When is a mountain not really a mountain? Appomattox is in some rolling hills, the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain range. The closet peak is about an hour west. So why didn’t I know there was a Piney Mountain right here in Appomattox county.
Well, as I arrived on site, I realize Piney Mountain was probably more in name than an actual peak. It was a pretty good hill so I was pleased to take a little time to enjoy the early fall weather. The journey up was not so much a trail as a fire road that has gone to mayhem. A four wheeler couldn’t actually make it – maybe a dirt bike. The pictures look easier than it actually was.
But it wasn’t an easy entry way … I had to pass through some private property with a “No Trespassing” sign. In this area, they often take that very serious. Like 2d Amendment serious. Fortunately, I met a friendly man working on an old Chevy. “Bob” helped me out with some history, a few hints, and permission to hike.
There was another problem. Spider webs all across the trail. In my hair, in my eyes, in my mouth … yes, I gagged.
Made it to the top and reached the Fire Tower. It is one of about a dozen left out of about 150 previously scattered throughout the commonwealth.
The gate was open, the clouds were fluffy, and the vultures were circling. A beautiful and creepy sight. I started up the stairs.
Wait a minute.
This thing is a bit wobbly. The stairs had little in terms of guardrails. It was like climbing a high dive platform with minor protection. And didn’t a high dive platform just collapse in a local college? I made it about half way. A bit Wobblies. Not believing it was a Weeble (they wobble but don’t fall down,) I decided to descend.
So, I looked around, took a pic, and headed down.
Maybe if I had a partner, maybe if I wasn’t alone, then I would’ve had a bit more confidence. I had this short Visio I’d fall, I would just lay there, get eaten by vultures … and a week or so later, my wife would notice I hadn’t been around. Next time.
I found some pics online of inside the cabin (the room at the top.)
My lessons …
- Look for adventures right around you
- Sharing the adventure will help you go further and higher
- Take pics
If nothing else, I climbed a mountain today. That makes today, a good day.