Bookmark me while you are here!!!

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!


Saturday, October 22, 2016


A few months ago we made a visit to the Pierce (Samuel A.) Cemetery where some of my relatives are buried and we found it to be so overgrown that we could not see the markers.

The heat of summer kept us from trying to clean it up and the width of the gate keeps us from going in with a tractor.  So we were waiting on cooler weather to go in with weed eaters.  Today we made the first attempt to reclaim the cemetery.

Equipment failure kept us from finishing but we did make it look better and more accessible.

This cemetery is located on a knoll in a pasture on the Pierce Farm.  It is off Clark Mountain Road about a mile from the town of Byrdstown.  There are ten people buried here.

Samuel Pierce  June 10, 1842-Dec. 23, 1901
(Son of Sion and Elizabeth Heatherly Pierce)

Margaret Irene Sells Pierce   Nov. 1846-Feb 10, 1929
(Daughter of Henry Sells: Wife of Samuel A. Pierce)

Margaret Irene Sells Pierce

Margaret and Samuel would be my great, great grandparents.  They are the parents of Joe Charles Pierce my great  grandfather.

Eula Pierce   April 15, 1887-Sept. 28, 1946
(Daughter of Samuel A. and Margaret Sells Pierce)

Rebecca Pierce   December 14, 1868-February 27, 1952
(Daughter of Samuel A. and Margaret Sells Pierce)

Eula and Rebecca were two of four unmarried sisters who lived on the Pierce Farm.  My mother has told many stories about these sisters that she refers to as "The Old Women."  According to my mother  Eula did not want to be buried here because no one would ever visit her grave.  She always placed roses on all the graves every year on May 30.  Hopefully, we can get the cemetery in better shape so that next year on May 30 we can take Eula a rose.

Lillie B Pierce   March 14, 1884-March 27, 1905
(Daughter of William B. and Mary E, Huddleston Cargile and First wife of Dillard G, Pierce)

Owen Pierce March 1905-July 1905  This grave is a fieldstone marker
(Son of Dillard G and Lilly B. Cargile Pierce)

Four of the graves are children of Joe Charles and Edna Barnes Pierce.  Three of these children died in an 11 month span between October 1919 and September 1920.  It is hard to imagine such a loss for one mother and father to endure.

Fred Pierce   January 16, 1914- January 28, 1914
Eather  Pierce   August 14, 1918-October 21, 1919
Ruby Pierce   March 14, 1920-April 8, 1920
Geneva Pierce   Sept 24, 1916 -Sept 2, 1920

These children were all siblings of my grandfather, Arthur Pierce.  They all died from childhood diseases like diphtheria and whooping cough.



October 15th we celebrated Peanut/Ppa's 65th birthday.  

It began with us cheering on Brooks at his soccer match.  He scored several goals for P-pa before we went to O'Charley's for a special birthday lunch.
 There was more soccer after we got home.  Because he is 65 P-pa needed an aleve after this game.

When someone in our family has a birthday, Granny Lerion makes sure that everyone gets presents.

 I made pumpkin rolls for the birthday dessert, but he little B's made some faces about that and sent their mom to Kroger's for an ice cream cake.

Somebody couldn't wait for a bowl 
It was a great birthday week with a trip to Gatlinburg earlier in the week with Parker and Tracie and  a great birthday party with everyone else on Saturday.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

fall breaking in the smokies

We took a little fall break vacation to the Smoky Mountains this week.  We started at Dollywood where the Gospel Festival is going on this month.  Dollywood is full of pumpkin people and fall decor.  It was very crowded because the recent hurricane on the east coast caused people who had planned Florida vacations to divert to Pigeon Forge.  Also some of the evacuees from South Carolina and North Carolina were staying in the area.  We still enjoyed some great shows and Parker and Peanut rode some rides.

We hung out at Goats on the Roof and ate ice and mined for gems.
We had fried chicken and fixings and enjoyed the show at the Hatfield's and McCoys.

We shopped at The Island and rode The Wheel.  This was a big deal for Tracie and myself, because we are afraid of heights but we were brave and found it wasn't as bad as we thought.

Granny Lerion decided to stay on the ground and just wave as we went by!