Week 2, Day 5 – Chris McHugh

Today we embarked on another perilous excursion into the SC wilderness riddled with deer flies, mosquitoes, and the occasional merciless craw daddy. We are searching for an old tram that was used during the logging industry back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s on Bull Island.

An early departure for Bull Island gave the deer flies plenty of time to find us.

Captain Richard and his first mate Sam picked us up from the dock at 7:30 am and we headed on over to the island. Once we got to the general location we stormed the shore and unloaded our equipment and began a search for the old tram.

What we found surprised everyone: there was a full engine and 9 cars that were laid out on the railroad tracks, some still attached. There

The tramway moved massive tree trunks in the last century.

were also other remnants of cars scattered around to the east and north of the track. We began by going to town on clearing away the debris and leaf litter that surrounded the carts and the engine.

After some good landscaping, all the debris was cleared and we went to work drawing and photographing. Julie and I were in charge of photographing each tram and cart, being that they were so long we had to take multiple shots at the same scale so they can be stitched together digitally later. After some trial and error and two run-ins with snakes we finally got it done.

Meanwhile the others team members were working in pairs drawing each tram or engine to scale. We broke for lunch around 11:45 and had sandwiches and a special treat of not only one but two candy bars!

Students learned to draw profile views of the equipment.

After I was done eating, Andrew and I went to go free a snake that had stupidly got himself stuck between two rails that were loaded on an old cart, after freeing the snake we went back to work on finishing our drawings and starting on some more detailed pictures of the more descriptive and identifiable pieces of the features.

After about an hour we began to here thunder, so a certain Doctor got a little jumpy and suggested we should leave early so we made a mad dash for the pickup spot and waited for the boats. It felt like we were being evacuated from a major disaster; when the boats showed up we threw all the equipment in while I held the bow line to keep the boat on shore.

The Pee Dee River isn't a major logging area any longer but huge cypress and other trees still line its banks.

Then we were off speeding down the Pee Dee towards our dock, which we reached shortly thereafter and in a blink of an eye the equipment was unloaded and the boats were off and we headed back to camp to enjoy our weekend.

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