Falling Waters: Nameless Creek Gorge

Summer’s not the best time to get a feel for any piece of these mountains. So much is hidden behind a wall of green. Even so, I carried the camcorder with me on our walk a bit farther up Nameless Creek gorge than we usually go, and brought back several short clips of some of the ledges and small falls that are visible below from the trail along the “New Road.”

The New Road, so called by some of the old-time locals because in the 1920s it was new, built by hand, as a postal road connecting the much more active than now community along * Goose Creek with the community of Simpsons, now also mostly an intersection of King’s Store and Daniel’s Run (supposedly named after a certain Mr. Boone.) You can still see the stacked slatey-black rock in places ten feet or more high, that holds up the old road, now a walking path for not very many feet.

Hurricane Hugo came along in 1989 and blew down numerous large trees across Nameless Creek. (I have no idea if anyone else has ever named this creek, and finding no record of such, I have called it Nameless Creek since I started writing about and from along side it.) So it’s not an easy walk. New blowdown since our last visit was barely possible to crawl under.

Photographically, there are not many clear shots of the water itself, for limbs and branches leaning into the view. These foreground objects play heck with the autofocus on the camera. But it is what it is.

* Goose Creek was the name given by the early settlers to the coast of Virginia to what is now known as the Roanoke River. Settlements sprung up near the mouth of that stream where it met the ocean. Our Goose Creek represents the western-most tributary of the Atlantic coastal river. We live less than two miles from its source. Three miles downstream, Goose joins Bottom Creek to form the South Fork of the Roanoke River, and our water merges with the sea a few days after it burbles and chuckles past our front porch.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Just what I needed to cool the spirit at the beginning of another 100+ degree summer day. What was the musical piece playing in the video?

  2. Think I’m going to keep this one handy so I can easily get to it in order to escape for a minute or so from office madness. Thanks!

  3. Gary, that piece is a favorite of mine–Be Thou My Vision–played by David Nevue. I pulled it from my hard drive as I scanned for a soft, rising and falling melody. Two minutes after posting it (as a newbie to adding soundtracks to videos) I got a notification that is “owned or licensed by rumblefish” but that my account was not in jeopardy because of that infraction.

    I’ve been directed towards a Vimeo Plus account that gives access to a large collection of music, much of it free to use.

    Or, if I had any talent, I could record my own guitar music and agree not to sue myself.

    David Nevue – Be Thou My Vision – live solo piano concert at Piano Haven – YouTube

  4. Growing up on the “creek ” was indeed a pleasure and I often think of the peaceful sound of it rushing towards the sea. I visit Goose Creek most every year when in Va. and it is always one of the highlights of my trip. My Dad carried mail over the “New Road” on horseback and through all kinds of weather. Your place and ours just up the road holds many special memories and a fondness not easily described. It truly is a special place and you are blessed to be caretaker there of the piece of history surrounding the barn and house. Enjoy the wonderful summer and I will listen to my recording of Goose Creek when I need it most to calm my spirit as it often does. Thanks for sharing .

  5. Wow, newbie vidiographer! That looked pretty darn good: all the fades, zooms, etc. Looks like you’ve been playing alot with your new toy. It’s so great that your results can be shared so easily and widely. I love that my husband’s photographs go out to our big e-mail list, rather than being stuck in a dusty photo album, as would have been the case in years gone by. Hooray for the 21st century, at least for this blessing.