Monday, July 12, 2010

THE MOUNTAINS OF TENNESSEE

After spending the afternoon in Oak Ridge, TN, it was time to lighten up a bit.  Not only was it a bit depressing, but to make matters worse, we went through the American Museum of Science & Energy (AMSE) at about the same time 70 teenagers from Nashville were enjoying a field trip.  So we felt very fortunate to have made it out alive.  There was little, if any, supervision of these young people by the adults
accompanying them or the museum staff.  

After breakfast the following day we went shopping in an Amish market we found the day before and bought several items such as  thick sliced bacon cured in a special way, organic black/purple tomatoes (supposedly lower in acidity), and bulk almonds.  Louise bought some  fresh corn and prepared it for us that evening while it was still steaming from her infrared oven.  I still regret not buying some of the biggest blackberries I've ever seen. 

Our visit to the Museum of Appalachia, Norris, TN, was very interesting.  In fact, I was telling RV it was probably one of the few places we've visited where we should plan to go back again and  spend more time.  So much to see, as well as animals all over the place....like sheep, goats, horses, cows, peacocks, chickens (all kinds), turkeys, and ducks.  There were probably many more animals, but we didn't see them all.  Southern Appalachia and East Tennessee is so rich in our country's history, and the founder of this museum, John Rice Irwin, wanted to express his love of these people and the remote hills and isolated hollows of Southern Appalachia.  He has located and purchased many interesting items, unusual mountain relics and explains why they were important to this region.  Everyday articles that they used, mended, made and cherished are on display and make it so much easier to understand their rich culture and heritage.




The museum has been open since the late 1960s, and has grown to 65 acres, including dozens of authentic log structures, a large Display Building, an extensive Craft and Gift shop, a restaurant, the Mountain Heritage Room, the Appalachian Hall of Fame Building, the People's Building, and over a quarter million items.  The founder's intention was to make all the dwellings appear as if the family had just strolled down to the spring to fetch their daily supply of water.   While we were at the museum there were musicians performing in different areas of the property.

Every year the Museum of Appalachia hosts a Tennessee Fall Homecoming and this year will be the 31st anniversary.  The 2010 Homecoming will be October 8-10, and this one ought to be another great year.  The Homecoming is so interesting it has been chosen to be in the Top 20 Events of the Southeast Tourism Society.  Just a few things they will do this year are:  More than 175 mountain activities, old time crafts, artisans, country cooking and more.  Five stages featuring hundreds of old time mountain folk, gospel, tradiational and bluegrass musicians, plus buck dancers and cloggers; sheep herding with border collies; old-time one-cylinder engines, antique tractors, and other early contrivances, plus hundreds of other unusual and entertaining activities.   We enthusiastically recommend this museum to everyone.  Not only is it a "hoot", it is extremely interesting and educational!


About mid-morning the following day we were ready to move in a northerly direction toward Kentucky where we are looking forward to a couple of days in "Kentucky's Country Music Capital", Renfro Valley, where we plan to stay in their full-service RV Park.  

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