Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Late Fall in the Piedmont

North Carolina stretches from the shores of Cape Hatteras to Mount Mitchell in the Appalachian Mountains, which peaks at 6,684 feet. That’s quite a change from sea level! In between there is a flat, transitional area known as the Piedmont. That is where I live. It was once an area rich in farms, with barns such as these almost everywhere you turned. Of course, that has changed drastically, which is why we photograph the ones which are still standing, and in operation. This is Bost Grist Mill in Eastern Cabarrus County.
The early settlers came to the region by land and sea. In the Piedmont area there aren’t many ocean going vessels to be seen; that is unless you count this old “prairie schooner.” But without a team of oxen to take you over the deeply rutted roadways, and up the steep inclines of the mountains, let’s just say that you weren’t going too far in one day. About 20 miles per day on flat prairie land was top speed for this baby.
Eventually technology came to the area and brought new machinery with it. This is what I want for my next vehicle - a steam driven, energy efficient tractor. I would love to pull up next to somebody at the light while driving this baby! It even has a steam whistle in case someone doesn’t notice you.

And, finally, as you get further up in elevation, the ground of Central North Carolina boasts the first large scale gold find in the United States. We even had a U.S. Mint here during the 1800’s. Much of the gold came from Reed’s Gold Mine in Cabarrus County; which is where I live today.  We also boast the largest emeralds in the world, some of which have been dug up as recently as last year. As for me, the only thing of value I have picked up in the area  was a gold hoop earring which sold for $50 as scrap.

Late fall is a wonderful time for taking a drive and watching the seasons change right before your eyes; sometimes several times in one day! We have a joke here in North Carolina; we maintain that we have 4 seasons, just like everywhere else; Summer, winter, summer, winter. These beautiful days in between are just a mistake.

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