Fort Loudoun in Vonore, Tennessee

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fort_loudoun_sign
Interesting Fort to take a peek at in Tennessee. I was there during garrison weekend and volunteers recreate how life was at the fort.

 

This is the blacksmith shop.

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Clay oven used for baking bread.

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Officers quarters.

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Infirmary bed with built in toilet.

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Cannon overlooking Tellico lake.

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Looking inside the fort from gunners station.

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The fort wide view.

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Basic structure of the forts buildings.

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Flags outside the visitor center.

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Fort Loudoun website.

Ozone Falls in Ozone, Tennessee (USA)

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ozone_falls

Now you must expect the unexpected in Ozone. My friend Beastie lives in Ozone and we decided to go hiking around the small town. If you are driving through be sure not to sneeze, because you might miss it. Heading east on route 70 the first thing that you come to in Ozone is the falls parking area on your right hand side. A quick walk leads you to the upper part of the falls. Beastie was telling me an old mill used to be located here. If you want to take the 15 minute hike to the bottom of the falls its probably smart to put on some good boots. The climb is rather steep and slippery. Many people swim in the small pool below the falls in the summer time. Beastie says watch out for water moccasins!

I took this picture of the railroad crossing. Upon editing my photo I noticed an unidentified flying object in the upper left side. Surely it must be some debris on the lens?

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Ozone has a neat looking train trestle. Beastie and I were sitting on some rocks overlooking the falls and a train passed through.

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Be sure with pure. Rick’s has fallen on hard times.

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Neat old estate that everyone is hoping will be saved.

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Beastie and I walked to the top of the hill and paid our respects in the Community Cemetery.

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Volunteers do a good job of keeping the Cemetery neat and tidy.

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The Rice family had some tough times. Beastie and I were deeply moved by their plight. Makes you aware of your blessings.

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Beastie’s dog Lucy looking at something in the sky.

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The legendary female Pro Wrestler “Beastie the Road Warrior” and her dog Lucy.

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Old Studebaker abandoned in someones yard. The guy has what looked like to be a dozen abandoned cars in his yard (guess I should of took a picture of them all).

 

Well that pretty much sums up Ozone, Tennessee. A small slice of the USA.

Cumberland Mountain State Park (Tennessee)

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They have a real nice restaurant with a great view of the lake. Catfish Fridays take you back to the days of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.

Come on over to Cumberland Mountain State Park and hangout with the geese.

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They have a nice size lake that you can rent paddle boats and canoes by the hour. If you are in the mood to try your luck at fishing they also rent fishing poles. Hiking trails go around the lake and some neat shallow caves to kiss your lover in.

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The park offers cabin rentals and they are pretty nice. Plus the prices are not that bad either.

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The RV area is pretty nice and offer all the hookups. Tent camping is also available

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Cumberland Mountain State Park Bridge is a wonder to behold.

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The action is behind the bridge watching the spillway.

So, y’all come on over and we have us some fun.

Cumberland Mountain State Park website.

Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee

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Great Tennessee State Park to bring the whole family to tent camp or do the RV thing. You still get the modern luxuries such as hot showers and flush toilets, yet feel like you are really in the wilderness roughing it. The trails are laid out pretty nice, but you still have the ability to fall off a cliff if not paying attention. Nothing like having a good chuckle over dinner reminiscing about the time you were dangling off a cliffs edge or were trying to adjust your aperture setting and broke a leg. Just good old-fashioned fun. Adventure the family can enjoy and let out a sigh of relief once you make it back home safely.

There is a nature center you can take a peek in. It was closed when I was there on a Saturday, due too a lunch break. So I can’t really give you much information on it. Looks like a gift shop and some info to educate the mind as I pressed my nose up against the padlocked door window. Right out back you have Cane Creek Falls and the swing bridge leading into an assortment of trails. Which eventually take you to Fall Creek Falls. Lots of do not enter signs and be careful warning signs.

Swing bridge

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Betty Dunn nature center

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Cane Creek Falls is behind the nature center.

Caught one terrified wife pleading for her hubby to come off some precarious looking cliff overlooking a pretty good ten-second free fall in my estimate. I eventually spotted them meandering through the forest all smiles. That is what’s nice about the park, a real sense of adventure that you can’t get at the local fantasy park.

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RV camp site still has trees that you can enjoy.

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Seems Fall Creek Falls State Park offers a lot to do. The RV area still has plenty of trees, as does the tent area. If you really want to rough it you can tromp off into the wilderness and set up camp the traditional way. You won’t have to worry about leaving your car unattended, which is a rather sad state of affairs these days. I seem to hear a lot of stories about people returning to their vehicles these days and finding them vandalized. Plus, you can go to Sparta for a good meal, if that macaroni & cheese is getting old. So pack the vehicle and head out for some peace and quite at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee.

Fall Creek Falls State Park website.

Road Trip in Tennessee (USA)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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rockhouse

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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.

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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.

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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.

Grassy Cove Cumberland Trail (Tennessee)

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The Grassy Cove segment of the Cumberland Trail is located near Crossville, Tennessee. Great place for a day hike on the Cumberland Trail.

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The old logging road trail starts off pretty steep. Lots of erosion make for a slippery start.

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Most of the hike to the overlook is rather bland, but you will be rewarded for your sweaty effort.

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Only one more hill to climb and then it’s easy strolling from here to the overlook.

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Don’t forget too smell the flowers on the way up.

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You will finally come to a fork in the trail toward the cliffs overlooking Grassy Cove. Just another five minutes and you can watch the birds ride the thermals.

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Finally you can kick back with your lunch (well worth the effort) you packed and take a nap.

Black Mountain Cumberland Trail (Tennessee)

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blackmountain_sign

Black mountain is located on the Cumberland Plateau near Crossville, Tennessee. There is parking on top of the mountain to access the Cumberland Trail or just enjoy a day of admiring the view. You can camp overnight free, but you must register with the park service.

There is a spring house on top of the mountain which you can get water.

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The water is cool and refreshing.

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An old homestead is located near the spring house. The lone chimney marks the spot.

The best part about Black Mountain are the big boulders and steep cliffs.

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Volunteers have made life easier by building custom stairs along the Cumberland Trail. This section leads to the primitive campsite.

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Below the cliffs you will find more places to explore.

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So, if you are in the area come and enjoy beautiful Tennessee.