Several leaves fluttered against the side of our new home-away-from-home, and I listened to the sounds filling the night air at Pilot Mountain campground with interest. We'd visited the park a few years after moving to North Carolina, but then, the purpose was to explore another one of the Old North State's stunning and unique geological landmarks. But family research that began several months ago with an Ancestry DNA test set off a chain of discoveries that showed me how deep my Carolina roots actually ran. And one of those roots involved Pilot Mountain and the sprawling Yadkin Valley it overlooks.
Today, the Yadkin Valley is wine country and home to several state parks that protect unique landmarks. However, in the past, the Saura Nation that once dwelled nearby called the mountain Jomeokee--the Great Guide. In later years, the domed peak now known as Pilot Mountain served as a navigational landmark for settlers migrating to the Yadkin Valley from Pennsylvania via the Great Wagon Road.
|Pilot Mountain, as Settlers Might Have Seen It|
It made our stay even more exceptional.
But my own personal Jomeokee was only part of the reason of this trip. We visited another, nearby destination during our stay as well, and I'd like to think my ancestors also saw that towering peak as they made their way down the Great Road. So next up: Hanging Rock State Park.