Saturday, August 14, 2010

e-Tour Bags a Peak at Medoc Mountain

Medoc Mountain State Park is tucked back off the busy North-South corridor of I-95 close to Rocky Mount in northeastern North Carolina. As we approached the park we wondered about finding a mountain in the low country not too far from the Dismal Swamp of Virginia. Once in the park we learned that Medoc Mountain is indeed the foundation of a once towering granite mountain. This foundation is now covered in trees and barely a rise on the gentle landscape. Medoc is but a shadow of its former self when eons ago (during the Paleozoic Age 350 million years ago) it was a major peak within a magnificent chain of mountains. Over time, a very long time, streams in the area, Little Fishing Creek and Bear Swamp Creek have eroded the land surrounding the mountain and eventually the granite mountain itself. The park now encompasses rich forests and streams, secluded picnic spots, and is a most enjoyable park even if there is no craggy peak left to climb.

From Medoc Mountain SP

The state park was our meeting place with two busloads of Operation Purple campers and staff from nearby Halifax 4-H Rural Life Center under the guidance of Joe Long, director of the center. This was a great group, at once polite and inquisitive, creative and attentive. After we spent the better part of an hour discussing the principles of Leave No Trace and playing some games from the PEAK program, they demonstrated their understanding of outdoor ethics by correctly assigning each rule, regulation and recommendation in the Medoc Mountain State Park brochure to the proper principle of Leave No Trace.

The Rural Life Center fed us a barbecue lunch after our program and we packed up our Leave No Trace Subaru as the campers headed off to participate in service projects with the park staff. The project for the day involved stream clean up and rehabilitation. In our opinion there is no better way to spend a hot summer afternoon than messing about in (and cleaning up) a cool clear stream, especially one of the gentle streams that over time turned mighty Medoc Mountain into a modest, yet beautiful, bump on the landscape.

Hope to see you up the road...

Peggy and Barrett
2010 e-Tour Team

e-words for today: "eons erode elevation"

No comments: