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Sunday, December 4, 2016

small town christmas

This weekend our town celebrated Christmas with a tree lightning, Christmas Marketplace and a parade.  The festivities began on Friday afternoon and lasted until Saturday.  Our family helps with the Market and participates in the Parade. 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

wednesday celebrations

Today we traveled to Brooks and Brynn's school to enjoy Thanksgiving lunch with them! They have been attending Sanford Montessori School since they were 3 years old.  Mrs. Wood has been their teacher every year and now they are in kindergarten.

After lunch,  Brooks, Brynn and Bailee had planned a birthday party for Granny Lerion!  There were decorations. . .

There was cake and presents. . . 

And a piƱata. . .

Then we had a football game!

It was a terrific afternoon!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

pogue creek canyon trail

We took advantage of the unusually warm November weather to explore the trail at Pogue Creek Canyon Natural Area near the entrance of Pickett State Park.  Its an up and down trail through some massive rock formations and lots of mountain laurel to an overlook.

 First stop along the trail is Turkey Roost Rockhouse.  You can get an idea of its size by finding Peanut at the bottom of the picture below!
 I took several geology classes in college but I can't remember what these formations are called or what types of rock they are but they were very interesting!  You can't see it but they are eroding into a very fine sand underneath.  The sand is extremely soft to the touch, it feels like talc powder.

 This is the view from the overlook, it is suppose to be looking toward Pall Mall.  We sat here and enjoyed a pack of trail mix and a bottle of water!


Monday, November 7, 2016

bunkum cave

This morning's hike took us a short distance from home to the Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park when we took the bunkum cave trail.  It's a place we've been in our youth even before there was a trail! 

We had the whole place to ourselves--didn't see anyone the whole time we were there.

From the overlook the sunlight was pointing the way.

After a little cave exploring we made our way back to the parking lot taking the upper loop of the trail. 

Our total was 1.9 miles with some steep stairs and hills that we think should count for more!

Here's a little cave history:
One of many caves located on Highland Rim, Bunkum Cave is situated along the headwaters of Cove Creek, just south of the Cordell Hull Birthplace. The mouth of the cave is approximately 100 feet  wide and 30 feet  high. A 1992 survey of the cave by the Tennessee Division of Archeology  found evidence that the cave had been occupied during the Middle Woodland period (c. 1000 B.C. - 1000 A.D.). William Hull, Cordell's father, used the cave to house a moonshine still.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

a tale of twin arches and a key fob

This week we decided to take our walk in the Big South Fork.  Our destination was the trail to the Twin Arches.  A moderate hike of .7 miles.  We had some directions from the internet, but the last turn was not marked so we made a short detour by Pickett State Park before turning around and heading down a one lane gravel road.  According to the few signs we saw, we were on the right road but our destination was 7 miles ahead.  We finally arrived at the trail head a little dusty but ready to go.  A short distance down the trail it forked at a sign with arrows pointing both ways to the twin arches???  We chose the trail going up.  Shortly we found ourselves at this stairway going down the side of the bluff/cliff/rock face!  (This picture is on the way back)

Now,  I'm not even good with taking the third step on a ladder, but I held on with both hands and took one step at a time.  We walked across some limestone when the trail ended on a huge boulder.  Of course, we climbed.  The view was pretty awesome, but there was no where to go but down.

 After sliding back off the boulder we found another stairway very similar to the first one.  We went down to the first landing but could see nothing but forest.
 It may have been the middle of October, but the record breaking temperature reached 90 that day and we were already feeling it, so we went back the way to came. We did not see any arches, but by the time we had made it back to the first fork we realized that we had walked across the arches and should have taken the stairway down or the left fork of the trail.  Soaked in sweat we headed for the parking lot, drove the 7 miles back (taking a wrong road not once but twice)  and decided to take the long way home seeing some more of the park.  After about 25 miles we stopped at the Leatherwood Ford trail head to take in the view.

When I tried to lock the car door I realized that I had lost my key fob.  We talked about going back, but decided that people lose keys all the time we could get a new one before we could ever find it.  We continued on but the lost fob put a damper on the day.

It got worse.

When we got home and called the dealership, they wanted $445 for another key.  It was too late to return before dark and it was suppose to rain.  Sometimes bad luck just piles up on you!

Next morning when we got up and saw the weather man didn't know what he was talking about, we decided to go back and look for the fob (we knew our chances of finding it were slim to none)  It took about an hour to get back, no one else was around and the clouds and light were quite beautiful.  We were hoping that someone had found the fob and put it on the sign post or picnic tables.  No such luck.  We looked all around the parking lot and then retraced our steps.  No key fob.
Since we came all the way back we were determined to find the arches.  We did at the bottom of the second stairway.

On the hike out we talked about how maybe someone found the keys and turned them in at the visitor center.  Again, we knew there was very little chance, but on the sign at the trail head we found the number to Bandy Creek Visitor Center and called.  The ranger who answered the phone said, "I have it here in my hand."
It was a key fob miracle!

We drove back to the center and picked it up.  No one had left their name and the ranger was not there when someone returned the fob, so we have no way to reward or thank the person responsible for saving us 445 dollars.
The moral of this story is:
Get some pants/shorts with a pocket that closes.
Call the park office before you hike again and 
always pay it forward because if you find a key fob on a trail and turn it in the person who owns it will be grateful!