Hunting Pap’s Spring

paps spring for gravity water

After writing the post on gravity fed spring water-I wanted to see the old spring again-so the girls and I went looking for Pap’s spring.

I thought I could walk right to it-I was so wrong. We’ve had such wet weather-it seemed everywhere I looked there was a spring. I’ve been through the area recently-but hadn’t actually been to the spring for at least 15 years.

The girls and I ended up hiking back out for assistance-in the form of Paul.

paps spring cleaned out

I videoed the entire experience but won’t bore you with all the Blair Witch stumbling around in laurel thickets. I edited it down to a little over 4 minutes-You can see 3 of us start out-then Paul appears near the end to show us the way. It’s not the best quality-hopefully you’ll enjoy the meaning behind all the shaky filming.

If you watched the entire video you are a true fan of the Blind Pig & The Acorn! If you did-I’d love to see what you thought about the video so leave me a comment. And by all means if you’ve got tips on videoing while walking leave me a comment about that too!


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  • Reply
    Coach Daley
    April 21, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    The video is fantastic. Can’t suggest a thing unless you can find a lens adapter to get a wider angle. I had a Canon Z90 once and that was an option it came with. That would allow a wider view for us.
    My mom and dad are from Northern KY. She loves spring houses and liked to tell me a spring house story when I was a little kid.
    Sam and Joe were brothers who ended up fighting on opposite sides during the Civil War. They were the last two sons of the family.
    When the war was over they had to walk home from wherever they were. Late one night Joe was getting close to home but he couldn’t make it before dark and a storm was settin’ in. He knew of a spring house close by on a neighbors farm so went there to shelter himself.
    The night was extra dark and as he went in and began to sit down he felt something grab him and begin to wrestle him down to the floor. The pants he saw were blue, his were grey. He knew he might be in a heap of trouble.
    He was about to fight back when he noticed the face of the other man.
    Then he yelled out “Stop Sam, it’s me, your brother Joe.”
    The next year Sam and Joe bought that neighbors farm and built a picnic area around that spring house. They would have lunch there frequently because to them it was a sacred place that brought the family back together again.
    The story was always a little different each time she told it but mama always teared up toward the end. She is sentimental that way. But whenever I would have a fallin’ out with one of my friends she always reminded me about Sam and Joe and how things would work out between us sooner or later. She was right about that every time.
    I think you should build a picnic area around your spring house as it seems to be a factor in bringing some of the history of your family back to you.
    And also so you won’t lose it again. LOL
    Coach Daley

  • Reply
    April 20, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Beautiful, just beautiful! Loved every bit of that walk. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 20, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I loved your video, Tipper. I watched it all.

  • Reply
    April 20, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I love your voice! It was an easy do listening and watching all the way to the end! I watched the video earlier but I couldn’t have the sound on and I enjoyed it then too, just the scenery and the walk but just now with the sound on and I was wishing there was more!
    The spring has such personal history for your family, it really makes me think about the places around us, what is their history? It is wonderful that some have the wander lust in their blood, if no one wandered no new places would be discovered, but if no one stayed, if some didn’t have a place in their blood and bones then the intricate histories would be lost. Thank you for sharing the intricate intimate histories of your place in the world.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 19, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Tipper, what a great video—all of it! What a great adventure! Just think 50 years from now your girls will have such great memories to talk about. Can’t you hear them “remember when mama took us, and that camera she never went out without, up on the mountain to find Pap’s spring”!
    I loved the sound of the creek, such memories.
    I remember the “spring houses” built around the springs providing water for my great aunts and uncles homes on the mountain above my grandmothers home. They also used to put milk and things in the spring to keep them cold. The water coming from the mountain was always soooo cold.
    Did you drink from the spring? Did it taste good? Was it cold?
    And, yes Malcolm, we know what a treasure Tipper is! She is the best daughter-in-law any mother could have!!

