08 January 2014

Finding a Pile of Rocks - Part 2!

I had been planning a birthday hike with my buddy Harold for quite a while but since neither of us are very good at details, we were still figuring it out the night before. Since Brian & I had not previously found Courthouse Rock & Harold had not been there as well, I suggested we continue the search.

This time I was a little more prepared & had downloaded a few descriptions of the off trails.It seems we had been on the right trail after Joe Quilliam's home site, but the trail takes a hard right "at a pile of rocks". Turns out the "pile" really only consists of 2 long rocks, more like a step, but someone had thoughtfully chalked a "C" & an arrow on it. Don't know how we missed it the first time? The trail is not very well defined, but Courthouse Rock is unmistakable. Roughly 45 feet high, it stands on edge like a domino.

I was not fearless enough to climb to the top, but I did wander around to the front to find the carving I had heard of. Supposedly a fellow named Arthur who lived in this county during the 1790 census carved the date 1807. 

I think this was the carving, but it's hard to tell since it appears some asshole felt the need to carve his name over the historical date. It's hard to tell, but it looks alot newer than the date. People suck sometimes.

But on to better thoughts! Right next to Courthouse Rocks is another large rock named the Judge. This was a little easier to clamber up on so we took a short break & celebrated Harold's birthday in true GOB (Good Ole Boy) style with a candle in a Moon Pie. My gift to him was I did not sing "Happy Birthday" as I have no musical ability at all. In retrospect I should have also brought along an RC Cola....maybe next year!

Happy Birthday Harold!
After the celebration we set off for Quilliam Cave, which is really more of a rock shelter. Again, Brian & I had been on the right track but instead of following the creek up we had attempted to climb straight up the side of the mountain! The trail along the creek was still not very well defined, but climbing up (!) will eventually run into the rock bluffs.  The 1945 park book called it the Rock House, although it is not mentioned after that. I have to say it was even more impressive than Alum Bluf, especially with the ice:

Looking into the Rock House

Looking out towards the waterfall

After another short break we headed back down. Beyond Joe Quilliam's home site we again crossed the creek & looped around his sons' old home sites. With the clearer weather we were able to identify rock structures that may have been parts of walls or gates. I also spotted a few cool discarded items:

All in all, a great day in the woods. So glad I was able to experience this beautiful area!

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