In spite of what you believe is true about the natural world, it’s fun to consider that there may be more out there than is visible to the naked eye. Here in the Bible Belt, there is a strong belief in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit, and as a life-long christian, I believe in both. My Presbyterian/Methodist up-bringing does holster some limitation to the idea of ghosts in the natural world. I reserve the right to consider that there could be more out there than what I ‘believe” is there. There are also those who believe that there is such a thing as a Sasquatch in and around the Appalachian mountains. There are a handful of experts who offer expeditions to search for it, museums, and festivals for the Sasquatch every year. We keep planning to attend Sasquatch events as we find it all highly entertaining and amusing. The events have yet to line up with our schedules. Last June, Shannon was searching for a place for us to look for arrowheads. He was searching for specific types of places in google maps, and discovered a tag for “the meadow”. It’s in an obscure location within the Talladega National Forest. As I had spent the past month in his yard picking berries (one of the best things about his yard in summer!) I was ready to “take a walk” as we call it.
There’s a local man who founded the Oxford Paranormal Society as in Oxford, Alabama. Shannon found out all about it when he discovered that tag for The Meadow, which actually also said “the south’s skin walker ranch” out beside it which lead him to look further into it. It turns out there has been a book written about it called The Meadow Project: Explorations into the South’s Skinwalker Ranch. In the book, and in several podcasts on the topic, they mention the research and the high level of paranormal activity in said meadow. Shannon is familiar with the area where its located along the Pinhoti trail, (linked that to a previous post about the Pinhoti) and had some idea about where it was. One Saturday last June we loaded up Jango and headed that way to see what it was all about.
There is a public trail, visible and easily accessible from a popular campground. It is a nice, easy, scenic hike near the town of Heflin, Alabama.
Side note – The week prior to this hot and sunny day we’d had a lot of rain. Hence the mushrooms everywhere. I am weirdly fascinated by and interested in mushrooms. Ive never met an edible one I didn’t love and beyond that they’re cool and interesting. This hike became like a mushroom scavenger hunt for me.
I found that as we got closer to the meadow, I was feeling nervous. Much like listening to ghost stories on the way to a haunted house, we had been listening to the podcasts about what had been witnessed and experienced in this place by seemingly reasonable and intelligent people. Although most of the accounts we’d heard had been in the night time hours, in the cover of darkness, I couldn’t say with absolute certainty that some of them hadn’t happened in broad daylight. I was glad we had Jango along with her keen senses. She always has her nose to the ground, her ears perked up, and is always on full alert when she’s awake.
It’s a good idea to wear long pants, boots, and hats when you’re hiking. Even on marked trails there can be hazards to your feet and ankles if they aren’t protected, and in June in Alabama, the hats may protect you from the sun and may keep the ticks from actually making it onto your scalp. Such clothing is in direct contrast to what seems logical with the heat. It is unbearably hot in summer months, and this day was no exception. We were drenched with sweat by the time we got to the meadow.
The meadow isn’t far beyond the trail, and if you know what you’re looking for you can see it as you walk past. Shannon tells me that it looks like the forest service intends for it to serve as a food plot for deer. They’ve planted something that looks like wheat, and there is a lot of tall hay and grass that came up to our armpits. Jango had to jump to clear it. There were a few flattened spots where I decided the deer had been bedding down overnight. I was fascinated with the wheat-type grasses and the cool patterns they made
We walked through chest high grasses through a large field, and noticed there was also a second field beyond. We walked back to that one and started to feel the intensity of the heat.
We didn’t see, hear, or feel anything that could be counted as paranormal, and Jango didn’t seem to either. We saw a big beautiful field, covered with bugs, and surrounded by trees. Without a trail, it was tricky to walk through, and I spent the ride home pulling ticks off of Jango and myself (an extremely routine activity) . The surrounding trail is shaded, and the creek that lines it is perfect to cool your feet.
A fun adventure – even without meeting a Sasquatch, a ghost, or an alien. Maybe next time!