Showing posts from December, 2009

An important Gap in the Piedmont

The Other Choke-Points in the Piedmont Though it is true that stream fords are the most common and generally governing geopolitical choke-points in the piedmont of the southeast, saddle gaps and water gaps too attract and capture routes. A good example is the saddle gap south of Occaneechi Mountain, where I-85 passes, near Hills borough, NC. [In the image to the right, highest land is represented as white. ] The Occaneechi Mountains border the Eno River south of Hillsborough, NC. In fact the river, flowing generally north to south west of Hillsborough hits the west end of these volcanic remnants and turns over 90 degrees and heads east of northeast for about seven miles. It then cuts through a soft spot in the Occaneechi hills and heads east and then south to pass behind the Occaneechi chain for a ways before turning once again east. Porters, pack horsemen, wagoners and highway engineers all have had to cope with this peculiar geology. Coming at the Eno east of the Occaneechi