Valentine’s Weekend 2015

This weekend adventure started out by planning to go to the National Farm Show in Louisville Kentucky. After talking about it a bit, Michael decided to buy a coal forge and we would go pick that up instead.

We headed out on friday evening to begin our weekend adventure. We stopped at Moonlite BBQ for a fantastic meal, on our way to Bowling Green to stop for the night. We arrived at the hotel and settled in for the evening .

Woke up and arranged a time to pick up the forge. Check out of the hotel and went to the Waffle House for breakfast before heading to Scottsville to get the forge.
On the road again to Cleveland…. Tennessee, that is.

Driving down a two lane highway we were coming into Watertown and noticed a train, at first we thought it was some sort of Museum then discovered it was an actual passenger train and we stopped to get a picture. These trains used to be a part of every day life, but now they are something you don’t see very often anymore http://tcry.org/pass_ops.htm

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Back on the highway, we came upon McMinnville and decided to stop and take a few pictures of their historic downtown renovations. They have a beautiful downtown square. (see more of our pictures of McMinnville down town. )

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After a couple more hours of scenic travel, we arrived in Cleveland and noticed a place the looked interesting, Red Clay State Historic Park and decided we would stop there in the morning.

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We found the hotel and checked in and started looking for a place to eat. We decided to go to the old fort restaurant for dinner. Old Fort in Cleveland we ate a wonderful meal then went back to the hotel to crash for the night.

We woke up to frigid conditions and learned that a winter storm was headed toward home so we decided we would make a quick trip to the state park then head for home.

As we entered the Red Clay State Park, it was a beautiful site. We parked at the main building and discovered they didn’t open until 1:00 on Sundays, so we didn’t get a chance to go in the small museum and gift shop they have there. We then went exploring the grounds and found the Blue Hole Spring

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which is believed, was a main water source for the Cherokee Indians. Just past the spring was a reconstruction of some sleeping huts and a Cherokee Farming Homestead.

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This area was actually where the Cherokee Council would meet and was the Capitol of the Cherokee Nation. There wasn’t a farm on this site. There are some hiking trails, being short on time, we didn’t explore. As we were heading back to the truck we came upon the Eternal Flame of the Cherokee Nation

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placed here in memorial of those who died on the Trail of Tears. On this site at a council meeting is where the Cherokee first learned of having to move and where the Trail of Tears began for many of them, (See more of our pictures of Red Clay State Historical Park )

Along to way we made a few more stops, as we followed the route the Trail of Tears took, while enjoying the drive through the hills and valleys of Tennessee

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Our first stop was at Blythe Ferry near Dayton Tennessee. Blythe Ferry was established by William Blythe and his Cherokee wife, Nancy Fields, around 1809. Travelers would use the ferry to cross the Tennesse River.

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We also explored the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park showing the history of the Cherokee removal from this area, we cane upon a field that was covered with Blue Herons they were also flying in the sky, it was an Awesome site!

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Cherokee Removal Memorial Park Website

We also stopped in downtown Dayton and took a few pictures of the courthouse.

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View more picture of Dayton Tennessee

Leaving Dayton we traveled state highway 30 that winds, very winding, over two mountain ranges. This route is very scenic. It has lots of switch backs and overlooks. We pulled over a couple of times to take a few pictures.

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We didn’t linger long when we stopped, since we were determined to get home before the snow arrived.

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