Search Area: The Pee Dee River/Rockingham, NC to Cheraw, SC Part 2: Ken and Scott’s Revenge

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Alright, there is only one way to describe the Pee Dee today. Awesome! The water was at just the right level. The only real problem today was that the water was extremely cold! But we here at Searching The South don’t leave you guys hanging! We push on and brave the worst conditions imaginable! As long as it doesn’t affect my personal comfort.

Not a whole lot to report today. Took a few pics that I will be glad to share. The glare of the river really messed with the camera. I do have a few vids. Anyone who is interested in this particular run should look back at this old post. Then compare that one with this one. The first time I took this trip with Ken we had less than two feet of water if I remember correctly. What a difference a couple of more feet made!

The first time down we left the landing at Rockingham at 12:00P.M. and got to Cheraw at 12:30A.M.

This time we left at 11:00A.M. and got to Cheraw at 5:05P.M.

Today was a leisurely little paddle too. We didn’t get in a hurry. We actually got to enjoy the river.

One of our main things today was cache maintenance. We had to go back and check Low Water Challenge and YOUGOTTAWANNAHAVEIT. (If we are making this trip to do maintenance on these two this far out and putting in this much effort, please go check that micro you have hidden at the local Food Lion.)

Both caches were, amazingly, sitting pretty. Both had been underwater a couple of times over the last year but were bone dry inside. I have a new found faith in ammo cans for hiding caches in remote locations.

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While I am waiting for the videos to load, if you ever have the chance to go kayaking with Ken, GO! He is a great caching and kayaking partner. We had some real teamwork today. At one point we had to get over some fallen trees and were very lucky no one went head first into the freezing water. So thanks for leading me down river Ken!

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Ken

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Just a pic I snapped. Don’t know why.

dsc036331Part of a childs toy floating down the river. I wish we could CITO this place. We would need a barge.

dsc03579The earlier post might tell the story on this pic. I think it may show how much more water we had today.

dsc03656Footbridge? If it’s private, it’s built like a train trestle. This is where the log jam was.

dsc03637Approach to the creek run.

dsc03661The worst part of the day. The end of the run.

The vid below is nothing huge and the first part was just a little cache maintenance. You can fast forward a bit if you like. There may be a little funny in it for ya.

Anyway, thanks for reading this. I always enjoy sharing my (mis)adventures. As always….

GET OFF THE HIGHWAY!

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more about “PEE DEE 2“, posted with vodpod
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Springs Park: Part 3

Isn’t Facebook great!?!? I have found a couple of folks on there with interest similar to mine. One was a Camp Cherokee counsler that spent time at Springs Park. Here is a photo she labled from what she remembers. More to come. Much more!

nancy-watts-mayer-springs-park-layoutNancy Watts Mayer Photo Map

CRYBABY CREEK: THE END OF THE ROAD

If you have followed this at all you’ve seen mention of Crybaby Creek before. I never went all the way to the end of the road across the bridge and got curious. What’s over there?

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You know what? Everything we do is temporary. This bridge was built in 1923. Less than a hundred years ago. Another hundred years and none of this will be here. This planet will shake us off like fleas off a dogs back.

Albany, GA: Decommisioned Nike Base

You never know what’s in your backyard. Richard called and left a message while he was out caching today and thought that I would be interested in this site. There is a cache nearby called Blue Hippo Hiding The Nuke Site . I looked for quite sometime and came across the following. Maybe to much info for some, personally I will have to go check it out. I will edit when Richard sends me the pics and his comments. Ano.


The Legend of the Albany Nike Base


The following is a series of post from the Above Top Secret forums. I have preserved this as it was orginally written by Jasunami.


It is fascinating to find this post. I have been working on a book for several years now and the Nike Base in Albany, Georgia pops up in several chapters. Reason is that I grew up in Albany and at the age of thirteen my family moved out to the North Doublegate subdivision around 1983. And the Nike Base is a legendary place that serves up many fascinating stories into the lexicon of ’70s and ’80s youth culture in and around Albany, Georgia.

