Friday, May 6, 2016

Tennessee - Crossville


Feels good to be back on the road again. Year two started on April 28, 2016. Crossville, TN was the destination. We were on very familiar roads as we left Asheville, I-40 has been traveled a lot with our trips to Kentucky and Michigan. Once again we got caught up in construction traffic and had to find a different route, and once again Google Maps came to the rescue.

We stayed at the Breckenridge Lake RV Park.
Nice campground, but the lake is no where in sight. Sites are all back ins with full hook ups, a little narrow but not to bad. With our Passport Membership the cost was $17.00 a night. Laundry room is clean, only 2 washers and 2 dryers but inexpensive and they worked great. Bathrooms were super clean. The owners, Joan and Ron are very friendly and helpful. It is quiet as we are pretty much off the beaten path, the only problem was the neighbors
next to the campground enjoyed doing target practice and the gun shooting was very loud. Poor Mielikki was terrified and we couldn't get her out of the shower, even enticing her with cheese didn't work.

The walls were decorated with 45's and the words to songs,
and they have an eclectic assortment of glasses 

On the drive in we went through Rockwood and passed Alice's Restaurant, seeing that is one of our favorite songs and movie we headed back there the first morning. A cute little place that the locals eat at.

A stop at the Mt. Roosevelt Overlook gave us great views of the surrounding valley and off in the distance we could see the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The end of  the creek 
Next up was the Ozone Falls. A short hike gets you to the top of the falls. The falls are on Fall Creek just south of U.S. Route 70. They drop 110-feet into the gorge.

Nancy's fear of heights stopped her from going to the edge, but Les was able to get some pictures for her.

The hike down to the bottom of the falls wasn't as bad as we expected. It was rocky and full of roots but manageable. It was worth the climb as you can see the entire falls and the swimming hole at the bottom.

The walls reminded us of the Seven Pillars in Indiana. It is amazing what water can do to rock over time. Powerful stuff. The old rusted lounge chair was an interesting find. It couldn't have been easy to get it down here, but it was sitting in a perfect spot to view the falls - now if only there was a cushion.

While exploring downtown Crossville we came across the Wilson building and a paint store! There are a number of places, businesses and roads named Wilson in this area. Wilson is Nancy's maiden name and her father owned his own painting and wallpapering business so the paint store was perfect! Kat is our daughter Katrina's nickname, so another perfect find.

Chattanooga, TN was a big surprise, neither of us had really thought about the city, but it was nothing like we expected. The downtown and waterfront area is really quite nice.

The Walnut Street Bridge is a walking bridge over the Tennessee River. One side is lined with condos, shops and the Hunter Art Museum.

The art museum is a mix of old and new.

This cute guy greets you at the entrance to the bridge
Louise Peterson is the artist 

The other side has a large park that is on both sides of the bridge. There are a number of small shops and eateries behind the parks. From the bridge we watched people play baseball, football, Frisbee, cricket and some just laying on blankets enjoying the sunshine.
There is a cute water fountain to play in and a carousal to ride. Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in the park so we had to enjoy from a distance.

The Walnut Street Bridge was built in 1890 and was the first non-military bridge built in the area. One side of the bridge was originally tribal lands before they were moved off. Unfortunately that is not the only bad history of the bridge. Later wealthy whites lived on one side and the working blacks on the other. Two lynchings happened on this bridge one in 1893 and the other in 1906. Auto traffic was halted in 1978 and years later repairs were made to turn it into a walking bridge.

L: Walnut Bridge    Both bridges from the park   R: Market Street Bridge 
The Market Street Bridge, was built in 1917, and at the time was the longest drawbridge in the world at 300 feet. It is also known as the John Ross Bridge, named after Cherokee Chief John Ross.

Market Street Bridge - the cool building is the Tennessee Aquarium 
Maclellan Island is in the center of the Tennessee River directly under the Veteran's Bridge, but you can not access it from the bridge, only by water.
There are places to rent boats to get you there. It is an Audubon Island Sanctuary, with a wide variety of plants, animals and birds residing on it. over the years Indian's and settlers have tried living on it, at one time there were very few trees as the land had been plowed for fields. Flooding drove the people off of it.

