Thursday, December 26, 2013

a chunk of coal

Given the role logging has played in the history of Pisgah it is not surprising that there are rumors of wrecked and abandoned locomotive engines lost and hidden in the forest. Some of these rumors, like one of a train on Mullinax trail, are just bad. Some others seem a little more feasible. Awhile back I was drinking at the Hub and swapping secrets with a forest insider who gave me a tip as to where to find a train engine. The source was good enough to warrant exploration so last Saturday a group of five headed deep into the woods to find a train.

What was originally forecasted to be a clear day with a slight chance of rain turned out to be a rainy day with very low visibility when we pulled up to the closed parkway to begin the first part of our journey. As we started out on the bikes which would take us close to our destination it was hard to see the yellow lines on the road and it was clear from the start that locating a lost train was going to be very difficult this day.

Of course we all knew regardless of the weather the chances of there actually being a train out there were slim and the chance of us locating it even slimmer yet. It didn't matter that the visibility was poor and it didn't matter that our chances were bad, finding a train isn't why we went and sometimes the adventure of looking for something is better than actually finding it.

So, we rode our bikes in and then locked them to some trees and started out on a hike. We followed a trail and then after a few miles reached a gap where we found an old rail grade where we began our bushwhack. It was a great day to be deep out in the woods where few people ever go anymore and we quickly started noticing lots of old metal and scattered pieces of coal from the logging days. At one point there were even several sets of old bunk beds that had been left way out there. I took the lead at some point and started to notice some old trimming to the trees and brush - someone else had been out there within a few years - that could be a clue, or maybe nothing. Then there was an old abandoned hobo camp and then the rain picked up and we decided to call it a day and started making our retreat.

There would be no hidden locomotive for us this day but there is still plenty of land to search so I'll be back in the future.

Bonus pictures from Bearwallow Mtn. on Christmas Eve:

1 comment:

  1. I'm interested to find out more, did you ever locate the engine?