I believe in magic. Not just mind-blowing magic, but the every day sort that keeps most of us upright instead of six feet under because in any given week, I know I survive something (mostly on the highway) because someone is looking out for me and not because I have some special set of skills.
So I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to know that all manner of magical things attract my attention…fairies, gnomes, trolls. I pretty much have one of each of them lurking around here somewhere.
A few years ago, The Dane and I took up hiking pretty seriously (we’ve since lapsed a bit). One of our first big trips was up to Chimney Rock to Exclamation Point. This is not a trail for the faint of heart. It’s just flat-out no joke and it’s labeled as moderate-to-strenuous. At approximately 2480 elevation, it’s worth the climb for the views as you can see for miles. And it’s beautiful. Interested in finding out what those look like? Then see if you can find a copy of The Last of the Mohicans, as much of the movie was shot in Chimney Rock/Lake Lure. Also, one of the mountain views from Lake Lure is called the Million Dollar View and it is breathtaking (you know, if you’re all naturey and stuff).
After our climb, we went into the gift shop. There I found the Old Man. He was leaned up against the wall, sort of staring at me and I swear I saw him wink. I fell in love.
The Old Man is a Woodspirit. I’d never seen a walking stick with a face carved in it prior to this trip, so after I brought the Old Man home, I starting wondering about it.
The Legend of the Woodspirit hails from Europe as folks that made long treks through the forest, in those days, believed that the woods were filled with mystical spirits. Fearing that entering the forest angered the spirits, someone either made up or “discovered” how to ward off the anger. And somewhere along the line, it became a popular believe that carving a woodspirit into a bit of wood or a walking stick appeased the creatures of the woodland and therefore, granted those travelers safe passage.
It’s interesting to me, that I came to obtain the Old Man while we were in Chimney Rock, as while we were there, we heard many tales about the “Little People” that roamed Hickory Nut Gorge. To date, The Dane and I haven’t spotted any Little People there, but we never give up hope and whenever we go, we’re always on the lookout.
Until next time, I hope you have an enchanted afternoon.
Timberland boots – I’ve had these for many (longer than 10) years. I wear them every time we go on major hikes and I use them a bit during the fall/winter months even for smaller hikes. These boots show very little wear and tear. While they don’t look brand-new, the average person would never believe I’ve had them this long. I’m pretty sure that’s why you can still find this exact same style today.
Legendary Whitetail Flannel Shirt – I love borrowing The Dane’s shirts to wear different ways. I particularly like to borrow this one as it is very warm on chilly days. These shirts are heavyweight and are definitely made to last. You can still get this same print at the link above.