  • Reply
    Joan J
    April 19, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I loved watching the video! You can hear in your voice the appreciation of where you are and where you come from. It really touched my heart.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2009 at 1:57 am

    MMMM sweetwater. I remember the taste. Wish I could have some right now. When we lived in Arkansas, we had to use spring water. Every day we would load up the milk jugs and go down to the spring. We would have to take turns filling them up, as the water was so cold. There were also wild strawberries to munch on and black berries too. Your video made me feel as though I were walking with you. Keep up the great work, and thank you for letting us walk along side you on your journey.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I loved the video! It is neat to hear you talking and now I can put the right voice to your writings! Thanks for taking us to your family’s spring. It seems like a very special place.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Here’s why I watched the whole thing:
    1) The sound of the creek as you were walking. I loved it.
    2) I miss walks in the woods.
    3) Your voice has a draw. I think if you narrate, people will watch as long as you film!

  • Reply
    Janet Starks
    April 18, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    What a beautiful place! You did a great job on this video Tipper. I love to hike and it just gave me the feeling of being right there. You are so blessed to walk outside your home and into those woods with the creeks and mountain laurel. There is a wooded hill behind my house where I often go for walks. There are no creeks, and I often think how wonderful it would be to take my shoes off and put my feet in a cool mountain stream. A couple of years ago I walked 14 miles on the Appalachian trail and let me tell you my little feet were so happy every time we came across a cool mountain stream! Nothing felt better than when I took my boots off and placed my feet in that cool water. Our guide knew where to find the springs and there is where we would fill our water bottles. I can still taste that cool sweet water. At home my water supply is from a well, and it tastes really good. I’m so grateful that I don’t have city water. Thank you for sharing this with us Tipper.

  • Reply
    Brenda S. 'Okie in Colorado'
    April 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    The video was great. I felt I was there. The most relaxing and happiest times for me was walking and exploring in the woods. Again, you have brightened my day with more memories of my childhood! Your girls will cherish these memories as you have. Can’t wait for more history and videos.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    April 18, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    This is a most beautiful place. I would be so proud of it. I am looking forward to your Pap’s and Uncle’s memories.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Of course I watched the whole thing, and I thought it was great. No wobble, no shots of the ground (that weren’t intended). It’s harder than it looks, and I think it is a great job!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I’m amazed at how I feel like I’m home when I visit your site. That is why I love it so much. There were springs in the mountains behind Mom and Dad’s house in West Virginia. Daddy also ran a pipe down the hill to the house.
    Your video reminds me of the one I took several years ago in the mountains. We even sound alike.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Tipper, first of all I am impressed that you never fell walking with the camera!! I just loved watching the video. You and your family are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place where the water still runs! Just loved it. blessings, Kathleen

  • Reply
    Matthew Burns
    April 18, 2009 at 11:27 am

    This was a great post. I only have one story about finding a spring on our mountain. Granddaddy used the spring to make his moonshine but none of us kids were ever allowed up there (for obvious reasons). After granddaddy passed, not many people knew where it was, just a vague description of where abouts it was. a few years back I was walking up on the mountain, and I saw a horseshoe nailed to a tree, Well, I’d always been told that granddaddy had nailed horseshoes onto trees near his “still” to warn folks that they were someone they ought not be. Well, I poked around and found the old spring and nosed around a little more and found the remnants of Granddaddy’s old still, there was a broke crock and a rusty tub left, and a cracked moonshine jug. It was well hidden under a small cliff of rocks, and it would have been real easy to walk right by it. Granddaddy quit making shine when the revenuers got close to him one time, and it was told that he broke up the still and never returned to it. He was up in years by then anyway. But the spring was as clear as anything, and I took a drink from it. Like you mentioned, the water from the old mountain springs is so sweet tasting and just plain good. It is always good to get out in on the old homeplace and just walk around because you never know what you are going to find. I’ve not been back up on the mountain to granddaddys still or the spring, and I told people a description of where it was, but I didn’t want to give away granddaddy’s secret hiding place. So far as I know, nobody ever had found it since then. To me, some things need to remain a mystery.
    As for your video, it was wonderful, you voice is so soothing. It reminds me of the womans voice on the Robert Morgan book on tape, “The Truest Pleasure”.
    Great job.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2009 at 1:11 am

    I enjoyed the video –the whole video! I especially enjoyed hearing your soft sweet voice. The spring water looked so good, made me thirsty. What a beautiful area you live in.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Tipper, You done good , I love it and can remember the many springs that my relatives had and drinking from them on our many visits to them.On some week-ins Dad would say “Lets go to the Mountains” and would we get excited. Most of all what I loved about the movie was that SWEET voice I could hear,I hope all around you realize what a treasure you are too. Malcolm

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I’m a city girl, so the spring water drinking thing is foreign to me – now swimmin’ in some great Texas spring water is another story!
    I, too, was inspired by your video posting – after watching and enjoying your girls clogging, I decided to start sharing my children’s talents on my blog – thanks for the inspiration! (and I always love your background music!)

