OCCONEECHEE MOUNTAIN - Exploring Central North Carolina

Real Estate Agent with Casmi Photography


November 23,2008


What a beautiful day.  Sunshine, delft blue skies,

an occasional whispy cloud ...

God certainly made this day just for us.


We set out to explore the

Occoneechee Mountain State Nature Area.

A beautiful, yet somewhat overlooked,

area that is rich in history.


The Occoneechee Indians, according to a host at the state park,

are one of the oldest tribes in the Carolinas and Virginia.

Allegedly coming to reside here in the 1500s.


Located just west of the town of Hillsborough, North Carolina,

this incredible park is a hidden gem.


We parked the truck and started hiking to the top.

A whole 900 feet or so.

Not a peak of great magnitude by any means,

but pretty impressive when compared to the much gentler lanscape of the area.


The trail leading up was wide and well maintained.

We passed several families and dog walkers ...


Then we got to experience the most beautiful sight ...

a look out of the abandoned pyrophyllite quarry ...


The view will take your breah away

And, for the record, pyrophyllite is a member of the talc/mica families

It's a soft stone that has deep streaks of beautiful color


And the scenes just kept coming ...



It's amazing ... all that work, all that ingenuity to get the trails built, the quarry excavated ...

Much more work than I would want to do.


And I have to tell ya ... if you're young and fit and are thinking ....

"900 feet!  Ha!  That's nothing."

Well, you may be right.

But for a middle aged, out of shape

(Wait!  Round IS a shape, isn't it?)

woman with a bad back and uncooperative knees ...

that 900 feet may well have been 8 miles straight up.


And what's more than that?

On the way down we chose to take the 'mountain trail'

For the record ... that won't happen again ... not by me anyway!


About a third of the way down I decided to step over a large tree root.

Not a problem ... normally.

Except that my foot landed on a bunch of leaves laying on slick clay ...

and ...

Yep!  Down I go!  Twisting around like a noodle.

Tore my pants, tore my knee, tore bad words from my mouth ...

and bruised the opposing wrist, ankle and ribs.


Those Occoneechee Indians had to be a tough bunch.

That darned clay and rock is HARD!!!


But, at the end of the day ... you can't beat the ending ....




If you'd like to know more about the Occoneechee Indians (Saponi) you can visit this site


**The photos on this site are the property of the blog owner and may not be used without permission**



Posted by


Carol Smith

Casmi Photography

Mebane, NC 27302





Comments (11)

Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Carol...The pictures are great but that last one is a winner.

You sound like me.  Ready for adventure, at least in spirit.  There are so many things I still want to do and I keep saying I need to get in shape to do them. 

And yes, round is a shape as is circular.


Nov 25, 2008 01:38 PM
Rich Dansereau
Positive Real Estate Professionals - Knoxville, TN

It sounds like you had quite an adventure! That last picture is breathtaking. I love photos with reflections. the reflections in the water makes is look as if tendrils are creeping towards the tree tops.

Nov 25, 2008 02:21 PM
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Kate - My spirit is always willing to go exploring.  It's just the body that sometimes throws a monkey wrench in it! LOL  Glad you liked the photos.

Rich - Oh, it was an adventure alright!  LOL  Next time I'll be taking the path of least resistance!  :)  I loved the sunset reflecting the trees into the pond.  It seemed almost surreal for a moment.  Glad you enjoyed it!

Nov 25, 2008 02:40 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Carol:  What a great post, and such beautiful pictures.  I cannot comment now, though.  I have to go find out what "delft" means, first... LOL.

Nov 25, 2008 05:15 PM
Tami Vroma
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate - Grand Haven, MI
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Oh Carol - I can see that I need to start exploring horse camps in NC!!  What I would give to be riding trails in those beautiful pics!

Nov 25, 2008 11:34 PM
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Karen Anne - Thanks - and maybe this will help  LOL

delft  Pronunciation: \ˈdelft\ Function: noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Delft, Netherlands Date: 1723 1 : tin-glazed Dutch earthenware with blue and white or polychrome decoration 2 : ceramic ware (as tiles) resembling or imitative of Dutch delft

Now go ahead and comment!  LOL


Tami - Thanks!  There are some incredible trail riding areas in the parks here.  I'm not sure which ones actually have camps, but perhaps that will inspire me to do yet another post! 

But, I'll tell ya, the trails at this particular site .... not good for being on a horse.  IMO they aren't too swift for being on foot either!    But the views are beautiful once you get past that!  LOL

Nov 26, 2008 12:02 AM
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

The photos are just gorgeous...fabulous really...the ending spectacular! (And...I'm NOT talking about your graceful, little fall.) Be more careful, young lady. I can't have you hurtin' stuff! Luv ya!! GBU~

Nov 26, 2008 05:33 AM

WOW, Pictures are just GORGEOUS!!

Don't go layin yourself up for the holidaze... then Tim 'll hafta do all the work...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Tim and the four leggeds...

Steinway, Dawby and Snoodle,(aka Nibbles) send their respects too!

Nov 26, 2008 05:50 AM
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Eli - I just may have a special 'gift' for you on Thanksgiving ... you'll just have to wait and see.

Hey Tiggrr!  Nice to see you noodling around in the RAIN.  If you ever come down you can see that view for yourself.  Have a great Thanksgiving - tell V I said hello.

Snoodle?  Snoodle?  Awww sheesh - you went and done it again....

Nov 26, 2008 06:08 AM
Uncle Mikey

Carol,  Gorgeous Pics, must have been fun pushing yourself up the hill. however the end view was worth it.  So when I come and visit, I need to make sure I have some hiking boots with me ey? 

Thanks for sharing the beautiful scenery, kinda reminds me of parts of Indiana when my Aunt lived in the country.  Brings back some great memories.  Thanks again, and take care

Love Ya

Nov 26, 2008 06:32 AM
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Michael - You know I've been pushing that hill a long time!  LOL  But it WAS gorgeous.  You would love it.  Love ya, Mikey!

Nov 26, 2008 06:40 AM