Well, I bought a new camera (Panasonic LX3) and that seemed like a good reason to go on a local road trip in Tennessee. Amazing that I think I have to buy a plane ticket to an exotic location when there is adventure in my own backyard undiscovered. This day adventure took place near Crossville, Tennessee. The weather was overcast and damp with light showers off and on.
So I head south with a half tank of gas and juiced up on 8 o’clock coffee. Hauling ass (42 mph) down the road in my 97 Ford Ranger looking for some pictures to snap. About 30 minutes on the right side I pass an old school house. I jump on the brakes hoping my front brake calipers hold out.
The Bellview schoolhouse was built in 1928 and sits all by itself on a little hill. Seems that it is being used as a community center now.
I’m heading toward Fall Creek Falls state park and upon entering the park I see another old school. Liberty Hill School sits by the road and is surrounded by picnic tables. I’m trying to learn the manual setting on this new camera so bear with me on the quality of my pictures.
I spend some time in Fall Creek Falls Park and head to the small town of Sparta, TN to eat lunch. Miss Marenda’s Tea Room is a must stop for the atmosphere. The food is usually good, but today my potato soup arrives cold. The waitress seems to be distracted on the phone. I pay my bill and tip her cause she looks like she could use it. Snap a shot of the hat rack and wander around outside in the town square.
My Ranger seems to not want to continue, because my key won’t open the door. Finally after some twisting it relents and I jump in the drivers seat. Heading out of Sparta, TN my airbag warning light lights up like it has for the last 3 years. I wonder “does that means it won’t work in a wreck.”
The sign for the “Rock House” comes up on the right side and I turn down the street and miss the washed out gravel parking lot. Do a u-turn and pull into the parking lot. Snap some pics and head into the Rock house too take a look. A nice volunteer gives me the history and points out some interesting facts. Such as they got the rock from a local quarry over the hill and settlers would spend the night in the attic for protection. Snap some more pics and hit the road heading down the hill to look for the quarry. I pass an old Ford on the side of the road and decide to turn around to take a picture, but mostly for the reason that I’m running low on gas. Folks are real poor down in this area. Looks like they are living in chicken coops.
Grab some gas at the local grocery store in Crossville and decide to head through the Cumberland Mountain State Park to the old homestead area. This is an old stone bridge that the CCC built during the depression.
Neat building that is a museum about the history of the old homestead area. During the depression 250 people built a community with the federal governments help (land purchase) and received training to support their families. Then after the depression they had the option to purchase their land plot.
Heading home I give the Ranger a soft pat on the dash and some kind words. Promising I won’t abandon her again in some old barn in Colorado.