Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thankful Tuesday/Fall Creek Falls

On This Thankful Tues. I am so thankful for our beautiful Tennessee State Parks. Most of all I'm thankful for "Our" Fall Creek Falls.

A paradise of more than 20,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau, Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular areas in America. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams, and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber. While Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States, other waterfalls in the park are Piney and Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades.

I wish I had all the photo's of the past nearly 50 years that I have taken while visiting that park. To me it's not just a "park", it's memories.
I remember the very first time my husband took me there was Memorial Day of 1964. I know that because Tina was just a baby and it was very cold on that May night in a tent with a toddler and an infant! :) I remember putting her in the sleeping bag with me and nearly smothering her because I just knew she was going to freeze. But we woke up the next morning to a beautiful wonderland!
Remember, for those that don't know, I was born and raised where Mountains are 15,000 feet high, jagged and have snow on top! So the first time I saw the Cumberland mountains I was quite confused! I learned to drive on hills steeper then those "mountains". But alas, time passes and I have totally learned to love the Cumberland's and the Smokey Mountains. They are mountains and they are beautiful and I'm so very grateful to our forefather for demanding that certain area's in our beautiful country cannot become subdivisions!
After that first camping experience in 1974, we went back time and time again to just drink in the beauty of that space and go camping with all of our children. We are 'tent' campers and for a few years we sort of got run out by the RV's with the AC and the TV's etc. etc. Which are FINE. just not us. And please please please all my friends and family who love to RV.. I get it, I do.. We were young! We went CAMPING.. and after a few years of refusing to go back we heard that they had designated an area just for camping and we went back time and again. One time we spent nearly 2 weeks when Daniel was just a little boy and made great friends with Rudy the Raccoon(much to Daniels distress) He and his Dad took their floats and went down the small falls on their backs.. I'm not sure how they survived but they must have gone down there a million times!
Daniel and his Dad have also climbed to the bottom of FCF and back. THAT is a long hike and a treacherous hike. I think I've been half way several times. Now I peak over the rocks!
Now we have noticed that there is an entire campground that no RV's are allowed and all you have is a hose with water:) Now back then that sounded just next to heaven, but today...... well...we go to the Inn and enjoy the beds, the view and the amazing food at the dining hall. In fact last Thanksgiving, after a lot of trauma in our family, we went there for Thanksgiving Dinner! It was wonderful, delicious, fantastic and I highly highly recommend it.
Over the years, many things have changed at the park. For one they built an Olympic Size Pool(which they now have partially filled in?). When we first started going there we swam in the swimming hole. The water was SO cold, I can still feel my bones ache! but also great fun and lots of jumping off rocks off the side and tubing down the little falls and the rapids.. Probably none of which is allowed now :)
Another memory that really sticks out for me is this one "Yellow" tree. It's probably a maple, I don't know, I just know it's yellow and I know where it is and it never disappoints me this time of year. I bet I have 20 years of pictures of it.
Any time we have company, for any extended time we take them to Fall Creek Falls. I have many memories of my Mother and Carl and then just my Mom.. Also memories of my Uncle Lyle on at least 2 occasions, my cousin Eloise and my sister Lea and brother in law Bob. Maybe some day I'll make a photo album of just our visits to FCF.
So this really isn't a commercial for our beautiful park...it's just very fond memories. Memories I cherish and I'm so thankful and so grateful that we have a place like this so close but not TOO close to get away and see some deer, squirrels, racoon's, chipmunks and all kinds of birds. Thank you to all those that preserved this magical spot for us.


  1. A very sweet blog, with beautiful pictures... It's a fantastic park & yes there are so many wonderful "little moment" memories for me at that park as well. I don't believe Jim or Ri have ever been, I'll have to rectify that situation:)

  2. Thank you for taking us along with you to this beautiful place.
    Great picture of you and DH!

    Love you,
    PS: Got your e-mail and am on my way to Fairhope to check it out for you either today or tomorrow.

  3. I have never been there but it certainly looks beautiful by your pictures. We only tent camp too.

  4. We love tent camping also...not that the RV's don't have their perks..buutt we are tent people. I LOVE your yellow tree and I love the vivedness of fall and the colors it brings too us...and your first paragraph...are you sure you didn't write that for a brochure for FCF? Very descriptive