Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tennessee, Post 2

So a little more about Bledsoe Creek...

 First of all, this is one of the first signs you see as you drive in.  Now, I understand saying that you can't drink in the park... but shouldn't the drug thing go without saying?  I mean, it's still part of the state/country, right?  Are they implying that other parks *tolerate* drug use?  Also, my brain tends to process big text first, so I read that sign as "Attention prosecution" like they're only talking to lawyers... and only the lawyers who bring the charges.

Here are the park rules.  Every park I've ever been to posts their rules.  Most of them *don't* start with a typo in the very first rule.  It says "Quit hours are from 10 PM to 7 AM."

Here's the trailhead sign.  The name Mayo Wix sounds like a sandwich spread... not a person.

 But once you're on the grounds and traveling the paths, it is a pretty place.  It's a little more 'complete and proper forest' than a lot of state parks in Illinois.  I used to see areas labeled "savannah" and avoid them because there weren't enough trees to have a lot of wildlife around.  Then I figured out how many birds, insects and small mammals could live in a savannah.  Not to mention how many really great wildflowers can grow where there's lots of uninterrupted sunlight.

In a proper forest area, the trees get really tall, which means the ground cover doesn't.  It means the trees and small mammals go *way* up where they're hard to shoot even with a telephoto lens.  So I've actually reversed my opinion.  I find I get more/better shots in savannahs than forests.  And this was a forest.

 During the Civil War this forest was a fort.  The stone walls are crumbling minute by minute, but you can still see a few remains.  The question is what was the fort protecting?  There are no towns for miles away.  The fort overlooks a valley, but I'm not sure how that's strategically valuable.  But... there it was.

 I'm not sure how the stones are held together.  In fact I'm not one hundred percent sure that they *were* fused together in any way.  Which makes the fact that in 150 years that any parts of the wall are still standing, pretty extraordinary.

The other thing I'm not used to when I hike is hills.  This is one of the more gentle slopes you transverse on the path, but there were areas where steps were cut into the hills because there would be no other way for a person to navigate the steep hill, either up or down.

One last little thing I found.  Someone took some downed wood and made an arrow in the middle of the path.  It reminded me of being in Girl Scouts when we'd have to go out and hide a target and then mark the path for other people to find it.

We didn't see any scouts.

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