Friday, March 17, 2017

Pilot Mountain

There are many grand places to see in America. One of these wonders is Pilot Mountain in North Carolina. In a book called "Mountain Scenery" ©1859 we find the general description of Pilot Mountain and location. I love the second to last paragraph in this excerpt because of the language used by the writer.

The Pilot Mountain is situated in the eastern end of Surry, near the line of that county and Stokes. It rises, an isolated pile, in the midst of a plain. No other mountain, or even considerable hills, being within many miles of it. It would seem as if the mountains, having concentrated all their strength, make in it a last desperate effort and die away. There is a hotel kept at the foot of the mountain, where many travellers resort in the hot season.
"The ascent of the mountain to the spring, an agreeable spot of refreshment, more than half way to the top, is so gradual that the visitor may proceed on horseback. From this spot the acclivity becomes steeper, until you reach the pinnacle, which presents an elevation of some two hundred feet The only pass to the summit is on the north side, narrow, steep, and laborious of ascent; yet it is considered by no means a difficult achievement. And the visitor is rewarded for his toil by an'enchanting prospect of the surrounding country and mountain scenery in the distance. The dense and widestretching forest appears dotted with farms and hamlets. The Blue Ridge reposes in a long line of mountain heights on the northwest. Eastward, in Stokes County, the Saura Town Mountains rise to the view,—some of whose summits exceed the Pilot in height.^ And the Yadkin River, flowing down from the hills of Wilkes, and washing the western base of the mountain, 'rolls its silvery flood,' in a mazy line of light, through the wilderness. The Pilot Mountain is nearly or quite three thousand feet above the level of the sea. Its position and form, not height, make it an object of interest.

"At a point on the road, between the Little. Yadkin and Mount Airy, the traveller may obtain the most singular, and, perhaps, the finest view of the Pilot. One end of the mountain is there presented to the beholder in its most perfect pyramidal form. Its vast sides are seen sweeping up from the surrounding forest, gradually approaching and becoming steeper, until they terminate at the perpendicular and altar-like mass of rock which forms the summit. It here gives an idea of some gigantic work of art, so regular, and so surprisingly similar are the curves of its outlines, and so exactly over the centre, does the towering pinnacle appear to be placed.

"It satisfies the eye, and fills the soul with a calm and solemn delight to gaze upon the Pilot. Whether touched by the fleecy clouds of morning, or piercing the glittering skies of noon, or reposing in the mellow tints of evening; whether bathed in the pale light of the moon, or enveloped in the surges of the tempest, with the lightning flashing around its brow, it stands ever, ever the same; its foundations in the depths of the earth, and its summit rising in solitary grandeur to the heavens, just as it rose, under its Maker's hand, on the morning of creation, and just as it shall stand when the last generation shall gaze upon it for the last time."

The Pilot Mountain is reached from Greensborough, or High Point, to Salem, by Clemmens & Co.'s line of stages; from thence by hired conveyance. Salem is a very pretty and quiet town, and will well repay a visit. The cemetery is a favorite walk, and will, probably, compare with anything of the kind in the South. A gentleman, who had travelled over much of Europe, once said that Salem reminded him more of a German village than any place he had seen in this country. There is a Female Institute of much celebrity and age in the place. The town was originally settled by the Moravians, and still bears many marks of their taste and public spirit.

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