Monday–March 15, 2021
Location–Snake Creek Gap, then to Leland’s rustic cabin on Furnace Creek
Yesterday evening and last night we were the guests of Leland O’Bryant. He put Copperhead and me up in his cabin on Furnace Creek. Leland runs heavy equipment, does logging, is an avid outdoorsman–been hunting the mountains and fishing the streams near his place on Furnace Creek since childhood. He’s a local, born and raised right here in the Georgia mountains. As to hikers, “Met a hiker on the trail long time ago while I was out hunting.” says Leland. “Got to talking to him, wasn’t from around here, but I took a liking to him. Been putting up hikers in my old cabin, helping and supporting them ever since.” And the latest lucky hikers befriended by Leland? Why, none other than Copperhead and yours truly! A comfy room for each of us, and supper prepared by (and compliments of) Leland–fried venison patties, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy; high octane jet fuel! What a kind, happy person, Leland O’Bryant–passing out energy and good will to all.
NOTE: Leland is happy to help and shuttle hikers between Mack White Gap and Dennis Mill, put them up, when time permits. Arrangements can be made by contacting Nathan or Kimm at Pinhoti Outdoor Center (205.202.9525).
This morning Copperhead parks his car at Snake Creek trailhead, then Leland shuttles us back to Keown Falls parking and we’re out and hiking a little before nine. Short-mile day today, to Snake Creek Gap, only 5.9 miles.
A ways past Pilcher Pond there’s a huge old oak tree Leland had told us about. A waterproof cache box has been placed in a crevice in the tree trunk. In the box, a register. We both leave a note. From there, it’s up we go, climb, climb to Horn Mountain, another ridge-walk for a fair distance. Some delightful trail plus a few “cobs” along today, roots and rocks. Slow going there, but it’s a short-mile day and we arrive Snake Creek Gap trailhead by noon.
A trip to LaFayette, lunch at Wendy’s, a trip to the library, some grocery shopping, Copperhead picks up some new socks at Walmart–and we’re soon headed back to Leland’s rustic old backwoods mountain cabin…
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds that you plant.
(Robert Louis Stevenson)