The Rock before Falls Lake – Kent Rogers photo

Many years ago, when the world was younger and the Neuse River north of Raleigh was still unbound by Falls Lake there was a spot known as Wyatt’s bend.

It was a beautiful place, the river curved around a giant rock that stood high over the surrounding trees, and even now stands above the waters of Falls Lake.

Wyatt’s Rock Today – photo by John Provetero

Across the river was the wooded floodplain, wide and flat, and on the higher ground behind it was a forest road.

It was a beautiful spot, and a great place to go for a party, but the route could be a bit challenging.

Someone had planned a subdivision in that area, had put in the roads, and gone bankrupt. The entrance to the planned subdivision was marked by two single lane roads flanking a cemetery. So to get to Wyatt’s bend we’d turn into the abandoned subdivision at the cemetery, go to the end of one of the roads, then climb a low bank onto the old forest road, which was probably a logging road.

You’d make your way along that road for a quarter mile or so and you’d be there.

Looking across the Neuse after the trees were cleared – Don Swat photo

One winter day I went out there with a friend of mine in my mother’s Datsun B-210. It was a cold winter’s day, there had been some rain, and I got that car so stuck the bottom of the car was resting on the mud.

So we walked, and it was cold. The nearest pay phone was about four miles away, and of course cell phones were about thirty years in the future. My parents were NOT happy but came and got us.

The next day I drove back out there in my Studebaker Hawk. That night the ground had frozen and I was able to get the Datsun unstuck, but on the wrong side of the mudhole. So I managed to get it just as stuck again, this time pointing in the other direction!

 

Funny, I’d been there a number of times in that Hawk and never gotten it stuck.

1960 Studebaker Hawk

Got back in the Studebaker and went to see a friend who had a Studebaker Champ pickup truck, he came out, we tied a rope to the Datsun, and got it pulled free. During the course of that mud splashed into the engine compartment of the truck causing the oil pressure light to come on.

But there was no real damage, there was only mud. Mud on the truck, LOTS of mud on the Datsun.

I don’t think I ever went back to Wyatt’s Bend again, although I did try to find it a few years ago in my own Studebaker Champ but never found it. Only recently did I learn the name of the place through Facebook.

 

Now that I know what it’s called, one day, when my Champ is back on the road, I’ll have to go out there again… but I won’t be driving through any mud!