There is nothing quite like the view of Pilot Mountain towering in the distance when driving on Highway 52 or Highway 74 in Surry County.
Our mountain has been a navigational landmark since the seventeenth century. The Native American Saura people had migrated into the area then. They named the mountain Jomeokee, which meant Pilot or Great Guide. In the eighteenth century, Jomeokee guided colonists as they traveled the Great Wagon Road, following the paths first made by the Sauras. Today, visitors enjoy the beauty of Pilot Mountain, but for locals returning home from a trip, the sight of the mountain is not only the marker for home but also a marker for the heart.
My family has enjoyed many picnics and hikes on the mountain. The annual community Easter Sunrise Service is a meaningful and glorious event. Pilot Mountain is a given spot on the itinerary to take out of town guests. The scenery never gets old and feels like a mini vacation even to us locals. Last month, our son Carson and his fiancé’ Bryce were married with Pilot Mountain in the background. We feel close to God on the mountain and have found it easier to make decisions when our minds aren’t cluttered with the business of daily life.
Fall is the perfect time for a hike. The temperatures are comfortable, and the colorful leaves are beautiful. One hike comes to mind when I think of a Pilot Mountain adventure with my family. It was the first time we hiked the Pilot Creek Trail, one of the newer trails at Pilot Mountain. We started at the family campground area in the main park and hiked the trail which finally ended on Boyd Nelson Road. That experience reminded us that it is a good idea to investigate your hike before beginning. If we had, we would have learned the Pilot Creek Trail is a 3.3-mile hike and would not be completed before lunch. I really think my family thought they would have starved to death if we had not had trail mix with us.
Trail mix is a combination of whole grain cereal, small crackers or popcorn, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Making your own trail mix allows you to create a healthy version that will be enjoyed by all. If you want to add something sweet to your mix, try mini chocolate chips or mini chocolate covered candies. Smaller pieces allow for the sweets to be dispersed throughout the mixture. Just pay attention to serving size which will vary based on ingredients. For example, you can have a larger portion if the base of your trail mix is a whole grain cereal with limited quantities of chocolate chips, and dried fruits rather than the other way around. Using a snack size bag instead of a sandwich bag for individual servings will make it easier to not eat too much of a good thing. Use this basic recipe as a suggestion and add your own favorite ingredients to create a delicious trail mix to satisfy your hunger while on a hike, in the car, or for a snack or lunchtime treat.
Basic Trail Mix
Prep time 10 minutes
About 14 servings;
(1/4) cup each
- 2 cups whole grain cereal of your choice
- 1 cup unsalted pretzels (broken up into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit
- Other ingredients of your choice
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Note: Other possible ingredients include roasted almonds, roasted soybeans, unsalted peanuts, oyster crackers, small baked cheese crackers, popcorn, animal crackers, candy-coated chocolate pieces, chocolate chips or teddy grahams.