Today was an interesting day full of random and unexpected sights. I went outside on the porch to have a smoke and greet the sunrise and saw there was a dead possum on the lawn unexpected and not cool, then was buzzed by a drone someone was flying, unexpected but kind of cool. Came back in to check facebook and saw The Exchange Place in Kingsport TN which is a kind of living history pioneer village was having a spring fair so I decided to see that. It was an unexpected and pretty awesome pleasure. They had the following things and more:
There were some really talented crafters and artists there. I loved the metal lawn decorations made from repurposed metal.
I especially liked the detail on the metal rose blooms. I also liked the man who made chairs, tables, and hanging baskets from old wooden pallets, reduce reuse right.
Here is a pic of one of the many pioneer cabins on the property, a donkey who was not impressed by the goings on, an old outdoor brick oven, a mermaid in a chair and a cool piece of pottery from the pottery making lady.
The coolest name for an artist goes to the lady who made wind chimes her business was called harmonic journeys cool name.
So for a day with no plans I saw a possum (dead) a donkey (alive but uninspired) a drone flying, a mermaid, cavalry soldiers riding, pioneer buildings, a giant metal chicken, met some cool people and all that before 5pm. Well that was Saturday -Sunday has some big shoes to fill to top that.
Pea Ridge Battlefield in the mountains of Arkansas is a place haunted and hallowed by both the Civil War battle that took place there in March of 1861 and the Trail of Tears the path of suffering that eastern nations of Native Americans walked when forcibly removed from their lands east of the Mississippi which crosses through the park. It seems especially so if you visit when their is a veil of mist and rain cloaking the woods and fields. When touring the park put aside politics and sides and put yourself in the place of the men, Americans on both sides, who displayed the courage and devotion that we would use to form a nation and save Europe from tyrants in the two world wars. Put yourself in the place of men, boys really who for most of them were farther away from home and family than they had ever been before. Marching through steep, wooded, tangled, dark mountains. Imagine the temperature is well below freezing there is a blizzard blowing. The Confederate army to speed movement allowed their soldiers only arms ammunition and one blanket. There sit the boys and soldiers far from home, cold, hungry, worn out from marching to a place where awaits another group of boy soldiers just as hungry cold and lonely who will be doing their best to kill them the next day. It will be a chaotic messy confusion of a battle where 26000 men will come together in a fight that will 3000 wounded or dead. 2 Confederate leaders will be killed increasing the confusion caused by muskets firing, dense terrain limiting vision and movement, cannons roaring, rebel yells, and Indian war cries. The rebels had a brigade of tribal warriors from the Indian Territory of Oklahoma.
Elkhorn Tavern–a lot of history the elk antlers mounted on the roof that gave the hotel its name are long gone. It served as a way station on the trail of tears march. Indicative of the confusion of the civil war battle is that the tavern served as hospital and headquarters for both Confederate and Union armies during the battle.
Example of the dense woods the armies marched through and fought in. Look close and you can see two little white tail deer grazing peacefully.
Some confederate troops took shelter in the rocks. They found out they had made a terrible mistake when artillery opened up and exploding shells and rock shards took a terrible toll.
Below are rows of cannons that show different artillery positions through the battlefield. Imagine braves on ponies, and lines of young men lining up in neat rows to charge directly into the dreadful and deadly fire coming from the cannons or from hundreds of muskets firing at less than a hundred yards at you and trying to capture those guns.
This little rutted depression is a part of the Trail of Tears taken by so many eastern Native Americans after being forced from their lands. The whole sad treatment and broken promises of our government toward Native Americans peoples past and present should be a source of national shame.
One of my favorite signs to see driving: Let the adventure begin!
Want to go on a nice casual hike in Northeast Tennessee / Western North Carolina / Southwest Virginia? This site gives me the opportunity to share my family's simpler hiking experiences. I hope that my posts will lead you into the great beauty that the Tennessee / North Carolina / Virginia mountains has to offer.