The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

My First and Last Trip to the Pinnacles

By Addie J. Wood © 1986

Issue: August, 1986

pinnaclesPictured at the very summit of the Pinnacles of Dan in 1922 are (left to right) Lillie Wood, Thelma Webb, Bonnie Webb, Addie J. Wood and Eunice Lipscomb. Matt Burnett is not pictured because he was the one taking this photograph.It was 1922, as near as I can recall the date, the last week in July. Six of us decided we wanted to climb the Pinnacles [of Dan] and have a horse back ride. Lillie Wood, Eunice Lipscomb (summer school teacher), Bonnie Webb, Thelma Webb, Matt Burnett, Clyde Wood and myself ended up going.

The distance we would be going was about four and a half or five miles, so we left around one o'clock on the outing. Things went fine for us and we reached there in good shape. We left the horses at the foot of the little pinnacles and started to climb. The boys would pull and push to get us over the rough spots.

We all made it to the top. It being a real hot day in July, we realized we didn't have any water with us. We made some pictures. All we could see was the mountains around us and the [Dan] river flowing between the pinnacles and mountains. It was such a nice scene, I wonder about our creator building them for us to enjoy.

We then crawled back down getting hotter and thirstier. By the time we reached the little pinnacles, Thelma had fainted on us. Lillie had gotten sick. We laid them in the shade.

Bonnie knew where an old house was that was near, so he went to hunt water. Blackberries were good and ripe, so I ventured out in the field and picked berries in my hands and carried them to moisten the sick girls mouths until Bonnie came back with a quart of water. He said that was all he could find to bring it in.

By then the girls were able to ride, so the first place we came to was Lynch's. Mrs. Lynch was walking up the road with a bucket of spring water and a dipper in it. Lillie asked her if she might have a drink of water. Mrs. Lynch replied, "Sure," and handed every one of us a dipper of water. My, my, how good it was. Lillie drank two and wanted more, but Bonnie told Mrs. Lynch not to give it to her as she had been hot and sick and needed to wait awhile. Mrs. Lynch agreed with him that Lillie could drink too much.

When we reached Mayberry Spring at the store, Bonnie offered Lillie water, but she said, "You wouldn't let me have all I wanted out the road and now I'm not going to drink til we get home."

That night I could not sleep for something on my left leg from my knee to ankle. I went downstairs the next morning and showed my leg to my mother and she said, "Child, you got chiggers." We didn't have any on the mountain [where we lived]. I told Mother about picking blackberries for us to eat as they were sweet and good. "Yes," she said, "And that is where you got them chiggers." I only had 28 between my knee and ankle.

You can see from the photograph there wasn't much space to stand or walk around in on top [of the Pinnacles].

I always told people when they asked when I was going back, "I never lost anything up there and I didn't have any set time to go back." Now, here at 84 years [of age], I know that was my first and last trip to the Pinnacles. I often wonder where Miss Lipscomb went to and whether she is still living. I don't remember where she was from. Matt doesn't recall either, and he was her boyfriend. If you are still living, Miss Lipscomb, and read this article, drop us a card at Meadows of Dan.

Remedy For Chiggers

Make a brine from table salt right thick and rub on them two or three times and it kills them.