By Ashley Rader
Eighth-grade students at T.A. Dugger Junior High School completed their annual pilgrimage from Rocky Mount Historic Area to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, ending with the traditional highlight – fording the Watauga River.
A procession of 170 students, TAD teachers and administrators and Sycamore Shoals Interpretive Ranger Jason Davis completed the 8-mile walk from Rocky Mount Historic Area to Sycamore Shoals. The walk is a yearly tradition for the TAD eighth-grade students and follows the path the Overmountain Men took on their way to Sycamore Shoals and eventually to Kings Mountain.
TAD history teacher Chris Berry was in charge of this year’s excursion, which is timed to coincide with the date of the battle of Kings Mountain. The students are studying American history, and the experience is compatible with lessons in both American and Tennessee history.
The group started its day at 9 a.m., and crossed the river at about 2 p.m.