North Doublegate was located on the Lee County side of Old Dawson Road and east of Highway 82. The Nike Base was very expansive and many people do not realize that the part of the base with the bunkers, garage buildings, checkpoint and roads was only part of the base. The front portion of the base sits east of the old site just a couple of blocks south of Highway 82 and the Doublegate EZ Mart convenience store.

Ironically, a Christian-based drug and alcohol treatment center known as “The Anchorage” was built utilizing the personnel and living quarters section of the old Nike Base. In other words, the dorms, kitchen and mess hall area of the old base was converted into this treatment center. And I call this ironic because the Nike Base was the scene of major drug and alcohol use as well as Satanic worship. But I’ll get into the details of this a bit later. I am not certain if The Anchorage is still open now days because I have not been back home in a few years. But there’s a large tower at the front gate of the treatment center that used to be either an air traffic control tower or radar tower during the 1950s when the Nike Base was still operational.

I actually know tons of information about the base and would love to share it here as briefly as possible. For example, there were two different grumpy old men the average teenager would sometimes encounter during an excursion to the missile base. There was the old black farmer who lived in the house just a few hundred yards south of the base in the middle of the corn fields. He had a son that was a senior when I attended Lee County Highschool in 1984. But the Nike Base was actually on land purchased by K.G. Hodges. The farmer just rented that property and served as a groundskeeper and security guard of sorts for Hodges. Hence why he went nuts when he saw kids out there. He actually fired a shotgun in the air over my head once when I was riding my motorcycle out there. Rumor was that he had a 12-gauge with rock salt and that he’d actually shot a few trespassers over the years.

The land owner, K.G. Hodges, was very wealthy and used the land around the base mostly for organized quail hunts and rented the place to deer hunting clubs in the winter. And he absolutely hated kids trespassing on his land. At the time I loathed Hodges and thought he was a tyrant. I actually had more than a few run-ins with the man. Once face-to-face when he pulled his truck out in front of my motorcycle and caused me to wreck. I deeply loathed the man to put it nicely. But now that I am almost 40-years-old and own property myself. Thus I can better reason with Hodges’ anger. Honestly, kids were going out there and doing all sorts of wild stuff. Including myself. Graffiti, sex in the back seats of cars and the growth of marijuana plants all over the surrounding property were but a few of the surprisingly tamer activities.

Legend of the Nike Base Continued

The Nike Base has much darker legends around it. And I swear to you the stuff I’ll reveal now is absolutely true. The sheriff of Lee County during the ’70s and ’80s was E.J. Boyer. I was close friends with his grandson at the time. One of the senior deputies during this era was a man named Thad Knight. He was actually a very good cop. An old fashioned Andy Griffith type of southern lawman. He was always fair to me and let me off the hook after a few lengthy morality speeches on several occasions. But this was also due to the fact that he knew my deceased father and I think he might have felt a bad for a troubled teen growing up without a dad.

The stories I am about to tell you are true. Because these two cops confirmed all of it. And I witnessed things as well.

When I was a teen me and a small group of friends rode motorcycles on the fire breaks throughout the land around the Nike Base site. For those who do not know, fire breaks are little dirt roads on a grid system used for controlled burning of undergrowth during the fall and spring seasons. The Nike Base location was heavily gridded with these narrow roads. A main road went from the south side of the forest to the north side of the forest and dumped out basically right into K.G. Hodges front yard. This is the road all the teenagers took out to the old base. The road entrance started where Danbury Lane ended at the time.

There were also roads that ran east to west on the grid. One at the south just a few hundred yards north of Danbury Lane, one in the center of the forest that you actually had to take a left onto in order to find the entrance to the base and the old checkpoint. If you went east on this center road you’d come out at the rear of The Anchorage treatment center. There was another east/west road further north that when taken east would dump you out into a massive pecan orchard owned by the Toolee Company. And when taken west the road would dump you out onto a rural dirt road where K.G. Hodges and several other older plantation homes where located. Taken all the way east would place you onto Highway 82.

