Saturday, December 29, 2007

Holiday Fun!

Second Lookout

What a great couple of weeks we've had Exploring Izard County! Besides returning to Moonshine Cave, we also decided to take a stroll below the Second Lookout to explore the bluffline that runs along the ridge. We were rewarded with waterfalls, several little bluff-shelters, and an actual cave!
The cave is a small fissure that appears to go a good ways back into the mountain, but we don't know for sure because none of us had the energy (or guts) to proceed farther than a few feet inside the mouth. There was a fuzzy critter just inside, however...a hibernating bat which was completely oblivious to the mist gathered on its fur from the splashing drips of water seeping from the roof.

Needle's Eye and Moon Eye

Today, we were treeated to a hike that we have anticipated for some time...since friend of the site, Wayne Hill, e-mailed me about the feature known as "Needle's Eye and Moon Eye". After driving up Piney Creek...past the swimming hole lovingly known as "The Nars" (Narrows), we parked at the old Calvin Jones homeplace and proceeded to hike for about 30 minutes to a place above Mill Creek that delighted the whole crew!

The feature is a rock-formation in a bluff above the creek that features a tunnel through the bluff (Needle's Eye) , a large shelter that was once occupied by ancient peoples, and a wonderful natural bridge towering above (Moon Eye).

We all agree that his is one of the most astonishing sights we have visited and featured on the blog. Not only is the feature itself exciting, but the walk to the place was greatly enjoyed by the whole crew as well!

As an added treat, here's a couple of Photos of the old Doc Fleming/Hill place. It is rumored to be haunted! We've discussed adding a page to the EIC blogs called, "Haunted Izard County".

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Oxford/Wideman Road and Moonshine Cave

December 2, 2007
Moonshine Find

This afternoon decided a ride was in order because of the nice rain we experienced. The hills come alive during good rains and it's been a while since we've had one. With no particular place in mind, we set our course south along Sylamore Road and eventually decided to check the waterfall along Sylamore Road to see if it was flowing any more vigorously than the last time we went. Though still running somewhat, it wasn't gushing as we had hoped.

After poking around the bluffs in the hollow below the waterfall and shelter there, we decided to follow through on an idea at least one of us has voiced every time we've been to the site...we walked down the creek.

The creek-bed follows a winding but gradual course bordered on each bank by frequent bluffs and shallow shelters. About two hundred yards or so below the waterfall, my 7-year old son asked as we made our way carefully along the creek-bed, "Dad, would you be surprised if we found a cave while we are walking today?"

After a moment of thought, turning, I replied, "No, I wouldn't be surprised...I'd be happy though."

As I turned back to walk on ahead of our group, I looked across the creek to see a cave...pretty as you please...just above us.

No one had seen the cave...including my was pretty weird! We climbed the bank of the creek to find the awesome cave veiled in mist rising after a light shower. The cave is of significant size...well-suited for habitation. Not a shelter, the cave looks to go some distance into the hill...we could not investigate because we had not anticipated a "find" like this and had not brought a single light.

Investigating the cave, we found it to have been well-dug by others in the search for ancient artifacts. The cave must be rich, because a few artifacts were lying on the floor in plain view...including a well-worn...hand-fitting hammer-stone. More modern signs included the bottom of a large glass jug and several metal barrel hoops. Though we have no way of knowing, our imaginations prompted us to dub the cave The Moonshine Cave until we can find any given name.

December 1, 2007

an Road

The Newburgian and I got out early Saturday morning without a specific place to go in mind. We ultimately decided to drive the road between Oxford and Wideman in the northern part of the county. Along the way we were able to photograph two wonderful old churches/schoolhouses and a very interesting old house and barn. The old Schoolhouse (without steeple) is just outside of Oxford. The other church is in old Wideman. I'm not sure what the names of the old churches/schools are but will endeavor to find out. The old house is very interesting...rare in that it has a quarried-stone basement with windows. It appears to be very old and I intend to investigate its history.

Look for a post later in the week at Exploring Izard County with a few more of the photos we took...and possibly the names of the churches.