years later....i'm finishing my 3rd state heading NOBO in my quest for Mt. K. (eventually)! :D

The Solemates
11-21-2004, 18:25
I love every single footstep along the AT. Every day brings back great memories. Well, except for maybe VT, where it rained 6 outta the 8 days we were there. :)

hacksaw
11-25-2004, 04:56
Isis and Jackrabbit (The Barefoot Sisters) walking into Kincora after a day of hiking. They are two beautiful ladies, inside and out! And the next day with good ole Bob and about a dozen others putting in a hard day totin' and spreading gravel with five gallon buckets during the relo nobo out of Walker Gap and earning my Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club Trail maintainer's patch.
Watched several groups hike by us and slowly shrink to the size of the point of a pin as they worked up Hump Mtn. What a day! :sun

Hacksaw

Sleepy the Arab
11-25-2004, 16:33
Yes Hacksaw, there were many good things about that day. I enjoyed the trailwork so much, I've done several more stints with Bob. It was the first time in '01 that I met the Barefoot Sisters, and there were few days since that I haven't been thankful for the experience.

hacksaw
11-27-2004, 01:13
Dontcha' know it, Sleepy!

Hey, folks, Sleepy even tolerated my snoring ALL NIGHT one night at Kincora!

Sleepy, I must presume that you were not at Plum Orchard in April, 2000.

MicahDawgNC
12-12-2004, 10:24
Watching the Perseids Meteor Shower in an amazingly clear sky on top of Max Patch.

BlackCloud
12-23-2004, 14:21
Admittedly, this occurred 1/2 mile off the AT on the Trayfoot Mtn trail in Shenandoah NP, just west (barely) of Blackrock.

Walking into a very strong, northerly headwind, I came face to face w/ a 300+lb male black bear, right on the trail. It being October, the bear's coat was full, & it shimmered in the late day sunlight. His face was perfectly round & symtrical, w/ big black eyes & a very long snout. If I had my hasselblad camera in had, that beast would have been on the cover of a magazine, for he was beautiful.

The most charming part: he was terrified of ME, & bolted.
The dumbest part: I bolted after him. I wanted to keep looking @ him.

Now that can happen anytime, anywhere. And if you hike alone, like I do, it often does....

generoll
03-29-2005, 14:44
I don't know if the trail has been relocated since my cousin and I did a section hike from Hot Springs to Erwin back in the 60s. We were both newly released veterans and looking for a bit of peace and quiet and decided a hike on the AT would be just the thing. We took a few days and the guide book from that time, which I still have and is bound in a kind of faux leather meantioned these graves and we looked for and found them.

One of the interesting things was that they were in an area called Shelton Laurel and perhaps also Shelton Bald. It was raining at the time (of course) and I had an old brownie instamatic camera. I took a picture of my cousin by one of the gravestones and then he took one of me. His turned out and mine didn't. There were three graves and they were all Sheltons. We hiked on and the rain quit and we came to a gap which may have been Devils Fork Gap. Memory fades with the passage of years. I'll have to find my old guidebook and look to see if I can find the gap. As we rested by the roadside at the gap a man drove up from the NC side on a tractor with a mower. He was working for the county and was mowing the grass along the shoulder. He stopped to chat with us and as luck would have it his family name was Shelton. He new the story of the graves and said that they were distant cousins and had been drug up there by mule sledge after the war for reburial.

Several years later I read a book called "Victims" which was about this skirmish in the Civil War. As some of you may know, many of the mountaineers were opposed to secession and wanted nothing to do with the war. "Rich Mans War and Poor Mans Fight" was one of the terms used. The mountaineers essentially 'seceded' from the war and were subsequently attacker by a force from the nearby cities. These men were killed either in the fight or after having been taken prisoner. The record wasn't too clear on this.

Any of you who have seen the movie "Cold Mountain" may recognize the plot. The movie was of course fictional, but based on some true events.

So, assuming you made it to the end of this long missive. That's where some graves were that were beside the trail. Whether or not the trail still goes there or not I have no clue. Even then, the trail was starting to be relocated and I remember spending a rainy night under a stick and groundcloth leanto as the trail had been relocated since my guide had been published and the shelter that I was headed for was no longer there.

generoll
03-29-2005, 14:59
I just did a Google after my last message using 'Shelton Laurel' and got several hits on the massacre. One even had a picture that showed what I thought I remembered as the house that was at the gap where my cousin and I crossed.