My friend has been researching her family history and visiting the graves of her ancestors. Her recent search led her to some coordinates which pointed to an old cemetery plot that was located in the mountains in the middle of what is now a Christmas tree farm. It sounded like an adventure waiting to happen, so one Sunday morning, my friend, her sister and I piled in the car, made quick stop at Trader Joe’s for some road trip snacks, and we set off in hopes of finding this hidden cemetery.
The coordinates took us down the interstate away from the city, and then through some twisting curvy country roads that got smaller and smaller, until we found ourselves way up in the Blue Ridge mountains. We are very much city folk so we began to freak out a bit as our travels took us more and more into the middle of nowhere; into some region of the state that none of us even knew existed.
We eventually turned down a gravel road just wide enough for one car, and followed it to the very end. According to the coordinates the cemetery was just through the woods ahead of us! The only problem was the big fence surrounding the woods and all the no trespassing signs. There a were a few houses close by and we were concerned someone may call the cops at the sight of a strange car parked on the side of the road. After contemplating trying to find a more secretive way in, we decided just to leave a note and a flower on the windshield explaining why we were there, and then we jumped the fenced and started our trek through the woods.
We climbed up a giant hill and then came to a barbed wire fence. Just beyond the fence we could see the Christmas Tree farm, with little trees for as far as the eye could see. There was some talk of turning back at the sight of the barbed fence, but the coordinates showed that the cemetery was very close so we crawled carefully through the barbs and continued one.
We found ourselves on the very top of a large hill filled with little future Christmas trees and an incredible view. The country is simultaneously beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
As we walked through the row of little trees I glanced to the side, and there I saw what appeared to be headstones! It was the little cemetery! We could hardly believe we actually found it. And so quickly! My friends laid flowers on their distant relatives graves, and we tried to imagine what it had been like when they lived and worked on this land.
This was such a peaceful spot.
On our way back down to the car, we spotted these animal bones! As we were checking them out, we saw a woman walking down the gravel road, on the phone, staring into the woods towards us! We were afraid she was calling the police! But then she didn’t seem like she had seen us and began walking away. We stayed hidden and waited for her to walk further back down the road before climbing over the fence. I didn’t think we would be in huge trouble, but my worst fear when I saw her was that we would have to awkwardly climb back over the fence while she angrily stared us down and I would die of awkwardness. Luckily that didn’t happen and we made it back to the car without being spotted.
Visiting this little cemetery in the Christmas tree farm was definitely quite an adventure. We were all so excited that we were able to find it, and make it in and out without any problems. We travled back down the mountain, ate some pizza at some biker stop right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and discussed the days next adventure..