Look out!

We concluded four days in the Chattanooga area by heading to the top of Lookout Mountain.

Ross and Ryan had no idea of the terrain that awaited them!

We took all the scenic routes up the mountainside, and visited Craven House, the Incline Railway terminus (with its chocolate and pecans), and Point Park.

My cousin Lynda and her husband Les, and my aunt Betty accompanied us. They were good-natured guides for the boys, and proved to be very capable….particularly so, given the obstacles!

Ryan had to touch everything with a finger, a toe, or both at once. The lettering on the monuments was an encyclopedia for him.

Ross couldn’t keep a straight face! I’ve never seen him so amused by such constant challenge to his walking.

To top it off, we stopped for dinner at Sitar Indian Cuisine. For me, it was the third time in four days….

More stormin

We wish we could have learned the stories for each of the barns we’ve shown you. Several farms had “Century Farm” signs out front, with the explanation in one case that the farm had been in operation over a hundred years, and in another case that it was over two hundred years!

One farmer told me that he stored hay and sheltered a couple calves in a ramshackle barn on his property, and that last winter he pulled some hay to use that had been stored there for over 25 years!

Clearly some landowners can’t justify the maintenance/restoration needed for their barns, because no crops or animals are showing nearby….but they still store the lawn tractor or extra pickup in them.

Today’s post will be the last for the crowd of 60+ Tennessee barns we shot. The remainder will be posted in the coming days under our photo tab near the top of the page; I’ll tell you here when they get added.

Tomorrow we get the coach and our gear ready to travel. Friday we run back down to Chattanooga for a few days with a whole bunch of my mother’s Ashlock relatives. One thing’s for sure with them….we will feast like kings on food from India!

Next Tuesday we will begin the drive up to Dayton, and will arrive Wednesday evening for a week’s stay. Busyyyyy: 6 medical appointments, 3 friends graduating, seeing my brother and his family, and spending all the time possible with Jared!

But first, barns:

We interrupt the stormin

For a moment, there’s something more important than barnstormin.

Today was the 19th anniversary of the day we married. Some people thought they felt the earth move that day…..

Robyn and I have had an amazing journey to this point, and we look forward to the coming days and years of sharing our love as we do life together!
It really is fun to share our journey with you in this manner. Sometimes our day is topsy-turvy, but we get to spend a moment showing you the highlights.

The barnstorming has been fun, but there probably is a limit to how many barns you all would like to see. I will put up a bunch of pictures with a Barn tab under the “Photos along the way” tab, and will tell you when that happens. With maybe one more post of barn pics after this one.

Several of you have commented about doing a book of the barn photos….and one of our travels.

Ummm, we’re usually kind of busy….so I think this e-book is gonna hafta do!

Tennessee barnstormin

It has been so much fun to explore the surrounding countryside, to find barns that are suitable for your viewing pleasure!

It began as a lark, because we noticed a couple of interesting ones close to our campground.

We had no idea how extensive farming is around here, and we had no clue how creative people can be when it comes to the needs of their animals!

In four days, we have amassed photos of more than 60 barns that we will share with you….not all at once, but over time.

You will notice on one barn below a pattern painted on the side that looks like a quilt. Farmers are encouraged to paint these quilt designs as a personal expression, and there is a modest effort to track them and present an online “quilt trail” for the public to follow. Our effort was much too ad hoc for such organization!

You will also notice that the final picture in this post has nothing to do with barns.

This is the eve of Robyn’s and my 19th wedding anniversary, just days after our 2nd anniversary of moving into the coach and moving on down the road! We are SO happy to be married to each other, and SO happy to live this remarkable lifestyle!

And we’re SO happy we can share it with you!

Just teasin

Oh baby, do we have some stuff to show you!

We just got back from spending eight hours slowly touring the nearby hills and hollers….shooting picturesque barns.

Ran out of daylight before we ran out of roads and barns!

I have photos of 33 different barns, and will try to catch several more tomorrow that we passed after the sun was too low!

Tonight is just a teaser of the first one we saw:

Just horsin around

Another serendipitous day….

Not technically speaking, because we set out to find whatever was interesting in the hills and valleys that surround us here in northern central Tennessee.

But we headed to one town and one park, found them to be uninspiring….at least for this season, and went looking in other directions.


Burgess Falls State Park, was underwhelming as a park, but ohhhh baby, the falls….

There apparently are 4 sets of falls, and the biggest set is least accessible. Since today was already over 80 degrees, we limited ourselves to the two upper sets. Soooo accessible….we could hear the roaring water from the car, and the trail dropped right down beside the water within a hundred feet of the parking lot! It wasn’t an opportune time for the twins, so we cut it short.

Decided to take the scenic way home, which happened to run past a Sonic burger place, which we’ve discovered serves fresh banana shakes. Ooooo, nice on a hot day.

Can’t eat them at Sonic….gotta find a park.


Just blocks away, not only a nice park, but one with nice swings and a nice wooden playground, all mostly in the shade! Everybody was happy.

But the high point of the day didn’t occur until we were climbing into the Lil Taxi to leave. We heard clip-clop-clip-clop, and turned to see a horse and rider coming up the street. As we admired the coloring of the horse, and particularly admired its very stylish high-stepping way of walking, the rider noticed us looking and pointing, and asked if we liked horses. When we nodded, he turned into our parking lot and came over.

We learned Chase had owned Diamond for about 9 months, and was very pleased with the special way the horse walked. He said this ride was part of training for the horse to get used to traffic and city noise, so he would be comfortable riding in parades.

And then he let Ryan climb up in a stirrup!

Wayyy past Bingo….Friends for Life!

Now we’re rockin

Ran across a couple of old geezers rockin their lives away on a porch today.

Oh, sorry, I should’ve paid more attention….

You KNOW Ross will be right there when a rocking chair’s around. But even Ryan likes these glider chairs! Notice all four feet off the ground…

We were east a ways in a Mennonite community. We tested several flavors of home made ice cream at this place. I think we need to go back and test some more….

We take our fun very seriously

There’s a very elaborate wooden park about 12 miles from our campground.

Ryan will spend days exploring every step and turn. He’s very aware of his balance, and very careful.

Ross quickly gets frustrated with all the ups and downs, and refuses to move! On the other hand, give him a swing….and he’s off to the races!

I think their facial expressions below accurately display the intensity of their feelings….

Just toolin around

The lake we view out our side windows is Cordell Hull Lake, formed by a dam on the Cumberland River. On a map, the lake looks like a Chinese dragon because it winds back and forth so much.

You should have seen us trying to explore the nearby countryside today. The meanderings of the lake were enough, but we also had to contend with the Tennessee hills!

One nearby state park features a single-lane bridge across a dam, with a suspension bridge walkway below its dual spillways. Ross had a riot on the walkway, but Ryan was too engrossed in feeling all its mechanicals to really get into its movement!

Spring is about a month behind last year when we were here, but it shows itself in such lovely ways! The hillsides have clumps of soft green where the early deciduous trees have popped amidst the dark green pines and the blank gray late deciduous. The sky was fun today, and the hills gave new meaning to the term “rolling”.

There was something remarkable around almost every corner! The little donkeys were right beside the road, and much more interested in their food than us.

Before we knew it, we were 40 miles from home and had crossed into Kentucky! We were on the edge of Dale Hollow Lake, and decided to catch its state park resort….in hopes of some interesting food for dinner.

Our luck held out: we arrived 8 minutes after they opened for dinner, the staff was hugely kind to us and embellished our meals with more than we ordered!

And look at the view from the window beside our table!