Saturday, January 28, 2012

Faith Rock

An almost uncannily warm January day, so I spent the early part of it geocaching in Franklinville, a little community about 25 miles south of here, in Randolph County. It used to be a thriving textile town; not much left of it now, though the remnants of the impressive old cotton mill still stand on the banks of the Deep River. The trail along the river is quite scenic and takes you to Faith Rock, a spectacular bluestone wall that towers over the river along its southern banks. The plaque at the left is hard to read (it's from 1928 itself), but it tells of an incident in 1781, in which local resident Andrew Hunter ran afoul of the notorious Tory leader David Fanning. Facing execution, Hunter stole Fanning's prized mare, Red Doe, and made his escape by plunging down Faith Rock into the river.

Once you've seen Faith Rock up close, you understand what a feat that had to have been—even allowing for some embellishment of Revolutionary War history. I mostly clambered around the top portion of the outcropping as I was making my way toward "Don't Fall in the River—The Revenge" (GC19H1Z), and had I taken a bad step, I could have shed a lot of skin skidding down the slope.

Also along the river, a bit farther east, one may find the remains of at least one fishing weir built by Native Americans, possibly as early as the 17th century. Weirs were v-shaped rock dams used for trapping fish. Alas, today, the water level was too high for much of the weir near the spot where I was caching to be visible.

Once again, caching has brought me to a neat, historical corner of the map I otherwise never would have seen. Always nice.

This evening, a gathering of strange friends at Casa de Damned Rodan. I'm cooking chili, and so far, there's every indication it'll turn out deadly. Perhaps I'll post the recipe. I even cleaned the house, but I must confess, the tenacity of filth is my most hated thing on earth. No, I didn't actually put any filth in the chili. Not yet, anyway.

Notes on the history of the Deep River may be found here.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Looking down at the river from Faith Rock

Across the river from Faith Rock

Picnic tables for trolls?

View of the old cotton mill from the footbridge across the river

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