What could I say that’s new and different?
To begin with, the hikers are different. A couple of people had never done this hike before. The water in Forney Creek was running high.
Without all the history bits that I relate when I lead it, the hike went a lot faster. We had our lunch at Campsite #74.
We also took a detour on Lake Shore Trail to a finger of Fontana Lake. See the picture above. You can see that at various times, the lake is higher than it was yesterday. TVA controls the level of the lake to its needs.
We continued on Lake Shore Trail and took a side trip to the Woody Cemetery. The most fascinating aspect to this cemetery are the eight graves that say “Infant Freeman”. Imagine losing eight babies.
Last time I wrote about this cemetery, I speculated that the babies died before they were even named and baptized because of an Rh Factor incompatibility. I haven’t found anything else that explains these grave stones.
But this time, I looked up when the Rh factor was discovered – 1940. So if this was the reason, medical science in the mountains would certainly not have a cure for this problem. Here’s what a source says:
Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943) discovered the Rh factor—a type of protein, or antigen, on the surface of red blood cells—in 1940. Most people are Rh positive. But if a pregnant woman is Rh negative and her fetus is Rh positive, her body may mount an immune response against the fetus’s blood and cause harm.
Now for something completely different, the next Friends of the Smokies hike will be on Tuesday, December 12 in Elkmont. It’s an easy hike followed by a short tour of the Elkmont houses. Sign up here.