Pilot Mountain State Park, NC – Emma & Fire in March 2014

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Capturing the attention and imagination of an 11 year old is not an easy task. Keeping it for any length of time is nearly impossible. These were my goals on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon in March. In a winter that has been defined by the prolonged brutal arctic cold blasts, an afternoon that is sunny and 75, must be taken advantage of. This meant that young Emma would NOT be spending this afternoon watching TV, playing games on the IPAD, or listening to One Direction. I remember her saying…”Do we have to go hiking”? Well, yes I said. Her mother wanted me to get her out and stretch her legs a bit. This was just what I intended to do. I disguised it a bit by bribing her with dinner at the local Dairi-O, a hot dog and ice cream joint that kids here go nuts for. I threw in the prospect for finding a geocache or two and she was game.

I had just the place in mind. Pilot Mountain is always close by, the great land mark of the northwest piedmont that can be seen from miles and miles away all directions. Pilot Mountain allows visitors to drive to the top, and enjoy countless, beautiful views from all angles really. A short walk from one side of the parking lot to the other takes you to 4 overlooks. A short walk up to the Little Pinnacle offers the finest, closest, most detailed view of the Big Pinnacle that can be seen. Then, the Jomeokee Trail is a 0.8 mile easy hike that simply goes up to and around the Big Pinnacle, offering many different perspectives of the 200 ft cliffs above and the rolling hills of the northwest piedmont below. It is an amazingly beautiful hike that is feature packed enough to capture an 11 year old’s attention, and just short enough to keep it.

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One of my favorite views of Pilot Mountain from US 52 north bound!

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Emma enjoys one of the overlooks near the parking lot.

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Another view from the top, including my hometown of Winston-Salem in the top of the photo in the center.

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A couple of views that show the damage that remains from the 2012 Wildfires!

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Some shots from my favorite spot in Pilot Mountain State Park, the Little Pinnacle Overlook viewing the Big Pinnacle! In the background, lies the small but beautiful Sauratown Mountains with Hanging Rock State Park nested in the middle.

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Emma enjoying some of the cool places to sit back and chill atop Pilot Mountain.

Next up are some shots from our short walk around the “Knob”, or Big Pinnacle”, or “Jomeokee”, or “Great Guide”. This mountain has so many nicknames because it is that cool!

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US 52 from way above!

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The last shot there shows some more fire damage. It was everywhere really. Then on the way back to the car, way down in the valley……FIRE!! There was a small fire on a farm that got out of control. We were able to watch the emergency crews come and put it out from quite the safe distance, way above!

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After this we had yet one project to finish. While out on the trail looking for the Little Pinnacle Geocache, we found a real treasure…an IPhone 5s left by someone just a few feet on the beginning of the Ledge Springs Trail off the Jomeokee Trail. We picked it up, and decided to take it to a ranger. This proved to be harder than finding the geocache, as the office was closed down below. Luckily, after 4 drives up and down the mountain searching for a Park Ranger, and asking numerous people if they had lost an iphone as they came off the trail at the other end, we finally found a Park Ranger and was able to place the phone in his possession. I hope the owner was able to get reconnected to their phone. Replacing an iphone in the middle of the contract is no pleasant or inexpensive task. It was beginning to now get dark and I had to get a young child some dinner and get her home soon or face the wrath of the mother….lol We had worked up quite the appetite by now, so were very happy to see the Dairi-O in King, NC.

8 comments

  1. Way back when you were 11 we only needed Wendy’s to get your attention, or a trip to the lake, or a ride in the Jag, or a climb up on mom’s roof, or etc………………………………It is good to see that you are paying it forward. Brad

    1. Yes, I wasn’t too hard to please back then. I still enjoy those things today, although I haven’t been on anyone’s roof in awhile. I stick to mountains and waterfalls now…..lol. Let’s do a ride in that Jag soon!

    1. Thank You Cassandra! I believe it is the isolation from other mountains that makes it so attractive. It is only about 2400 feet or so, and has a storied history. I am glad you had the opportunity to come enjoy it!

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