Friday, April 18, 2008


Thursday found Ron, our Dragons, and me on the road toSavage Gardens” in Lake City, Tennessee.

Neither of us had ever been there, but a mutual friend of ours told Ron about it and gave us directions.

Savage Gardens is located in Lake City, Tennessee near Norris, as in Norris Dam. The gardens are privately owned, but the Dew family, generously opens their property in March, April, and May to the public. The gardens are located off I-75, exit 128 at Lake City. You then cross Hwy. 441 to Lovely Bluff Rd. Follow Lovely Bluff Rd. to where Savage Garden Road turns off to the right. Go up the hill to the first driveway on the left. Parking is in the driveway turnaround.

As we got out of our vehicle, we immediately heard turkeys gobbling. These turkeys, each named for a character on “The Beverly Hillbillies”, are the Dew’s watch dogs! As we left the property, we heard gobbling and a curious dragging sound getting closer to us. The turkeys came down to see who was in their backyard and the dragging is from their wings. They drag them to create a larger and scarier noise to protect them from would be enemies!

We first passed a shelter built against one of the large rocky outcrops, where visitors are invited to picnic if they so wish. There is running water, a BBQ grill, and tables and benches under the tin roofed lean-to.

We walked the backyard gardens and quickly discovered the natural beauty that flourishes there. The hundreds of wildflowers were planted “only by the hand of God”! We discussed names and points of interest with Ms. Dew (Inside joke of the day - her name is Morning and her husband’s is Mountain – Ha!)

The paths wind through, beside, and along large limestone outcrops which reminded me of ancient Aztec ruins! In all the cervices, cracks, and all along the tops were beautiful Purple Phacelia in full bloom. Other white beauties of flowers I’ve forgotten scream out to be admired!

Along the way I discovered a bumper crop of Little Brown Jugs, Wild Ginger, Trilliums of several varieties, Rue Anemones, and Wild Geraniums. We missed the Twinleaf blooms, but caught the hard green seed pods (not shown).

The trails were very small and you had to watch out for the young poison ivy shoots and tiny leaves where ticks were already gathering for the feast. However, Judy was the only one that carried one home with her!

Later we toured on over to Norris Dam, one of the first dams TVA built during the 1930s. You can see the large marina above the dam on Norris Lake, and the shallows below the dam where trout fishermen wade about almost every day, except those days when the dam is generating! However, on calmer days like this one, kayakers and people in canoes enjoy the peaceful waters.

Since we hadn’t eaten since early morning, we hopped on the Interstate and tooled on down to Turkey Creek below Knoxville. There we chose O’Charley’s and wet our lips with Yuengling drafts, swallowed some fresh rolls, and feasted on Pretzel-crusted Chicken, Salmon on a plank and Jambalaya Pasta!

Please click on the photos to enlarge them, or go to FLICKR to see them and others in larger sizes.


BRUNO said...

I never was good, at all, when it came to identifying plants, trees and such, except for the obvious ones, like maples, oaks, etc.---and of course, the poison ivy, from "personal-experience"! They all looked the same goin' under the bush-hog, to me!

And I'd post a pic of our Taum Sauk Reservoir---except it collapsed a couple years back, and washed away most of the Johnson Shut-Ins park below it!

That was one of my favorite places to "hide", when I had free time. I guess they must've found out, and pulled the cork....!

Mushy said...

Dang...nothing last forever I suppose. I wonder how long it will be before ol' Norris will have to be replaced? I don't think I want to live that long...unless I could be young and pretty!

*Goddess* said...

I'm surprised those turkeys didn't go running in the opposite direction when they saw YOU coming, O Great White Hunter:)

BTW, Pretzel-crusted chicken?! You're killing me with all this delicious looking food!

Shrinky said...

what a beautiful place, it's a natural work of art, isn't it? You've inspired me to go glen walking again - the weather is fine today, I think I'll pack up the camera and the dog and drag a kid or two along with me (grin).

You sure seem to seek out the best of places.

Chris said...

I heard that Mountain and Morning had a baby boy. He was an irritable little sort and was appropriately named, "Whatdid Ujust Dew"

PS: I have a 2 lb bit of salmon about to go on a cedar plank in my Big Green Egg. I don't even like fish, but my boys and wife love it.

Mushy said...

Carol - Only the best for us retired folks!

Chris - My bother-in-law loves salmon, but I'll stick to catfish, or the Grouper I had a Bone Fish tonight!

Lin said...

Sigh ... everything is so gloriously GREEN there! Well, except for your lunches - which look darned good just the way they are!

Mushy said...

Lin - Yes, it's green, and I love it.

That's why I always say I'd love to visit your area, but I wouldn't want to stay long. Got to have my green.

Michele said...

Looks like you had great weaather to enjoy such beautiful scenery! We'll be in Gatlinburg next week on vacation,,,hopefully the weather will be nice and we will be able to enjoy mother nature's beauty!

pat houseworth said...

Used to weekend camp at the Norris Dam area back in the early to mid 70s....that brings back some memories.

Buck said...

What Lin said, i.e., " gloriously GREEN there!" It is that!

Loved the "Morning and Mountain" bits, too!

Becky said...

I swear, your posts are no good for my diet! :)

~Fathairybastard~ said...

You ever hear of a Texas Governor about 100 years ago named Hogg? Named his daughter "Ima". I swear to God! Click here to see...

Pisses me off to hear that this place won't be open in August, but what the hell. Just a reason to show up earlier some year. Lookin' at the rocks today made me think of one of those Tarzan sets from the Johnny Weissmuller days. Too cool. Imagine havin' a place like that to have BBQs and booze-ups.

And is that one of the dams you showed me? I think not. Think the one we looked at was by the plant. You got a lot of them down there.

Great shots brother.

Mushy said...

In the areas there is Norris, Melton Hill, Fort Loudon, and Watts Bar. You probably saw Fort Loudon and maybe Melton Hill.

Watts Bar has the nuke plant nearby, but Norris is the oldest, I think, of them all.