Sunday, December 12, 2010
It's been a while since my last post, but I don't want you to think that I've just been sitting around watching Scooby-doo. It is quite the opposite, guess I just got busy with life and growing up (a little). In all of my previous post's I showed my love for the outdoors and adventures but over the last couple of years I found something I love spending time with more than mother nature, my new fiance. Long story really, really short we met through mutual friends and now are set to be married next September.
Back to the reason I'm writing this. I think my love for adventure and the outdoors is rooted in the sereneness and beauty of nature. I don't think i ever really enjoyed the sweating, sore back, and tired legs that accompanied most of my trips, but the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I reached the top and saw the overlook, waterfall, or whatever I was hiking to see made it all worthwhile. During the past couple of years, i haven't done much or really any backpacking, biking, or canoeing; but i have still made sure that I found time to enjoy the outdoors. I now spend a lot of my time boating, fishing, and still enjoy a good brew while hanging out with my friends.
No matter where or how you choose to find that peacefulness and serenity that beautiful mother nature offers, it is important that you realize that each of these moments are gifts. It doesn't matter if you are on the lake watching the sun creep over the trees just as the morning fog lifts and the warmth begins to touch your skin; driving home from a long day and see the bright sun begin to fade into pink, purple, and orange as clouds scatter the horizon before darkness, or setting up camp beside a river brook watching/listening as the water trickles past you, close your eyes, take a breath and take in a moment of the peacefulness and thank God for each and every gift he gives you. I look forward to doing a better job of keeping up my blog and letting you see my transition from an outdoor adventurer to more of an urban outdoorsman with flare. haha
Friday, February 13, 2009
To all of those who haven't heard, my knee/back has put me out of commission over the last few months. I've been back and forth to the surgical center in Pinehurst trying to get over a weight lifting injury. The doctor prescribed no lifting, no running, and no riding for the next 2 months... Basically no fun......
However, I have been doing some canoeing and some hiking as I try to make it through the 2 month sentence. I had heard of an old power plant located on the Cape Fear River. I couldn't believe that I have paddled past this place many times and never noticed it. I soon found out why.
The power plant is located on the Cape Fear River about a mile and half downstream from the current Buckhorn Dam. You follow a trail along the river until you get to a T-type intersection. You then take the grown up logging road on the left and follow it all the way to the plant. You can tell when you are getting close, as you will be scrambling up and down several very steep muddy banks. As soon as Daisy and I saw the power plant, she put on the brakes. She refused to get close to the power plant. After dragging her for a few feet, I gave up and tied her to a nearby tree. This is where she remained sitting contently while I explored the old plant.
The first thing you will notice at the plant is the numerous posted signs. CP&L currently owns the land and has posted all sides of the property. I'm not going to tell you anymore about what I saw, however I will give you a short history of eerie beginnings of the power plant below.
A short history of the Power Plant at Buckhorn. (This information was taken from Duke Power's Website and also from the newspaper of the time "The Chatham Rabbit".)
The facility began construction in 1899 when W.M. Morgan and Captain R. Percy Gray decided it would be profitable to develop power on the Deep and Cape Fear Rivers. These men in conjunction with a few other companies (Cape Fear Power, Deep River Manufacturing, and Cape Fear Iron and Steel) took a loan out for 350,000. (I'm not sure what the equivalent of 350,000 dollars would be today, but I'm sure it would be an enormous amount of money). This project must have been a little more involved than at first thought. In 1905 after six years of construction, the loan was found in default and the plant faced foreclosure.
During the foreclosure process, the Power Plant faced more problems. An epidemic had stricken the residents between Lockville (Lockville is in Moncure, NC) and Buckhorn Dam. This sickness was believed to be caused by the backwater from the Dam. The residents quickly tried to stop construction, claiming the dam was a nuisance and a health hazard for landowners in the vicinity. Landowners frantically sold their land in an effort to move away from this facility.
On Oct. 6 1906 the dam was sold at a public auction for $250,000 to Mr. S.D. Mitchell, a prominent electrician of New York. (Bondholders and stockholders of the company lost all they had invested.) Construction resumed on the property and it was near completion six months later, when disaster struck once again.
