Friday, June 15, 2001
"We do honor to your courage and speed, your strength..."
It rained most of the night and the roads leading into and in Pisgah National Park are extremely muddy. We gather in a parking area then pile as many people as we can into as few vehicles as possible.
Our first stops along the way are of tracking the elk. We go down to the river that the three Mohicans splash through as they are hunting the elk. It is a very clean and beautiful river with a massive canopy of hardwood trees. A lot of rocks are in it. It is narrow. We are able to go into this and walk on the rocks. (sigh)
We move on a little farther into the woods. I am wondering why Michael Mann went to such lengths and did so much driving around to find these places because to me, woods are woods. But seeing how the sunlight filters through those trees and remembering how this scene looks in the movie, I understand better. Absolutely beautiful.
We come to the place where the scene is shot that shows Hawkeye and Uncas running very fast. We are informed that tracks were laid along the road for the cameras and tracks of hay were laid on the ground so that Daniel and Eric would know the path to take for filming (and it helped them to be able to run fast and not have to worry about vegetation to run through). As they are running and the cameras are rolling and when you are riding along this area in your car, you get the sense of how this was done. All this time I kept hearing the music in my head of that opening scene.
They did a lot of filming and a lot of splicing together in this forest for this particular segment. We travel a little farther into the forest and are shown the embankment that Chingachgook climbs up during the elk hunt. I am still in awe of how the sunlight looks coming through these trees.
We are taken into the woods where the elk was killed. A small platform was built and covered with "wood stuff" for the elk to fall from. FYI, of course, this was not a real elk that falls. The one you see running through the forest is a real elk and that scene was shot at the Biltmore Estate, which we did not go to this year.
The area where Hawkeye shoots the elk from is a small climb up onto a rock. As we make our way up this rock we have to grab the tree you see Hawkeye grab as he makes his way down to the elk. We laughed about touching this tree and having a little DD-L DNA rub off on us.
I am so impressed with the vision Michael Mann has. This area looks exactly like it does in the movie. A lot of these places are very remote. These people did a hell of a lot of riding around to get to these. And the more I am into this adventcha, the more awestruck I am at what it takes to put a piece of work like this together.
Friday, June 15, 2001
"Came across the war party...tracked it."
The area we are in is called Corner Rock Park. You can see our Mohicans coming out of the forest, where it is very green and lush and the trees appear to have real light colored bark. This area looks exactly like this. The rock you see Chingachgook go under is called Corner Rock. It juts out of the land and forms an overhang. We follow this path right along with him and go over to where he feels the heat from the fire of the war party. You then see Hawkeye follow, only he walks between two smaller rocks and makes his way down to the water. We follow his path as well. We don't know for certain the rock he touches, so we touch as many as we can just to cover our bases. LOL! We also see the small cascade of water that comes over the rocks as Uncas is looking for this war party as well.
This is a very peaceful and serene place. The gentleness of the water trickling over the rocks, the shade all those trees provide, the quiet, it's absolutely beautiful.
Once we leave here, we go back to our lodging place. The afternoon is filled with fun things to do. We horseback ride, have a potluck dinner, and are entertained by David and Ginger Hildebrand, who are period musicians. They played in period dress on period instruments. They played 18th century music, but the one piece that got me was when they played "The Gael" by Dougie Maclean. This was very moving to hear in person. I could see our lovers in that fort. It sent quite a chill (sigh). After this, we have a raffle. Several LOTM items were raffled as well as other things. I didn't win an LOTM item but I did win a pump drill. What is that, you ask? Well it is perhaps the oldest complex mechanical tool still used today. It's origin is over 2,000 years old. This instrument is used by some Hopi and Navaho to create their art and jewelry.
After this raffle, everyone heads back to the motel. Tomorrow is another busy day. A lot of walking but well worth it.