Marbled Orb Weaver Spider

You don’t have to be walking in the woods or through difficult terrain to see interesting and new animals.  Today, here in Sharps Chapel, TN, I spotted a bright orange spider that I had never seen before walking on my regular route on the road.

Marbled Orb Weaver Spider

It was easy enough to find on the Internet.  It is called the Marbled Orb … [ Continue reading ... ]

Bear Scat at Cumberland Gap TN

Two weeks ago, on October 25th, Jim and I decided to take a short 3-4 mile hike at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (on the Cumberland Gap TN town side, not the Middlesboro KY side).  It is one of our favorite places to go because it is only 45 minutes from Sharps Chapel, has a lot of variety in terms … [ Continue reading ... ]

Destination Harlan KY | The Start of Thunder Road

You may or may not be aware that I have been spending a lot of my time recently developing the website for Thunder Road Wine Trail, a new wine trail in East Tennessee which has six wineries, many of which are on the original Thunder Road and Copperhead Road — both of which were routes driven by moonshiners to … [ Continue reading ... ]

Muscadine Grapes | A Wildly Southern Tradition

Until you move to the South, you don’t truly realize the subtle differences in culture, compared to Ohio  where I come from.  One of those differences is the place that Muscadine grapes hold in the hearts and taste buds of the people.

Muscadine grapes are a favorite to be sure.   Sweet, yes!  After all, people like their sweet tea down … [ Continue reading ... ]

Drone in the Vineyards at Spout Spring Estates Winery

I’ve been busy this summer working on a website and marketing materials for the new Thunder Road Wine Trail.   It is scheduled to go live September 1, 2015.  It has been so much fun getting to visit the wineries and meet the winery owners on the trail.

Well, Tim Smythe, a resident in Sharps Chapel, TN, is starting a … [ Continue reading ... ]

Natural Tunnel State Park

Another pretty day, another road trip.  A friend, knowing that we had ventured out to visit The Wilderness Road State Park just across the TN border in VA, recommend that we go a few more miles down the road and visit Natural Tunnel State Park.  She would often take her grandchildren there and camp. (See Interactive Map)

We … [ Continue reading ... ]

Sgt Alvin C. York State Historic Site

We love to hop in the car on pretty days and take rides in the country.  It is always nice to have a destination and we remembered a friend of ours  telling us about the homestead of Sgt. Alvin C. York in Pall Mall, TN.  He had lent us the book and the movie, which we read and watched last … [ Continue reading ... ]

Job Well Done! Powell River Kayak & Canoe Regatta 2015

UPDATE:   The First Annual Powell River Kayak & Canoe Regatta included 49 boats, a total of 57 participants., and the invaluable assistance of 35 volunteers from the community.

Click here are the Final Race Results:  Final Results Composite


Minutes ago I watched the Kentucky Derby as I sat on the couch babying my sore muscles. The winner was American … [ Continue reading ... ]

Silence is Golden | Retreat at Well Being Conference Center

A few weekends ago, Jim and I attended a silent retreat at the Well Being Conference Center just 8 miles north of Tazewell, TN.

Yes, I said “silent”. We were not supposed to talk after 9:00 Friday evening until noon on Sunday, except for structured sharing sessions each day. We did it, for the most part, and learned a lot … [ Continue reading ... ]

Savings Program at Sharps Chapel Elementary School

citizens-bankI was at Sharps Chapel Elementary School again this morning reading to the kids during their library time.  As I was leaving, I said good-bye to a friendly woman sitting at a small child’s school desk in the main lobby.  But this time I decided to finally stop and find out more about who she was and what she was … [ Continue reading ... ]

Mary Nicholas Johnson