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There’s a New Lanier in Town

By Philip Hunt

Tales of the Hunts

Driving through Lynn, most people have probably noticed the historical marker for the death place of Sidney Lanier. He was an accomplished poet and writer who finished his days in our area. Our area has a rich history of residents who can put pen to paper in a way that transports you to the beautiful panoramic views and subtle treasures that we can take for granted.

There is a new Lanier that is using his gift of writing to understand the sense of “home”, in our area. Josh Lanier grew up in the shadow of Glassy Mountain, and in his new book, Wildcat Creek Journal, he gives insight to the many adventures that await the wanderer in the Dark Corner.

Josh remembers watching hang gliders fly off glassy mountain and the last of the original residents before the Cliffs Development set up shop. Exploring all the nooks and crannies of the Blue Wall for over thirty years has given him a wealth of knowledge and deep understanding of the land.

One place in particular, Wildcat Creek, has had the most impact. The creek that ran behind his house as a boy, is the same one that runs behind his house now as a family man.

“I relate life back to that Creek”, says Lanier. His stories and essays focus on the lessons he learned on Wildcat Creek and in the vicinity.

Wildcat Creek was a paradise for a boy to learn life lessons. In a world that seems smaller every day, both Josh and I remember fondly the “woods” of our youth. After school, Josh would fish, hunt and explore the wilderness behind his home.

Also a fly fisherman, Josh has hiked deep into secret creeks to catch wild trout. It is evident in his writing that he thinks about things other than fish on these backcountry forays.

In one essay “Can fishing add years to an angler’s life?”, he puts into words the thoughts of many fly fisherman when they are plying the cold waters of the Blue Ridge.

“I suppose what draws me is the search.”

What that search is for, many outdoor enthusiasts never find out. But there is something about the vastness of nature that draws the willing into an adventure that lasts a lifetime.

Josh Lanier is a special addition to the long history of writers in our area. His home is the Blue Ridge. While much attention is given to explain our area to the outside in most publications, Josh gives the perspective of a local. While you won’t get his secret fishing spots in this book, you will get an insight into an outdoorsman in the Dark Corner that has a deep sense of “home” here at the