I knew those dirt roads and the forest by the back of my hand. I literally spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours out in those woods mostly by myself on my motorcycle. I’d say from the age of 13 until I was 18, I road my motorcycle out into the roads on a daily basis. Sometimes for just a half hour or so and other times until the sun went down at night. I had a headlight on my motorcycle and used to enjoy night riding as well sometimes.

I have great insight into this place because my sister is 10 years older than me and she and her friends went out to the base a decade before myself. Not to mention that my father was a pilot and my grandfather was retired Navy. Plus four uncles all in the service as well. I recall going to Turner Field (which is now Miller Brewery) and watching air shows with my father and grandfather in the early ’70s. I remember asking my grandfather about the Nike Base when I first discovered it and he told me they had live nukes out there in the 1950s during the height of the cold war.

Well, let me break down the crazy legends about that place and source of why K.G. Hodges and the black farmer were so hateful.

First off, there was an organized group of Satanists that frequented the Nike Base late at night. Mostly on Saturdays. And this is a fact. Many people dispelled these stories as folk tales but I know for a fact they were true. Because not only was I told by the police to stay away from the base because of these Satanists, of course I didn’t listen and went on on teenage spy missions and actually saw these freaks several times. Not to mention that I found numerous sacrificed animal carcasses over the years. Once I was horrified to find a dog nailed to a tree. The Satanists were led by a local weirdo known as Crazy Ed. He’s now in prison for robbery.

The Legend of the Nike Base Continued

Crazy Ed used to live with his parents on Ledo Road just a few miles from the base location. This was back when all that was on Ledo Road was the Addison Steel factory and a few scattered houses amongst farm land. Ed was a failed musician who was in his late 30s during the early 1980s and still living with his elderly parents. Crazy Ed used to prey on kids for sex and convince immature teens into following him as some sort of High Priest of Satanism. He modeled himself after Anton LaVey (author of the Satanic Bible) and walked around with a cheap Dracula cape he bought from a costume store. He even had some sort of old Spanish sword from an Army/Navy surplus store and a shaved head and goatee. But even at 13 years of age I knew the guy was an idiot and pedophile.

Regardless, Crazy Ed did have a healthy number of followers. His parents had a large yard. I think it was a few acres as I recall. But in the very back of their property in a small orchard of pecan trees, Ed built a pyramid out of lumber that sat atop a concrete slab where he’d sacrifice animals and it was also a place where he’d hang out with teens and do drugs. He sold drugs and bought teens beer and liquor as well. Just a typical predator type personality. I actually stumbled out to Ed’s backyard on Halloween of all times in 1984 with a few friends that heard he was throwing a party. We went out there and the guy was an absolute moron. But as many morons often do, he had even dumber people that followed him. It was somewhat amazing really. Just imagine a devil worshipping, drug addicted pedophile living in Albany, Georgia and getting away with it. For those who do not know, Albany is a Mecca for Southern Baptists and a very religious place.

Well, Ed would hold so-called “Sabbath” nights at the Nike Base on Saturday nights. He and his followers would build bonfires and do all sorts of weird stuff. Again, I know because I spied on them. And in confession, me and a couple of my friends actually sniped a few of these people one night with pellet guns. Nothing fatal, we simply took pot shots at drunk devil worshippers from the trees about 50 yards away.

Eventually, the Nike Base became a hotspot and the cops started busting Ed and his gang of freaks. By 1985 or so, the Sabbath celebrations stopped. But by this same period, teens started going out to the base at night on dares and so forth. Guys would take their girlfriends out there to scare them and then turn to making out in the back seat of the car. In all honesty me and my friends took advantage of this as well. For about a year or more we’d ride our motorcycles out into the forest and park them. Then we’d put on rubber horror masks and have machetes and run up to parked cars and scare the living crap out of people. It was fun and dangerous in retrospect. But hey, I was 15 years old at the time.

