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TREKKING IN THE WILDERNESS


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Overlooking The Gorge

~~The Gorge~~

Cutting its way through the mountains over millions of years; garnering its name from the frontier family killed within its walls; serving as a supply hideaway for the Confederate Army; landing a starring role in 1992's epic The Last of the Mohicans ... this spectacular locale has indeed made its mark. Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina, Linville Gorge is now a designated wilderness area, home to bear, turkey, grouse, and pockets of virgin forest. Its rugged appeal makes it an ideal place to recreate our frontier past; exactly what Michael Mann did here during the filming of LOTM. Annually, a group of living history re-enactors make a trek through the 12 mile long gorge to partially relive this storied past. One of those folks is Clabert Menard, and we are lucky enough to have his insights and photos to display here ... offering a glimpse into the gorge ... Mohican Press

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~~The Trek '98~~

As in the other trips the scenario for this trek was the reenactment of the search for the Cherokee party that murdered the Linvilles in the gorge in 1769. This trip was supposed to be much easier than the first although we did take all the new comers back up through the Devils Cellar to the top of Table Rock. Clabert At Devil's Chimney On Friday afternoon, we walked in about a half a mile and established a base camp. Small parties went out in different directions for a quick look around and check out the natural spring that would be our water source for the weekend.

Just before dark our guide began to hang his food in the trees. When we asked why, he told of the proliferation of the skunk population in the last couple of years so we followed suit. Saturday morning we got up and after a quick breakfast, prepared to go on a day long scout. As soon as we began to walk down the path, we found that a bear had left a smelly reminder of his own night long scout around OUR camp. We walked down the ridge to the end and then made our own path through the underbrush to the bottom and the river.

Crossing the river proved to be much easier this time as the water level was low and we were able to jump from boulder to boulder. We walked along the river until we found the place we would cross back. As we started down to the river, I lost my footing and my musket hit the rocks and tumbled down in front of me, breaking a large chunk off the bottom of the stock and adding a few more character marks.Crossing The River We found the broken piece and determined it could be refitted. We made it back up to camp uneventfully. That night as I lay trying to sleep in my blanket, I heard a small creature rustling around a few inches from my head. I slowly lowered the blanket and although I was unable to see in the blackness of night, my nose told me my visitor was a skunk. I slowly recovered my head and growled real loud which scared Pepe away. Several of us also heard the final death squeal of a mouse as an Owl made his kill.

We arose the next morning, returned our things to our vehicles, and those who had experienced the gorge previously led the newcomers up to the Devils Cellar. We then went to William Brown's home for a delicious supper after which most of the group went their separate ways. It was during this time that Elaine ventured over and we were able to meet face to face before we boarded the truck for an 18 hour trip back to Texas ... Clabert

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~~The Locations In LOTM~~

The background photo on this page is from On The Trail Of The Last Of The Mohicans. Taken from towards the northern end of The Gorge, near Linville Falls, the view is of prime LOTM territory. The flat-topped protrusion on the left is the summit of Table Rock Mountain. The Final Scene (Chingachgook's prayer) was filmed about a half-mile further down the ridge. At the southern end of The Gorge, to the right distance, is Shortoff Mountain, seen during The Courier & Canoes segments of the film. Beyond that mountain, lies Lake James and the ruins of Fort William Henry! ... Mohican Press

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~~More Photos~~

Gorge View
A Gorge View ... The Amphitheater
Hideout
Clabert's Hideout
The
Spring
The Spring
The Swimming Hole
The Swimming Hole

The Devil's Chimney Overlooking The Gorge - 2
The Devil's Chimney (l) - Overlooking The Gorge (r)

All photos on this page are courtesy of Clabert Menard, long hunter ... also known as, Clabair.

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~~The Dress & Accoutrements~~

Most everyone is dressed in a 1760`s style clothing [mostly hand-made] with the long hunting shirts and deer skin leggings. The vest, that some are wearing, is called a waistcoat. It was a more formal thing to wear over your plain shirt. Normally, a waistcoat was worn when one had visitors or if you went to town. Hats ranged from plain hats to tri-corn hats, silk scarves, a Canadian cap [on Steve Jouette], or nothing at all. Everyone had just one wool blanket and a few had a piece of canvas. We cooked in very small tin or copper pots and small tin cups. Most of the guns were French smooth bore muskets like Eric and Russell carried [in LOTM]... Clabert

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~~Where To Find All This Good Stuff~~

American Pioneer Video PO Box 50049, Bowling Green, KY. 42102 1-800-743-4675

Jas. Townsend & Son, Inc. PO Box 415-ML, Pierceton, IN. 46562

C & D Jarnagin Co. Inc, PO Box 1860, Corinth, MS 38835-1860 1-601-287-4977
Ask for 1750-1815 catalog - $3

Panther Primitves PO Box 32-A, Normantown, WV. 25267 1-304-462-7718
Catalog #11 - $2

Coureur De Bois Trading Post 3620 Hooker Road, Pinckney, Michigan 48169 1-734-878-9337

Caywood Gunmakers 18 King`s Hill Estates, Berryville, AR 72616 1-870-423-4741

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Be sure to read: ON THE TRAIL WITH ... MARK A. BAKER

MOHICAN GENESIS || FROM THE MOHICANS' LAND TO MOHICANLAND || SIX DEGREES TO LOTM || ALICE IN MOHICANLAND.... An Essay || MR. TWAIN'S CRITIQUING OFFENSES || MOHICANS 101 || THE COURIER || THE COURIER CLASSIFIEDS || DEAR DOCTOR MARY || DOCTOR MARY'S THERAPY ROOM || COUSIN EUGENIE SPEAKS OUT ... || LETTERS TO THE EDITORS || NOTES FROM THE TRAIL ... || THE Mac WILLIAM CHRONICLES PHOTO GALLERY || THE MOHICANLAND MASSES || WHAT MAKES IT ALL WORTHWHILE ... Visitor Comments || THE VOLLEY FIRE || OPINE, O'MINE!


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