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Paul!!! Shame on you!
    I am definitely an Acorn at heart. You know I watched it ALL.
    Loved the video. And I know just how you feel about the spring. Walked to find springs in WV many times. Cleaned them out and watched the clear water mix with the stirred up from cleaning out water.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I really enjoyed your walk to the spring. Especialaly since I left pap’s music play while you walked. I felt like I was there with you.
    In August of 2007, when I was at John C Campbell, I remember talking to Chuck and Peggy Patrick. Their spring had gone dry for the first time ever. I was amazed with their story.
    We found the spring at BT’s birth place about 20 years ago. I am going to have to look to see if we took a picture that day. As the farm is no longer in the family.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Nothing like cold sweet water from a spring. I have filled my belly many times from a cold clear spring. I agree. There is nothing like it. That was an excellent video. You don’t give yourself enough credit. I always enjoy your posts. Pappy

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I enjoyed watching the video and hearing your reminiscences about the spring. The video was well done.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    April 17, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    That was fun!
    Professional moviemakers can re-shoot, cut, splice, edit … and, you’re left with a slick documentary.
    From you, we are left with the actual experience; the sounds of the forest and the rushing water, the trees’ leafy branches brushing by us, sometimes stumbling on the uneven trail, and always a profound feeling of reverence for that patch of woods and the Spring when you come to it. If I couldn’t be there, I couldn’t have come any closer than your visual record.
    Thank you for another special sharing of your places.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    April 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Tipper: I loved your spring story and the thought of the crystal clear water. I thought Paul’s comment was really neat.
    The spring I remember most that was one near our swimming hole. The water had a rusty taste but to have it on a hot day as you headed for the river was a treat.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I thought the video was great. So much better than I could accomplish. I love springs and we have one on our farm.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    That was pretty cool, Tipper. I loved hearing the rushing water, and it looked so clear in the creek. You are so fortunate to be living and raising your family in a place where your roots grow so deep.

  • Reply
    Rick M
    April 17, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Great video we had a spring behind my mom and dads that the coal miners had dug in the late 1800s.After watching this I’ll have to get the kids and go looking for it.And sweetwater I’ve not heard that in years.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Enjoyed the video. I bet that water is freezing cold. Makes me want to visit the mountains and go wading.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Since I can no longer climb the mountains in real life that was a good trip up the hill.
    I guess I am a true fan of Blind Pig and the Acorn, I watched the entire video and enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Great video. You did just fine with it, better than I could do!
    Now I’m thinking about doing a post on the little spring on our farm…lol. You’ll get credit for the inspiration.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I enjoyed your video…and I’m a true fan, having watched it all!
    I bet the water going over those falls was ice cold!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Hey Tip,
    Wow, I get to be the first poster for once. You know, after we walked all that way to find the spring, you would have thought that we would have taken a drink from it, but it never crossed my mind. This post triggered a memory for me that I haven’t thought of in ages–one concerning springs and Appalachians’ love for good water. One day when I was little, I was riding by our Great Uncle Frank’s place on my bicycle. He called me over, gave me a jug, and told me he’d give me a dollar if I’d go fill it out of the spring in the woods across the road from his place. I made my way into the woods, but when I saw that the spring was kind of hard to get to, I just found a good hole in the creek and filled the jug there. I made sure it was clear and clean with no debris in it. I took it to him and rode on my way. A few days later, I rode by and he again offered me the same proposition. As I took the jug and started for the woods, he said, “And this time, don’t fill it out of the creek.” I guess old time Appalachians really were connoisseurs when it came to the taste of water.

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