I'm Rose Fontaine: Hi! And welcome to my blog that I have dedicated to sharing my experiences in the little sky valley in the mountains of North Carolina. I have seen groups of friends come to the trails of the Appalachians to have some adventure ever since I was a child. It made me want to share some of the secrets of these valleys with everyone so that they can have a better experience and keep the forest protected. I like to share some of my traditional recipes, special viewing spots, and some of the other interesting things about these mountains with everyone. If you are planning a visit, do not forget to meet me and say Hi!
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Be prepared for emergenciesSometimes, you can be engaged in a car accident or there might be swift inclement weather. These can leave you stranded in mountainous areas for a long period. So, before you leave your house, let a family member or friend know where you are going to and when you are expected to return, and make sure that you go along with extra clothing, first aid, food, water, and tools that can be used to fix some problems in case you do not get any roadside assistance. Additionally, make sure you have a trusted towing service or roadside assistance service ready to call in case of a more serious accident or breakdown. While cell service can be spotty, it is usually fine around the major highways and road. Here’s a great article on what to look out for when choosing a reliable on-call towing service.
Tune-up your carYou may need to give your car extra attention before you go on a trip through the mountains, most especially, after winter. Make sure that you fill-up the transmission and brake fluids. Ensure that the windshield wipers, brakes, exhaust, cooling and heating, and battery performance systems are working fine. You should also ensure that you have a spare tire available and that you inflate the whole tires. Because of the unexpected weather, terrain, and events that may affect your car, make sure that you put your vehicle in optimal condition.
Fill upMost people do not understand that the quantity of fuel required to climb steep grades is more compared to the typical driving. Another thing is that you will hardly find a gas station in mountainous regions and there may not be a cell phone service. There are minimal shoulders and less visibility ahead in most mountain roads. If you do happen to run out of fuel/gas, you will be at risk of having a car accident. To avoid this kind of situation, you should fill up your car before embarking on the journey.
Be cautious while using brakesWhen you continuously use brakes on steep grades, the brakes will quickly get overworked. If you want to use it while declining, it would be better for you to quickly and lightly tap the brake pedal (tap method) so that they can remain cool. Anticipate steep and also observe speed signs. Brake before taking the plunge to hairpin turns. Whenever you use brakes before turns, the forces will not shift to the front of the car, it will rather go to the back. This will give you more control of the vehicle and you will be able to pass through mountain roads easily.
Downshift first before downgradesSteep topography requires you to downshift to the lower gear to have a better performance. This will help to limit the stress on the brakes of your vehicle as well as the engine and you can control your speed. Ensure that this is done before you go downhill, as it will be dangerous for you to switch gears while on steep grades.
Make use of your headlightsYou need your headlights when there is fog, dawn, snow, rain, dusk, and during the night. Whenever you are in doubt, make yourself completely visible with your headlamps to cars behind and in front of you. Always remember to check that your headlights are working perfectly before you hit the roads.
The Cherokees considered the mound to be inhabited by a race of powerful spirit-beings called the Nunne’hi, who also had other “townhouses” inside Pilot MountainThe Nikwasi men rushed out to meet the attack, but after a long, hard fight they found themselves overpowered and began to retreat. Suddenly a stranger stood among them and shouted to the chief to call off his men. He himself would drive back the enemy. The Nikwasi fell back along the trail, and as they came near the townhouse, they saw a great company of warriors coming out from the side of the mound as through an open doorway. Then they knew that their friends were the Nunne’hi, the Immortals, although no one had ever heard before that they lived under Nikwasi Mound. The Nunne’hi poured out by the hundreds, armed and painted for the fight But the most curious thing was that they became invisible as soon as they were outside the settlement, so that although the enemy saw the glancing arrow or felt the rushing tomahawk, they could not see who sent it. The invaders tried to retreat and hide, but the Nunne’hi arrows went around the rocks and killed them from the other side, and they were defeated. When the battle was over, the fighting Nunne’hi went back into the mound. And they may still be there… In the Civil War, when a strong party of Federal troops came to surprise a handful of Confederates posted in Franklin, they saw so many soldiers guarding the town that they retreated without making an attack. Today, some people believe that it is possible to hear drumbeats from deep within the ancient mound, where the Nunne’hi are said to have their living quarters. We hope no one ever digs into the place to find out if they are really there. Some things need to remain a mystery.
Here’s a great overview of the efforts to preserve the mound in Franklin, NC