April 2014: On a long weekend trip, I flew out to Richmond, Virginia to meet my brother living in Charlottsville to do some exploring of the Appalachian Mountains. Together we explored some old homesteads, civil war battlefields and drove into West Virginia looking for old moonshine making hillbillys in the mountains.

 

Almost Arrested 

 

Our exploration almost got us into a lot of trouble when we pulled over to explore an old, abandoned house shown in the title photo in the forest of one of the bloodiest civil war battlefields. There were no doors on the house, and it appeared to be dated back to the 1800s.  As we were exploring the house my brother motioned to me to urgently get out and I darted out the door right as an old man holding a side arm appeared demanding to know what I was doing in his house. Realizing that we were trespassing even though there was no indication of this being private land and also observing that the man was unpredictable and holding a gun, all I could do was stay calm and try to deescalate the situation. The man explained the land and home had been in his family since before the civil war and that looters like us had been onsite recently and even stole the headstone of his grandfather’s grave, who he said fought in the civil war. I promised him we wouldn’t take anything and that had we of known it was private property we never would have come on his land.  He did calm down but still insisted on calling the sheriff. he also made sure to let us know that we were lucky we didnt trespass on his neighbor’s land because the, ” cops would have been calling our loved ones.” We had to wait for the sheriff to arrive since he had a gun and was blocking our vehicle from leaving with his truck. When the sheriffs did arrive, they asked if I entered his home, which I denied and of course was lying about. The sheriff and his deputy who were chewing tobacco eventually informed the man that they couldn’t keep us and warned us to avoid trespassing and for the man to put up no trespassing signs. I would like to say that we learned our lesson, but we didn’t. We were sneaking around looking at more abandoned houses and in one case we snuck into an old family graveyard located on an estate of a mansion from the 1700’s and we had to run like hell into the forest when we a thought a pack of hounds had been released on us.

 

 

 

The old house from 1800’s no longer lived in that I entered when the owner intercepted me with a gun

An old cash register inside the house

My brother and I continued driving over the Appalachia’s into West Virginia, where we saw more old houses, small towns and civil war battlefields. 

Old house in West Virginia that might still be occupied

Old house in West Virginia that might still be occupied

 

Appalacias 

Appalacias 

McDowell Civil War Battlefield

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