In Memory of J.B. Milano

Adventure on Crowders Mountain

Mr. Corey, Bobby and Davids' dad was the assistant scout master and planned a trip over night to Crowders Mountain in Gaston County. You can see the mountain from the big hill across the road from my house. He sent a note home to all of the scouts in his troop giving the details of the trip and camp out. My brother Sam and David Corey weren't old enough to be Boy Scouts, but were invited anyway. They were Cub Scouts and were just a year or two from being Boy Scouts. David and John Milano, Johnny Johnson, Don Kelley, Don McGary, Ronnie Gleason and Reggie Holderfield all lived on our block so we knew each other. Hunt McKennon was in the Cub Scouts and lived two doors away from the Corey's, his dad Watt and Mr. Corey were good friends so Hunt was invited. Watt agreed to go along help Mr. Corey with the trip.

We all met up at the church Friday afternoon with our sleeping bags, cooking utensils, food stuff, and change of close which included clean socks and underwear. Mr. Corey had built a trailer from the remains of an old boat trailer and we loaded all our stuff which included a WWII Army Tent, gas stove and lanterns. It was hooked to Mr. Corey's 1950 four door Plymouth. We piled into several cars and a pickup truck and headed out to the mountain. What seemed like hours of winding back roads we got to Crowders Mountain and drove up the fire road to the top. A spot was found where we had a view of Charlotte and the big buildings. You could see the Liberty Life, Independence, Johnson, Wilder building and several other tall buildings. Camp was set up and we had hot dogs and pork & beans for super. After super we all sat around the fire and Mr. Corey and Mr. McKennon told ghost stories which included one about a mad bear roaming Crowders Mountain looking for its mate that was supposedly killed and eaten by a group of campers on the mountain. As we lay in our sleeping bags around the fire every little sound brought a tinge of fear of that mad bear coming to get us and we all ended up in the big army tent awaiting a giant claw to come ripping through side to get us. The next morning we awoke to the Sun coming up and the smell of beacon being fried over the camp fire.

After breakfast and everything was washed and packed up we broke into two groups and maps were brought out showing the trails around and over the mountain. Mr. Corey took one group and Mr. McKennon took the other group and we starting hiking on and around the mountain. By lunch time we were exhausted and ate potted meat, sardines, and crackers chasing it down with water. Late that afternoon we hiked back to our camp site tired. We dropped our day packs and lay around while Mr. Corey and Mr. Mckennon cooked up a great big pot of stew over the hot coals of the camp fire. They brought out a crate of Coca Colas in a cooler that was hidden in the trailer and we polished off our stew with them. After supper we didn't stay awake long before everyone was fast asleep. Sunday morning found us packing up our packs and other gear loading up the trailer. By 11:00 AM we were coming down the mountain headed home. As far as I can remember no one got into poison Ivy, poison Oak, or had an encounter with a mad bear or snake.