We are still trying to figure out where the large horseshoe shown by Kline might be, so today we decided to explore downhill from Little Flat Fire Tower. We headed out the MST, then I went down Kettle Trail to Lonberger Path, while Vince went down Spruce Gap Tr, cutting east across the end of the mountain to reach the portion of Lonberger Path headed almost due north.
Kettle trail is quite steep, so any grade evidence should be strong. I found nothing. Lonberger Path seems to have some potential in places (e.g. small fills), but seems way too winding in places. Could this really be the gravity tram path? Hmmm.
Vince reported similar steepness where he went. Reaching Lonberger he reported (via radio) a rather nice railroad-scale cut. He decided to walk Lonberger out to Galbraith Gap. While waiting, I explored along Bear Meadows Rd, finding some curious stuff at places. I could believe that Bear Meadows Rd is mostly on the path of the gravity tram, and that these curious bits might be uncovered areas. But then why in the world did they construct Lonberger Path and name it after the operator of the mill at Bear Meadows? I also found a truly odd plant with seedpods (?) that resemble yogurt covered raisins. I think it’s a space alien bush. [Consultation with flora experts reveals that this is white baneberry or doll’s eyes. I will continue to think of it as space alien bush, thank you very much!]
Meeting Vince, he proclaimed that “There is no @$%#%$ way that Lonberger is the tramroad. That last switchback is too steep!”. I think we are ready to move to another area.
On the way up to Little Flat far tar I noticed “something in the woods” on the south side of Laurel Run Rd. Exploration showed what seems a logging road (very rough and rocky) angling up the hillside. It fades out within 75 feet of good rock RoW, which I switched over to. Coming to the sharp curve on the rock RoW nearly at the top of the mountain, I noticed that our recently discovered “alternate roadbed” near that spot looks an awful lot like this logging road. Blech. Vince suggests beer at the Eutaw House. I concur.