Surrounding the art museum is the Art Bluff District. There is an amazing sidewalk that reminded us of Lombard Street in San Francisco
and also a glass bridge that crosses the road. As you all know by now Nancy has a bit of a fear of heights, but is always trying to conquer it. As you call tell from the pictures it was a slow process to step on the glass. Luckily one side is frosted so you can't see down and she was able to make it across.
There are art sculptures along the walkway, we were there on prom day so we saw lots of well dressed high-school students!
L: Largo R: top-Les and Mielikki bottom; Savoy

Free Money and Pregnant Whale 
Full Court
Cleveland, TN, is where one of the two Tennessee Peter Toth Indians is located. We thought for a moment we were in Ohio after leaving Cleveland, and then driving through Dayton just down the road! The statue, carved in 1974, is in front of the Museum Center and was the 9th statue on the Trail of the Whispering Giants. It is titled Cherokee Chieftain and stands 10-feet tall and is made out of Oak.

The other Peter Toth Indian is in Johnson City, TN, which is actually closer to Asheville. We had to go back into Asheville to get our car inspected so we took the scenic route back to Crossville so we could get the picture. This one was the 55th carving and stands 16-feet tall, it is made out of Oak and named Junaluska.

Fall Creek Falls State Park was about a half hour south of us and such a beautiful park. They have an Inn as well as cabins to rent, along with campgrounds. There is a Nature Center and lots of trials for hiking and biking. There are overnight trails as well. We went to see the waterfalls, and what beautiful ones we found. 
The trail to the Cane Creek Falls, Cascade Falls and the top of Fall Creek Falls takes you across a suspension bridge. Nancy was scarred to death, and Mielikki wasn't to thrilled about it either! Once out on it Nancy's fear kicked in and she wasn't sure she would make it. With lots of sweating and mumbled swearing she got across.   
The bridge moves a lot, lots of swaying and bouncing. The trail is a loop so we had to cross it twice, going out and then back again, the second time was a little easier for both Nancy and Mielikki. The couple that headed across before us had to carry their German Shepard! 
The trail was just over a mile long but it was rocky and full of tree roots, with a number of inclines so it seemed much longer. 

Nancy and Mielikki loved playing on the rocks.
Cane Creek Falls to the left and Cascade Falls to the right
We drove around the park to get to the bottom of the falls, this trail is only a 1/4 of a mile but goes down a very winding and rocky path. 
Some places required hand holds to navigate. The climb down and then back up were worth the effort (and we mean effort!) the water hole was like a fairy pool. Just so beautiful.

The pool at the base of the falls was surrounded with large boulders and lots of bushes and ferns.              

That should have been enough but we had one more to go to. Piney Creek Falls was the last one of the day. It is just a short walk to the overlook but once again down a very rocky path.
The falls were off in the distance and yet the roar was so loud. There was a sign that directed you to a another suspension bridge, like one wasn't enough, so we headed that way hoping to get closer to the falls. Once we reached the bridge we realized we would not get any closer so to Nancy's relief we didn't cross it and headed back to the car!

Cookeville, TN is about an hour NW of home and where the Cummins Falls State Park is located. As we got closer the skies got darker so we abandoned the plans for hiking and headed into town.
Breakfast at Grandma's Pancake House seemed like a much better idea.

Went to the Depot Museum only to find it is closed on Monday's but got to see the big 509 and the L & N car - what perfect letters.
Even Mielikki enjoyed exploring the trains

Russel Stover Candies has a factory outlet store - the temptation was just to much!

A few roadside oddities popped up along the way.
Cool ice cream sign in Cookeville

Mural in Cookeville

Swinging bear at Poe's Dinner Bell

Spaceship house outside of Chattanooga -
the stairs retract up into the house!

Lawerenceburg, TN with visits to Nashville and Memphis is up next.

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and thing we have learned along the way. 
~ While it is impossible to store everything you might need inside the RV some things are small enough that you can. Fuses are one of those things. As we were getting ready to pull out of the last campground we discovered that the brake lights were not working. This meant we needed to find the fuses, and of course we couldn't remember where we had stored them, and of course it was raining. We now store them in the dashboard compartment, easy to find, easy to remember.

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