Overnight in Uwharrie

6:04 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Had to leave the grind behind and set out on a quick trip to the Uwharrie Montains, the oldest mountains in North America (I think).    These hills top out at 1000' and can range down to elevations as low as below 400 feet.  The area I most commonly hike top out at around 650 feet.  I love the Uwharries for their unique scenery, wildlife, and proximity to home.  I can travel anwhere from 30 miles to Birkhead Wilderness, or 1 hour down to the Southern Section trailhead.  I have hiked the area many times and I thought I might share this quick trip with you.  8/18 to 8/19/2012




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Apologies, here, could not figure out how to rotate it.  I had rotated it in my software, but it seems to pick up the original settings instead. 
This is the trailhead for Dutchmans creek, where I will form an 11 mile loop with the Uwharrie trail.  I love this place. 

 


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These signs are new.  They are "informative" signs warning people not to poach artifacts.   These signs were oddly spaced along a section of the trail about 300 yards apart or so.  There were several of them all identical.  The placement of these signs makes me wonder if they might not be an unintentional hint to would-be poachers on where to look for the good stuff. 


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Reforestation sign ca 1978 I generally stop here and take a picture.  Recent logging obliterated one of my favorite campsites nearby.  Loggers left heaps of brush along the perimeter. Is this acceptable practice?

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This is Big Island Creek.  A nice campsite here.  I stopped this day to have lunch.  The water is very low due to a local drought this summer.  Most of the minor streams are completly dry. 

 


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I came upon this burl some years ago and the tree was alive.  The tree has since died and I have photographed it every time I pass by.  Every time I expect this tree to be down, but still standing. 

 

Did I say AT?  meant UT! This old truck frame, I believe to be a Model T and according to Alan De Hart's guide book reference, it is.  Years ago I hiked by this thing many times.  Then an ice storm in the 90's choked up this section of trail and was subsequently rerouted to higher ground.  I camped nearby and was happy to find it again.  Video is pending


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My humble campsite for the night.  Spent a somewhat sultry but dry night here, then awoke to a forboding pit pat on my fly.  Had to pack up quickly in the rain sans breakfast and head out.  The bottom fell out abut 1/2 hour from the trail head.  Anyway, could have been worse, and there is something to be said about woods and rain. 

 

10:38 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Any idea on what this flower is?  My guess it is some kind of orchid, but I could not find it in my wildflower book.  These were growing up on Dennis Mt where I have been many times and have not seen this flower. 

3:49 a.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm no expert on NC flora, but I am a botanist so I googled around a bit to see if I could find your flower. I think it is a kind of butterfly pea, with the rather lascivious scientific name Clitoria mariana.

Looks like a nice getaway. Although I obviously really enjoy the Norwegian mountains, one thing I miss from VT, never mind NC, is the biological richness of the forests -- so many kinds of plants!

BTW, the Adirondacks are over 1 billion years old -- how old are the Uwharries? 

10:40 a.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for the info Big Red.  This flower actually does resemble the blooms on my peas I grew in my garden one time. 

As for the age of the Uwharries, I may have been incorrect in saying the oldest chain in North America, but actually several sources indicate they are the oldest in the US.  The Uwharries estimate in age ranges from 500-600 million years.  Many resources you will read on Uwharrie will mention this factoid. 

Here are a couple of quick sources to check into. 

http://www.archaeology.ncdcr.gov/uwharrie/hibbard26am.html

http://www.backpacker.com/february_1998_destinations_north_carolina_uwharrie_mountains/destinations/791

One thing I find interesting is that this is lowest elevation that mountain laurel grows in abundance in NC. 

10:44 a.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Nice report Mr Sole! A fellow weekender, I see...

3:35 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Yes Patman,

Last year was not so prolific in the hiking, but this year has been better.  I can get down to Uwharrie pretty quick, but I would like to do more Appalachian trips.  It is difficult to do that 4-5 hour drive on a weekend trip.  I try to plan at least one 3+ night trip a year.  Hopefully squeeze one more in this year. 

July 22, 2014
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