What I Did on My Summer Vacation 2013 (Sharp’s Chapel, TN)

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Eagle's Nest Mountain Awaits My Return

Eagle’s Nest Mountain Awaits My Return

Leaving Waynesville (and Eagle’s Nest Mountain) was difficult. We made a promise to ourselves that we would be back soon.

View Toward Norris Lake From Our Property Sharp's Chapel, TN

View Toward Norris Lake
From Our Property
Sharp’s Chapel, TN

From Waynesville, we drove to Sharp’s Chapel, Tennessee. Several years ago, we purchased property in Sharp’s Chapel. We own 29+ acres on a ridge overlooking Norris Lake.

Norris Dam/Lake

Norris Dam/Lake

Norris Lake (Boat Ramp From The HIghlands)

Norris Lake (From The Highlands)

Norris Lake
(From the Boat Ramp)
The Highlands – Sharp’s Chapel, TN

Norris Lake is the product of the first major project for the Tennessee Valley Authority, Norris Dam. The TVA was created in 1933 to control the rampant flooding that had long plagued the Tennessee Valley. Norris Dam held back the Clinch and Powell Rivers, and created Norris Lake.

Entrance to The Highlands Sharp's Chapel, TN

Entrance to The Highlands
Sharp’s Chapel, TN

Our property is in a neighborhood called The Highlands.

Our Dear Friends Enjoying the Rockers Grove Park Inn

Our Dear Friends
Enjoying the Rockers
Grove Park Inn

Our dear friends, the Holcombs (the couple who met us in Asheville) live in The Highlands. That’s where we met. We were happy to see their wonderful old dog, Huckleberry. I’m especially grateful for this time together because Huck went to the Rainbow Bridge not long after we were there. He was a terrific dog!

 Another reason I’m certainly glad that we got to stop and visit for a while was that we got, for the first time, to see what the view from the back of the property looks like. A local developer had purchased and begun to clear, and partition the land on the “back” side of the ridge. (This is the side that faces away from Norris Lake.) We knew the view would be good, but had no idea it would be so special. On a clear day, one can see all the way to Cumberland Gap. Sadly for us, we have put our property on the market. It just isn’t looking like we’ll ever be able to move to Tennessee and build. At least, though, we got to see the vista so we can honestly say that it is gorgeous in all directions. 

View from "Back" Side Our Property Sharp's Chapel, TN

View from “Back” Side
Our Property
Sharp’s Chapel, TN

Panoramic View "Back" Side of Our Property Sharp's Chapel, TN

Panoramic View “Back” Side of Our Property Sharp’s Chapel, TN

Continuation of Panoramic View Our Property Sharp's Chapel, TN

Continuation of Panoramic View
Our Property
Sharp’s Chapel, TN

After too short a visit, we were back on the road heading home. We had one more stop to make – Georgetown, Kentucky. We had one more stop to make. Our appointment was for the next morning, 10:00 a.m. at Old Friends (a Kentucky Retirement Home for Thoroughbred Race Horses)

 

Up Next: What I Did on My Summer Vacation 2013 (Old Friends at Old Friends)

 

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Bluegrass Jams (You Don’t Need a “Ball” Jar)

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Where does one go to listen to some good bluegrass music? The Del McCoury band isn’t in town. Neither are Dailey and Vincent, Pine Mountain Railroad, Ricky Scaggs, the Grascals, or Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.

 

Find your local bluegrass jam, pull up a chair, and enjoy. You don’t even need a “Ball” jar. (In this case by “jam” I mean a loose association of musicians who get together to play and enjoy music and camaraderie.)  Now, I’m not saying that all jams are equal. Some are definitely more accomplished than others, but they are all fun.

Check the Handsome Man in the Middle

We started going to jams when Jim re-found his interest in guitar. Bluegrass is his music of choice. We found that our Tennessee neighbors (we hope to build and retire there someday) get together on the Fourth of July and play lots of different kinds of music – some of which is bluegrass.

 

There are all manner of  jams in east Tennessee. Some are regularly scheduled, but many others are spur-of-the-moment gatherings of friends. It’s easy to find a place to play when there; check out local firehouses, ask at music stores, or follow your ears to the garage of a local home.

 

Where would we find like-minded folks in Michigan? Seems all we had to do was check local town newspapers and the Internet. We’ve been lucky enough to find several “jams” in our local area. Two are in church buildings, one is at a government building, and one is at a township park. There are also several regular jams within driving distance.

No matter where you are, you should be able to enjoy a bluegrass jam. They’re fun for kids of all ages. From the tiniest of tykes to oldsters who are young at heart (and in their feet). Check it out! You may just find that you’ll be a fan, too.

(By the way, if you like to pick, you’ll be most welcome.)

Up Next: Sugar Beets vs. Cane (It’s All Sweet!)

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