Category Archives: Woods & Mountains

Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchid

Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid in Chuck Swan Wildlife AreaRemember when I wrote about the thrill of surprises… well, imagine my surprise when Jim and I were hiking in Chuck Swan a few days ago and happened upon a cluster of Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchids!  They were right along the side of the dirt road within arm’s reach.  I had never seen one in person before and this … [ 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 ... ]

Christmas Wreaths – Naturally

Christmas Wreath Using Natural Found ObjectsIt’s time to decorate for Christmas.  Since we have a log cabin, I like to keep the exterior decorations simple — keeping with the style of the home.  The last few years, I have settled into a pattern of making my own wreaths.  They are simple to do and cost nothing.  And I think they are prettier than anything I … [ Continue reading ... ]

Forest Fires in Sharps Chapel

Wild Land Fires Are a Real Threat to Us All

Last Sunday I was outside working and a fire truck went by around 2:20 in the afternoon.  And then another one.  And another one.  All tolled — 8-9 fire trucks went by, numerous rescue squad units and a bull dozer!  Jim couldn’t stand it any longer and jumped in his … [ Continue reading ... ]

McCloud Mountain and Chimney Rock – Truly Impressive

Cumberland Trail View near LaFollette TNJim Johnson on Cumberland Trail in TNI am loving this Tennessee weather!  A few days of cold followed by 60 degree days.  It is perfect for hiking and that is exactly what Jim and I did last Sunday.  We hiked a 6 mile section of the Cumberland Trail starting at the Tank Springs Trailhead.  I had done this last year in March (get details and [ Continue reading ... ]

Ijams River Boardwalk Hike

Ijams River Boardwalk Trail Head Ijams River Boardwalk Geologic Fold at Ijams Along River Boardwalk Geologic Fold at Ijams along River Boardwalk Wildflowers Along River Boardwalk at Ijams Cave Along River Boardwalk at Ijams Solomons Seal | Wildflower at Ijams Wildflowers Along River Boardwalk at Ijams Ijams River Boardwalk Ijams River Boardwalk Handicap Accessible Boat Launch at Ijams IMG_4485Difficulty:  Easy to Moderate
Hiking Map (.pdf)
Ijams Event Calendar

I don’t try to document everything about a place that we visit, after all, I am not a paid travel writer.  But I do try to spread the news about those extra special places that Jim and I have discovered.  The Ijams River Boardwalk is one of those must see … [ Continue reading ... ]

Cumberland Trail | Tank Springs Trailhead in LaFollette

Panoramic Scenic View | Cumberland Gap Trail Tank Springs Trailhead | Cumberland Gap Trail Tank Springs Trailhead | Cumberland Gap Trail Tank Springs Trailhead | Cumberland Gap Trail Mary Johnson | Cumberland Gap Trail Libby Morgan | Cumberland Gap Trail Shelter | Cumberland Gap Trail Cumberland Gap Trail | Shear Cliff Near Shelter Bob Cat? | Cumberland Gap Trail Scat | Cumberland Gap Trail Window Rock | Cumberland Trail TN Cumberland Gap Trail Ridge Walk | Cumberland Gap Trail Cumberland Gap Trail Cumberland Gap Trail Ladder Descent | Cumberland Gap Trail Ladder Descent | Cumberland Gap TrailChallenging 6 Mile Hike Well Worth the Trip

Meeting new people has its perks.  I first met Libby Morgan when she did a write-up on me for the Union County Shopper News back in January.  We had a lot of things in common and one of them is exploring new places.

Somehow, the Cumberland Trail came up in our … [ Continue reading ... ]

Sand Cave | Cumberland Gap National Park

Jim  Johnson | Sharps Chapel Living

Mary Johnson | Sharps Chapel Living

Evidence of Bear Feeding on Holly Tree

Sand Cave | Cumberland Gap National Park

Sand Cave | Cumberland Gap National Park

Sand Cave | Cumberland Gap National Park

Sand Cave | Cumberland Gap National Park

Sand Cave | Cumberland Gap National Park

Sand Cave | Cumberland Gap National Park

Jim  Johnson | Sharps Chapel Living

Sand Cave | Cumberland Gap National ParkLast Saturday (December 21 – the Winter Solstice), Jim and I had some time on our hands and wanted to explore. We decided to head out to Sand Cave (a place Pat Clapsaddle had highly recommended after she and Bill hiked it a year or so ago).  So, Jim and I got in the car and picked a scenic route … [ Continue reading ... ]

Big Ridge State Park | Hike for the Health of It

IMG_3467 IMG_3469 IMG_3470 IMG_3471 IMG_3474r IMG_3551 IMG_3552 IMG_3557 IMG_3560 IMG_3561 IMG_3571 IMG_3578 IMG_3579It’s funny how you can hear about things to do.  If you keep your ears open, there are really a lot of things going on in or around Sharps Chapel.

Case in point – at the Sunset Bay Annual meeting last week, I happened to join in on a conversation between two women, only one of whom I actually knew.  … [ Continue reading ... ]

Chestnuts | Important in Appalachian History

IMG_3452-b IMG_3453 IMG_3455This past week I had an opportunity to pick some chestnuts with Darren Farquar at his Right By Nature Farm.   I had no idea what I was in for, but I was game.

When I first started, I remember wishing that I had worn my leather work gloves. The outer shell of that beautifully smooth nut is a virtual … [ Continue reading ... ]