The winter has been rough in these parts. Hickory Creek iced over in October and the snow cover is deep. Our two goats and the few chickens we got have long been inside the wood shed trying to keep warm. Jency, our six children and I are going to hold on till spring unless our food and wood supply don't hold out. My name is Jonas, and this is our story. It's been three years since Raccoon, the trapper, told me about a little piece of land near Hickory Creek. I had never thought about crossing over the mountains, but somewhere deep inside there was this dream of owning land and having a better place for Jency and the young-ins to grow up. Farming is in my blood. There is something about turning the soil, planting crops, and feeding your family that just gets me going. My Pappy, and his Pappy before him has turned the soil over to feed the family and those nearby. Living outside of Culpepper, Virginia didn't give much chance to own a farm since most land was taken up. Raccoon told stories about crystal clear water, and trees as tall as the sky. When I told my wife Jency about my dream she was fearful, but at the same time willing to leave. I will always remember that day when we said goodbye to family and friends, picked up a few items we could carry, and followed Raccoon across the mountains to begin my dream. At that time Jency was carrying our third child Abe in her belly, I carried Issy, and Willy followed behind with Uncle Luke. The journey took two months. Abe was born in November near River Port. We had to wait about two weeks before Jency and Abe could travel. Raccoon and my brother Luke went ahead to the land near Hickory Creek to start clearing the land. Winter was sitting in and once we would get there, shelter had to be ready. Raccoon came back and guided us over the mountain. It was going to be hard that first winter. Jency and Abe, along with Issy and Willy stayed with Raccoon in his hunter's cabin while Luke and I struggled to get the house under roof.