Fog On The Mountain, And In An Abandoned Cemetery In Upper Lehigh

Fog On The Mountain, And In An Abandoned Cemetery In Upper Lehigh

Upper lehigh (6 of 47)
Previous Post
Next Post

January is the coldest month of the year here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Most years the ground is covered in snow and the temperatures are well below freezing. Not this year. I awoke today to find an unusual thick fog and a mild 45 degree temperature.   I thought about how eerie a walk in an old cemetery would be  on such a foggy day. And I remembered visiting an abandoned cemetery near Upper Lehigh so I  decided to return and  check it out in the fog. 

It is about a 9 mile drive to the old coal mining town of Upper Lehigh. It once was a thriving town with over 2000 residents. It had a coal breaker, mansions owned by the coal barons, churches, schools and railroad service. Today it  is a sleepy little village.  Situated atop a mountain  I expected the fog would be thick and it was. I parked my car and followed an old trail toward the cemetery.  I lost my way in the thick fog and had to make  my way past  some large rock formations. 

I eventually found the old cemetery.  It is located  about a 1/4 from the present main street  in Upper Lehigh. I was here before and a I am not sure if there were once buildings nearer to the cemetery. There is presently  no church in the town nor any sign identifying its association with any church. I visited the cemetery before and here is a link to that blog post with some additional information about it’s history.

It was a much different day from my prior visit on a sunny December day.

This time it  was as eerie as I expected it to be in the thick fog. The old gravestones and  trees sure gave the appearance of a haunted graveyard from an old horror movie. 

Many of the gravestones were damaged and their inscriptions long erased by the weather. 

Others were still legible. Most were from the 1870’s. 

The most recent gravestone I found was from 1918.

I reflected on the lives of the men, women and children buried here and wondered if any of them wandered into the grounds of the cemetery on a foggy January day.

After some reflection in the abandoned graveyard, about how quickly our lives pass, like sands in an hourglass, I followed the nearby road into the surrounding woods. 

The limbs of the bare trees reached out in the thick fog like ghostly creatures grasping at me as I walked  beneath them.

I enjoyed the solitude of the woods and the thick fog added to the sense of isolation. 

I tried to get to the “washout”, an area of severe erosion on the side of the mountain.  It was recently repaired will  as part of the reclamation of the nearby strip coal mines. However, I couldn’t find the trail  in the fog.

There was some recent logging in the area and many large, ancient trees I saw on my last hike were cut down. I was glad it was foggy. I didn’t want to see the devastation the logging did to this old growth forest. 

I didn’t see any wildlife in the woods. I heard the chatter of some black-capped chickadees and the cawing of some crows but I could not see them in the thick fog. The only colors I saw on my hike were the bright green mosses growing along the trail and on rocks and tree stumps.

The  beech and

oak trees still had last years leaves clinging to their branches provided some additional colors to the otherwise gray landscape.  

I also found this strange-looking growth on the trail. At first I thought it was an earth star mushroom but, on further inspection, I think it is some sort of moss, lichen or liverwort. 

There were also some mushrooms, birch polypore, growing on dead and deceased gray birch trees. 

I followed one of the many trails and made my way to the old dirt  road that lead to the reclamation area. The road was muddy and I followed to the edge of the mine reclamation area. 

The reclamation was obscured by the thick fog. I decided to head back and followed the dirt road into Upper Lehigh where I finished my five-mile hike in the fog. I know some folks like the snow and cold but I would prefer walking in the warm fog every day during the month of January. Here is a link to a gallery in my blog with more photographs from my hike. Upper Lehigh hike January 4 2020.

“If you want to see what the fog hides in itself, don’t wait for the fog to disperse! Instead of waiting for something to happen in this short life, do something immediately! Enter the fog!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

This is my first post