Where I started my trail was here, on some old logging roads that kept on winding past Bob Knob's Ole' Cabin....
The trail seemed long since I was seeing it for the first time, and the forest became darker as it went on, thicker, less touched by humans, more eerie to be walking alone. I saw some fresh coyote scat and heard noises from birds new to my ears - I picked up a large stick (in addition to carrying my trusty knife) and continued on.
I came upon the littlest bit left of some structure totally deep in the mountain laurel, only a few strips of wood remaining, but enough to show someone had put it together at one time - it's purpose lost with most of the rest of the wood. Maybe it was a small pen for a pig?
As I walked further into the darkness, I finally could see a literal light at the end of the tunnel, a blotch of sun indicating a clearing. It is where all the deer tracks in the muddy road were leading to, and I was excited knowing there was going to be an open meadow up ahead!
As the scene opened itself up, I came upon one of the most beautifully hand crafted barns I have ever seen - a barn hidden to nearly all eyes because of it's far back location. But one that should be seen, as a historical and wood working Taj Mahal of the Appalachian Mountains!
The shingled long wood slat siding was breath-taking, I am most certain these were each hand made, taking a great amount of time and skill to put together.
I have yet to ever see old logs notched together, that didn't impress me....
THE ROUND HOUSE:::::::::::
I had no idea I would come up on a "real" house, as in one not decaying and 100 years old. It seemed overgrown enough that maybe no one was there, but I was still VERY careful to walk up to the deck and call out "Helloooo" ---- anyone could have been inside. As I was standing waiting for a sign of life, 5 feet away from me a HUGE deer suddenly was startled, hauling it's lil' white tail away from me, scaring the shit out of me and itself.
I dared to look into the window, seeing that certainly in a house like this, no furniture meant No ONE is HOmE! I admired the light the house was getting, with all the windows and skylights.
I moved along down the road once again, past fields of wildflowers (yarrow, bee balm and Queen Ann's Lace) - spots I am sure the humans at one time kept well mowed and open for play or pleasure - nature was now claiming it's natural growth cycle.
On my left I noticed through the trees, a Volleyball Court! Nature was taking it over too, pushing plants up through ever so slight cracks in the court's hard cement.
Just past the sports field was an adorable pond, with the perfect fishing peer towards the back end. The water was brown and I could not see to the bottom, or even on the sides - I knew there were frogs in it, but wondered about fish that I maybe could not see. The established nature of the wildflowers, blackberry vines and height of the grass indicated that this place was no longer a top priority for whoever had once loved it. And I am sure they did.