Monday, November 28, 2016

For the Love of the Mountains

"The mountains are calling and I must go" has become a mainstay as decals on the backs of Jeeps and 4X4 trucks covered in mud and even the occasional car that has never seen a forest road like the one before. When John Muir penned these famous words that describes the hearts desires of those that love the steep bluffs, rocky ledges, woodlands of hardwoods and deciduous trees, and thus are always called to the mountains. I would like to re-maintain this blog to reflect my admiration for the beauty God created in the Appalachian mountains and for the time being I show that I'm still alive and kicking and learning to worship a magnificent God while doing so. For now a little history of John Muir's famous quote, only one of many others.

Below is a copy of the letter Muir wrote to his sister that holds the origins of Muir's famous quote:

Dear Sister Sarah:
I have just returned from the longest and hardest trip I have ever made in the mountains, having been gone over five weeks. I am weary, but resting fast; sleepy, but sleeping deep and fast; hungry, but eating much. For two weeks I explored the glaciers of the summits east of here, sleeping among the snowy mountains without blankets and with but little to eat on account of its being so inaccessible. After my icy experiences it seems strange to be down here in so warm and flowery a climate.
I will soon be off again, determined to use all the season in prosecuting my researches–will go next to Kings River a hundred miles south, then to Lake Tahoe and adjacent mountains, and in winter work in Oakland with my pen.
The Scotch are slow, but some day I will have the results of my mount mountain studies in a form in which you all will be able to read and judge of them. In the mean time I write occasionally for the Overland Monthly, but neither these magazine articles nor my first book will form any finished part of the scientific contribution that I hope to make. . . . The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.
My love to you all, David and the children and Mrs. Galloway who though shut out from sunshine yet dwells in Light. I will write again when I return from Kings River Canyon. The leaf sent me from China is for Cecelia.
Farewell, with love everlasting 
John Muir
John Muir Is my great-grandfather by a couple greats. Love this pic of him. My dogs have always been there for me too.:
Muir and his companion
John Muir, Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.:
Muir's slender long body is like a tree trunk naturally fitting amongst the forest and the depths of the crevices in his face like the valleys and a white beard mirroring the billowing mountains that crown the mountain peaks.

On this day the mountains called me deeper into the wilderness. The road to Buck Bald, north of Turtletown, Tennessee.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Quick Share: Blue Ridge Country magazine article about Blue Ridge, Georgia

Here is a wonderful article about a town nearby, Blue Ridge, Georgia. 'Weekend in Blue Ridge, Georgia: A Modern Mayberry' by Blue Ridge Country magazine tells about Blue Ridge's historic building and train, a famous local orchard, restaurant, natural ambiance, and driving tours.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A View Worth the Miles: Bald River Falls & Tellico Grains Bakery

Sometimes you have to go the extra mile to find something worthwhile, or an extra six miles or so. Outside of Tellico Plains, Tennessee and a short detour from the Cherohala Skyway is the 90 foot tall Bald River Falls. A drive on the Cherohala Skyway is a dream of mine that I will one day see through. The skyway connects Tellico to Robinsville, North Carolina via a winding road lined with virgin Poplars and other old growth of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Bald River Falls is on the Tennessee side of the skyway (directions posted below with link.)

Bald River Falls is a tributary of the Tellico River and is easily accessed by a paved road. Upon arrival at the falls you'll cross over a bridge with limited parking. I can't wait to come back up in the fall and see the leaves make their colorful annual transition.

Directions courtesy of

'Waucheesi Club'

Back in Tellico is the 'I can't believe this is the boonies' kind of restaurant named Tellico Grains Bakery. They mill their own red winter wheat flour, create pastries such as chocolate croissants and muffins, bake pizzas in a wood fire brick oven, and make delicious paninis. I enjoyed the Waucheesi Club which consists of smoked ham, roasted turkey, Benton bacon, pepper jack cheese, red onion, mayo, dijon mustard, lettuce, and tomato on their scrumptious rustic Italian bread which is baked in store. Each panini halve was the size of a regular sandwich which allowed for a nice dinner later along with the chocolate croissant I picked up. 

I hope that you can add the extra well deserved miles to Tellico Plains next time your in Eastern Tennessee or the smokies. Don't let this small town just be a glare in your car window; but, make an afternoon out of visiting Bald River Falls, Tellico Grains Bakery, one of the few local museums, downtown shops, and the Cherohala Skyway.