Crazy Ed eventually got busted for having sex with a 14-year-old girl and did a year in jail I believe. Then a year after he was out of jail he robbed the Super X Drug Store on south Slappey Blvd. The idiot went into the store and held the pharmacist at gunpoint making the guy fill a trash bag full of drugs. When the cops arrived 10 minutes later they started the investigation. Almost an hour later a detective was walking down the front of the building and began to see pills and containers dropped on the sidewalk. He followed a trail of pills until he found an over-dosed Crazy Ed unconscious behind a large trash dumpster. He was saved by paramedics and then sent off to prison for armed robbery.

he Legend of the Nike Base Continued

Beyond Crazy Ed and Satanism at the Nike Base, there are many other stories. For example, there were American Indian burial mounds to the north of the base location and also a civil war era slave graveyard to the east close to the Anchorage. I think I was one of the first people to find the Indian mounds. Here’s what is totally shocking now days. The Nike Base is absolutely gone. An entire subdivision of giant homes have been built on top of all the land that used to be dense forest with a corn field and Nike Base in the center. All of this is completely gone now. What’s shocking is just like the movie “Poltergeist,” greedy land developers built an entire subdivision on top of Indian burial mounds and slave graves. Not to mention all the Satanic stuff that was done out there. All I have to say is that I would not want to own one of those cursed houses for a number of reasons. Not to mention potential radiation. Who knows? I just wouldn’t want to live on that land.

Other interesting stories of the old Nike Base and the forest that used to surround it, was that there were tons of marijuana plants grown out there during the ’70s and ’80s. I once got chased by pot growers when I accidentally rode up on them as they were checking their plants. But I was a professional at getting chased and getting away.

Me and my friends made a hobby out of getting chased by K.G. Hodges and the Lee County Sheriff’s Department for years. For those who are not familiar with south Georgia terrain, it is all red clay soil. What this means is that on a typical summer’s day, dirt roads turn into the producers of dust probably only second to the planet Mars. Basically for fun, my friends and I would go out to the base and ride our dirt bikes

on the hills atop the bunkers and we’d even sometimes harass the farmer by running down some of his corn plants. Eventually a sheriff’s deputy would show up on the narrow dirt roads. If it was Thad (the senior deputy) we’d just get away because he was a nice man. But more often it was young, rooky deputies. We’d ride up close to them, shoot a birdie finger and they’d give chase. So much dust was stirred up that they always either stopped the chase because of blindness or either they’d wreck. I know on three occasions deputies wrecked into pine trees on the side of the road.

Of course I cannot believe the stuff I did when I was a kid, but I did it and it was fun at the time. I’d never do something like that now. It’s a bit shocking to think about the risks my friends and I took back then.

I was back home and drove in the direction of where the Nike Base used to be located. It was a sad event for me. All of that beautiful forest is gone now and nothing but big golf course type houses exist. Again, I am writing a book that mentions the Nike Base many times. So, at least I have the memories.

I will also remind people that as someone mentioned earlier there was a smaller Nike installment in Sasser, Georgia. But Sasser is only about 10 miles north or so from the Lee County location that now no longer exists. Also, there was another Nike Base way out in east Albany heading towards Sylvester, Georgia that was completely intact as recently as the 1990s. I cannot remember the name but a junkyard owned the property and basically this old base was surrounded by thousands of junk cars

. Not to mention that there are still several accessible places around the Miller Brewery that have remnants of the old Air Force base that was there. Just so everyone knows, Mayor James H. Gray at the time the base closed made one of the biggest blunders in the history

of Albany when he declined to convert Turner Field into a regional airport. For example, 747 and 757 and larger planes cannot land at Albany’s current dinky airport. But they could have landed at Turner Field. But Albany has a history of dumb decisions such as declining to allow Interstate 75 to come through town.

SEARCH AREA: THE CABIN ON SCOUT CABIN ROAD

GPS COORDINATES: N 34 32.379 W 080 35.863

CATEGORY: ABANDONED STRUCTURE

I pass this spot all the time and have always wanted to stop. Since I started this page I find that I need to follow the urge to stop and explore more. So here you go. I have no history for this old place other than the fact that it may have been and old Scout Cabin. Hence the name of the road! Enjoy the pics and if you are ever in this neck of the woods stop by and visit it for yourself.