It 'twas a fine day for a hike and one of the only opportunities that we would have to go... So we all loaded up into our Expedition and went to the nearest State Park headquarters to get some maps and figure out where we wanted to go hiking. After looking at some of the maps we realized that we'd better find a hiking trail that was nearby as it was getting later and later into the afternoon and getting lost in the Tennessee mountains at night on vacation did not sound like fun. So we chose a trail that had an old homestead somewhere along the way... that is if we could find the right trail. Finding the park entrance was the easy part... being in Tennessee was a little bit different then being at home where every trail is marked with many different signs and arrows showing you which way to go. There were no signs telling you how far to go or where the trail started. So we just drove, and drove, and drove. Now the road that we were on seemed to get narrower as you went on. And it was a two way road, so occasionally we would come upon an oncoming car or truck and sometime I think I could feel our car cringing as we squeaked by the other cars with just inches to spare. But needless to say we finally got to a gate blocking a pathway and a parking lot, so this must be the spot. It had to be the spot, wherever we were, we were going to go hiking, whether we found the old homestead or not, we would at least get our hike in. It was a beautiful day, only slightly humid... which is better then other days when it was unbearably humid. And so on this beautiful only slightly humid day we took our hike.
There were a couple very cool trees that I had to get pictures of... (Above) A tree that was right by the creek and because of the rush of water all of its roots were visible. (Below) A tree that Dad said probably grew on top of another tree stump that had over time rotted away, as there was a big cavern that the tree grew on top of.
A spider web that I nearly wore as a mask, thankfully I ducked away before I met the web and its maker.
After all the wondering and wandering we finally found the old homestead, which was actually a barn that was built in 1875, and over a little stream was a hikers club cabin that was built in the 1930's and a little cold spring cellar that they must have used for refrigeration. The cabin was actually built using logs from a nearby Whaley family cabin. Our hike was successful and was pretty cool to boot.
"Located along the Porters Creek Trail, the John Messer Barn was constructed in 1875 by Pinkney Whaley. The only remaining structure of the pre-park community of Greenbrier Cove, it was added to the National Register in 1976. The Messer Barn is a type of double-cantilever barn unique to East Tennessee and rarely found outside its immediate vicinity." ~ Wikipedia