Saturday, July 25, 2015

believe it if you need it

I was trout fishing in Pisgah one day when an older gentleman engaged me in some conversation. He was wearing an AT hat and was out fishing with a much younger gentleman who I took to be his grandson. The younger of the two was very concerned about what type of fly to use to catch fish but I assured him it didn't matter because the fishing was just that good that day and as he scurried around trying to catch some fish me and his granddad started talking about the woods and their history. He asked if I knew about an old home site just up the trail from where we were and when I told him I did he looked a little surprised but glad. We talked about a few other spots and then he asked if I had ever been up another trail that goes all the way to the parkway. Of course I had. He then asked if I knew about the old CCC camp on it. No, I didn't. He told me it had chairs and tables made out of stone and even a woodstove. What? Yes, he assured me he had been there many times and used to camp there frequently in the 60's and 70's. But then after many years he had recently headed back up the trail to find the camp so he could take his grandson there but was unable to locate it on several different attempts. He even went so far as to contact the Forest Service to see if the trail had been relocated and if they could tell him how to find the camp. They assured him the trail was in the same place it had always been but could not comment on the location of the camp. Hmmn. Needless to say my interest was sparked and when his grandson started yelling that he had a fish we parted ways and I headed back down the trail for my truck wondering about the legend of an old CCC camp with stone furniture on a trail I have been on scores of times.

Unlike the phantom train, or the Cold Mtn. plane crash, that I have been unable to find this took just a little searching and the camp does indeed exist. It isn't as big or elaborate as I'd thought and may or may not be a CCC or logging camp but it is there just off the trail. The wood stove is just a modified barrel and is rusted beyond repair but the stone furniture is rock solid and I noticed they had even had running water and a sink at the site. I took some time and cleaned up the area before stopping to pull a couple of fish out of the secret swimming hole. It is a great campsite that I look forward to using in the near future!



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