On April 25, 1907 four workers at the Power Plant were killed as their vessel was swept over the damn into their watery grave. This caused a halt in the operation of the dam. (There seems to be a history of bad things happening here). A month later disaster struck once more.
On May 23, 1907 70 feet of the Buckhorn dam washed away. Operation was once again halted to provide time for the dirt to be replaced by concrete.
Once this renovation was completed, it was reopened and began operations, successfully transferring power to Fayetteville and Sanford mills. However the catastrophic past of this eerie place continued. (Maybe Daisy was smart not to want to get close to here). As workers were continuing to complete the metal structure which was attached to the dam, a storm arose. The workers moved inside of the building to escape from the violent rain (21 workers). During the storm, lighting struck a nearby tree and ran inside the building. This killed 7 of the workers, and severely wounded another 7 (and also killed a horse). This halted the operation once again.
Over 20 deaths in a period of two years, just to try and get this place going... Creepy.
Next adventure... Camp in the attached building... (This is why I don’t watch scary movies!)
Thursday, January 1, 2009
After a short break we loaded back into our boats and headed downstream, paddling as hard as we could. Our next obstacle was about 2 miles downstream. This was the largest rapid on this section of river. As we approached the rapid we all commented on the ferocious sound it made. We paddled closer to get a good look at which line we thought would give us the driest route. I had been through this section tons of times before, but during the winter months you have to be a little more careful because of the dangers of the cold weather. (I had capsized here a few years back when it was snowing outside, which makes for a miserably cold nights sleep) After a few minutes of trying to decide which line was the safest and watching Joel nearly loose his boat. Gavin and I decided to err on the side of safety and portage around this one.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Legend has it that down a 12 mile dirt road, way out in the country, where no cell phone would have signal, under an old narrow one-lane bridge lives a troll named Ogamaga. I'm not really sure how the legend came about, or why Ogamaga chose this bridge. Maybe it was the fact that the closest street light or home is 6 miles in either direction? Maybe it was the fact that hunter's often threw the remains/carcasses of their kill off the bridge which would give him an easy meal? Who knows the reason Ogamaga chose this bridge, but it was definitely his home.
The way the legend tells it you are supposed to drive down the long dirt road and arrive just before midnight. Once you have put your car in park on the bridge, you are told to turn the entire car off; no radio, no heat, no headlamps and wait for midnight. At midnight Ogamaga will sacrifice an animal and when you turn your lamps back on, his sacrifice will be laying on the bridge. Or at least that's what they say....
Night Ride 11-25-2008
It looked as though our Tuesday night adventure was going to fall through. Joel was recovering from a bad cold and had to watch Mason, I was sore from the running/biking that I had done this weekend, and the rain had pounded two days earlier (making everything super muddy). Joel was the first to back out, and even though Jimmy and Alex gave him a ton of grief, he wasn't coming. We decided that tonight would be a good night for an easy, out and back ride down towards the bridge where Ogamaga dwelled.
We met at 7:00 and made sure we hydrated properly with Nature's water. After we quenched our thirst with steel, we headed out. As we rode we talked about Ogamaga and the legend. Each of us had tried the legend personally and had never seen Ogamaga. But we hoped tonight would be the night. While we were riding we laughed about stories we had heard from other people's experiences with Ogamaga. Evidently, some crazy things had happened at the bridge we were headed towards. The adventure and excitement was slowly building with each story.
What Alex and Jimmy didn't know was that Joel and I had a little surprise waiting for them at the Ogamaga's bridge. Joel was sick and didn't need to be out in the cold, but we decided he should stay plenty warm inside of a nice and cozy, full gorilla suit! Joel and I had planned earlier in the day to scare the crap out of Alex and Jimmy. We had it planned out perfectly. I was going to text message Joel as soon as Alex arrived. This would give Joel time to park his truck out of sight and hide near the bridge. I was going to build up the story as we talked during our ride and get Alex and Jimmy to pose by the bridge for a photo, just long enough for Ogamaga to appear. It was all I could do to keep from bursting into laughter during the ride.