I’ve been to Dupont State Forest innumerable number of times but there’s always something new to discover.
Sunday promised to be a beautiful day. Some Carolina Mountain Club hikers may have been scared off by the little snow swirling around.
Six hikers started out from Hooker Falls parking area and headed for the Moore/Hooker Cemetery.
Here, Jay, our leader, pointed out something that I had not noticed before–four graves of children who died in the same year, 1861. Margaret (1856-1861), Milliard (1849-1861), Harriet (1854-1861) and Hannah (1844-1861) were laid to rest side by side. Isaac Heath, who we assumed was the father, lived until 1895. What happened?
We can speculate. We dismissed the Civil War. Though the mountain area did suffer from the wanton destruction of the Civil War, 1861 was just too early. We also dismissed attacks by Indians – too late for that.
It could have been a flood or an epidemic. Typically, the children stayed home and may have been swept away by a flood. Maybe the cabin caved in. The father was away and wasn’t hit by the same circumstances. Who knows? Isaac Heath is honored with a short trail–Isaac Heath Trail–but the children just have new gravestones.
The rest of the hike was predictably beautiful. We stopped at three lakes, including Lake Dense above. The waterfalls were full of rushing water. By early afternoon, when we reached High Falls, tourists started coming up the trail.
Since we finished the hike so early, Jay suggested that we see another tourist site. We went to the Oscar Blues Brewery. That was my first time in a brewery and I was the designated driver.
Lots of young people hung around at the bar. Somehow, I got the feeling that they didn’t just finish a 10.5 mile hike, like we had. Maybe they were warming up for the Super Bowl. Like I said, there’s always something on a Dupont hike.