MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: BLACK MOUNTAIN TENNESSEE

Friday, March 28, 2008

BLACK MOUNTAIN TENNESSEE

Thousands of people pass Black Mountain everyday, traveling between Crossville and Knoxville, Tennessee, but they never give it much thought, and that’s good for folks like Ron and me. I’m sure there are more people who get off at the Crab Orchard exit and travel the short distance up the mountain on the weekends, but during the week, we are privileged to have it mostly to ourselves.

At the top of the paved road, the trails of the Grassy Cove Segment or Section 5 of the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park begin. Along the trail up to the sandstone outcrops you will pass two old home places, now just rock foundations and chimneys. However, the old spring house still survives! Once on top you will see Grassy Cove spread out before you, some 1300 feet below.

You will also find, as Bob Fulcher describes, “…a maze of convoluted, fluted corridors, strange, stack-stoned chimney rocks and pillars, unexpected windows and passageways winding in glorious confusion. It is all bejeweled with pure white quartzite pebbles, hung with ferns and flowers and dyed in rose colors, and pinks, yellows, purples, brilliant white, handsome brown and grays. This is Tennessee's unsurpassed stonework.”(Bob Fulcher is an interpretive specialist for the Cumberland Trail State Park.)

This is where Ron and I found ourselves a week or so ago. For me, it was my first time and I was blown away with what my eyes beheld that day. I could not get over the huge rocks and how much it reminded me of old black and white cowboy movies I used to watch. I flashed back to outlaws or Indians hiding in the rocks shooting down at the posse or Calvary below. Simply spectacular and I long to go back soon, so, we're taking the ladies tomorrow!

I can not post all the photos here, but you can see others on my Flickr page.

I believe this ridge of rocks is identified on maps as Sand Rock Ridge, and it is well worth getting off I-40 and driving the 8 miles just to spend a few minutes walking among the huge boulders or just sitting on top of one and looking out across the valley. I can feel my heart rate going down as I type!

12 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

some cool photo's my friend, there are so many places like this in our country and people just keep on driving by........

Buck said...

Looks like a great place, Mushy. Have a good time!

And then...

Bob Fulcher is an interpretive specialist...

Now there's a job title! How does one become "an interpretive specialist?" What do you interpret? For who? Do ya gotta be bi-lingual? One would think so... So many questions! ;-)

Suldog said...

Man, I love stuff like that. Old chimneys standing alone in the middle of nowhere. Wide open expanses of rock and forest. You make me ache nostalgic for someplace I've never been, Mushy. Quite a trick.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Cool. You guys are so lucky to have so many cool places to go within' a short drive. Next time I come we'll have to go.

Michele said...

GREAT pics!! I love nature photography; hopefully someday I'll get back at it myself!

Lin said...

You hit a BIG soft spot - I go nuts over old surviving masonry! I could sit there for hours and paint in the long missing builders in my imagination. And deeply envy their strength and determination.
Those places must be a paradise under the summer tree canopy - thanks for my armchair tour back to the East, I needed that!

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

I think I need to move. Nothing to see in Texas but more of nothing. If you don't count the most beautyful women in America. Ha.

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

Verrrry cool! I'd love to see those big ol' rocks someday!

Shrinky said...

I love that comparison to the backdrop of a black and white cowboy and indian movie - kind of describes it perfectly from what I can see. Hope you enjoy the return visit as much as you have obviously enjoyed this one.

Jeni said...

Thanks so much for sharing some great pictures of the beauty in your neck of the woods.

Kimba The White Lioness said...

Ahh, beautiful Tennessee! I actually dream of the mountains there sometimes! We are HOPEFULLY heading down this summer once again during vacation, as it's been about...6 or 7 years. My hubby and I have often talked about where we'd move to if he ever lost his job here with the electric company - it'd DEFINITELY be there. He's even looked into working with the TVA power companies should something happen with his position here.

Thanks for sharing the beauty of your world! I enjoyed reading your blog, and think you have a wonderful journal going to pass on! Take care.

Mushy said...

Thank you Kimba! Come on down!