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 ...
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**