Posted by Gayle on October 20, 1998 at 07:40:24:
In Reply to: Linville Gorge posted by Clabair on October 19, 1998 at 21:21:44:
: As in the other trips the scenario for this trek was the reenactment of the search for the Cherokee party that murdered the Linville's in the gorge in 1769. This trip was supposed to be much easier than the first although we did take all the new comers back up through the Devils Cellar to the top of Table Rock. On Friday afternoon, we walked in about a half a mile and established a base camp. Small parties went out in different directions for a quick look around and check out the natural spring that would be our water source for the weekend. Just before dark our guide began to hang his food in the trees. When we asked why, he told of the proliferation of the skunk population in the last couple of years so we followed suit. Saturday morning we got up and after a quick breakfast, prepared to go on a day long scout. As soon as we began to walk down the path, we found that a bear had left a smelly reminder of his own night long scout around OUR camp. We walked down the ridge to the end and then made our own path through the underbrush to the bottom and the river. Crossing the river proved to be much easier this time as the water level was low and we were able to jump from boulder to boulder. We walked along the river until we found the place we would cross back. As we started down to the river, I lost my footing and my musket hit the rocks and tumbled down in front of me, breaking a large chunk off the bottom of the stock and adding a few more character marks. We found the broken piece and determined it could be refitted. We made it back up to camp uneventfully. That night as I lay trying to sleep in my blanket, I heard a small creature rustling around a few inches from my head. I slowly lowered the blanket and although I was unable to see in the blackness of night, my nose told me my visitor was a skunk. I slowly recovered my head and growled real loud which scared Pepe away. Several of us also heard the final death squeal of a mouse as an Owl made his kill. We arose the next morning, returned our things to our vehicles, and those who had experienced the gorge previously led the newcomers up to the Devils Cellar. We then went to William Browns home for a delicious supper after which most of the group went their separate ways. It was during this time that Elaine ventured over and we were able to meet face to face before we boarded the truck for an 18 hour trip back to Texas. As soon as I get the pictures scanned, I will send them to Elaine so that she can post them. That's about all for now.
I really appreciated your description of the trip in Linville Gorge. It brings back vivid memories of camping trips in Wisconsin, which was particularly bear and skunk intensive. However, what really fascinated me about your trip was the atmosphere that took me right back to the Cooper books - hanging food in the trees, assuring of a natural spring for a water source, walking along the river bottom, the death squeal of the mouse - - well told and very enjoyable story - - many thanks.
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