Saturday, June 21, 2008

"I needed a Medicinal Nature Encounter..."

Casline if you are reading this I hope you took a shower as soon as you got home! I picked two tics off me before I made it to the shower, stripped down, bagged the clothes and scrubbed down.


I was feeling kinda down because of recent family "Stuff" so I E-mailed Alan Casline and asked him if he was interested in doing a short hike up in the Helderburg Mountains just south of here where I live.

I needed a Medicinal Nature Encounter.

So we went looking for a place we had passed by recently on the way to Christman's Preserve called Limestone Rise Preserve.


We ended up finding "Wolf Creek Falls Preserve" in Knox.


A full scan of "Fox Creek Preserve"
in case you wish to enlarge it in your Browser.

The Trail Map was kind of upside down to the way you enter The Preserve; but my Boy Scout orienteering kicked in and we quickly determined that although the Red Trail was not yet opened, we could still navigate around the closed areas by doing a stretch of road along 816 Bozenkill.


Enlarged and Cropped Map of Fox Creek Preserve.
With our route and a legend for the photos.

Alan laid down on the first foot-bridge over the Fox Creek so he could take his first photo of "Fox Creek" for his Watershed Archives. He was doing a reclining pose when I looked up, but by the time I got the camera going I caught him standing back up. (even though it looks like he's falling down.)

The Mountain Goat bIRD gets up!
(#1 on the enlarged Map.)


We proceeded in a roundabout manner to the Bird Box. Nothing special, just a Bird box. I was more impressed with the looks of this tree at the opening in the stone wall.

Kinda Spooky Looking!
Reminds me of a Screaming Eagle....
on the enlarged Map.)

Alan played with the wall and made a Rock Person. I abstained as I realized that the rock formations were the result of years of gradual deterioration that I didn't want to disturb. It was interesting from the standpoint that the wall was originally built with shale and topped with a row of field stone. Almost "Natural Ornate" in its day.


Next we made our way to Bench 1. I must say here that I am not impressed with the placement of the benches in this Preserve. They are Urban in style and design, so they the look very much out of place. Also they do not present any real view, or point of interest. Its quiet, in the woods, but in a man made clearing, with little or no purpose than a resting spot for hikers unaccustomed to hiking, who need frequent rest stops. Not worth a picture.


We headed towards the Wetland to see if it provided any views. Allot of trees under a nice canopy but nothing to film. Pleasant dense new growth forestland.


Then we found what was perhaps the most interesting thing on the trail. A mysterious foundation that we determined to have been the ruins of a "Saw-Mill" (?) that was some how connected to the D&H Railroad line that runs along the lower part of Preserve. It appears that at some point the Creek must have been diverted to power the mill to assist in harvesting wood.

I was so interested in fact I neglected to take a picture! It is indicated as location #4 on the map.

We checked out the D&H line and the made our way back along the Red trail to the Creek.

It was wonderful!
Just what I needed to take my mind off of recent events.


After a pause to drink and admire the Creek I wondered up to Bench 2 and was of course unimpressed once again. At least this one faced a nice Ol' Tree that was pleasing to look at for a brief bit.


At this point we decided to "Bush-Whack" up the Creek bed. It was not for the unexperienced but it was magnificent!

"Fox Creek Falls"
(#3 on the enlarged Map.)

It was worth the climb and the Hitch-hiking Ticks. Hopefully it will be added to the Trail System and it would make a good location for a Lean to similar to "Christman's Sanctuary".

The ride hope was quick and we ended up in Altamont about 5:30 p.m.

After a "Scrub-Down" and something to eat, all was right with the world again. I'm so glad I work for the Company I work for now. I needed some "My Time" to put me right so I can continue to be there for "My Family". They are ever on my mind and in my heart; but sometimes I need to climb a Creek Wall and forget about them for awhile so I can be me....


...I always do what Coach says....

I was at work the other day. Coach O'Connor came in with his wife for grocery's. He was my English Teacher in High School 35 years ago. He asked me about our trip to Killaloo this fall and how the plans were going. I mentioned that I had been corresponding with Alan McKinny about my reasoning for going during the Rainy Season and how I began doing the numbers on my ancestors arrivals and departures from NI.

About half of my ancestors left from Moville, Co., Donegal.

A period Post Card showing Moville, Donegal Bay.

The other half left from Liverpool England.

Map showing Principle Steamship Routes.

We had planned to visit Moville on or about the 14th of October. Thats just the way things worked out.

Robert Gilmour arrived at Castle Garden on 11 November, 1857. November 11th eventually became my Father's Birthday in 1925. (68 yrs later). Then it became Armistice Day in 1919 and eventually Veterans Day in 1954. My Dad always got his Birthday off so I could never forget this day. Dad died 62 years later. I alway thought it would have been weird if he had lived th 68.

October 1857

S M Tu W Th F S

1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

November 1857

S M Tu W Th F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28

29 30
Counting back 28 days (the average length of a Steamship Voyage from Ireland) from that date gives me.... October 14th! I swear to you we had no conscious idea that we were doing this at the time.

Standing in the rain on the pier is just what I need to do to write what I can't seem to do from here. All the research I have done just can't substitute for the actual experience. The Wetter and the Greener the better.

But when I was E-mailing Alan McKinny, and I did the numbers, well, I realized we would be there 151 years TO THE DAY!

Kismet? Well....
"You have to write this down." said Coach O'Connor. I always do what Coach says now-a-days. I didn't back then. But I do now.