Friday, November 18, 2011

Devil's Backbone

I think winter rolled in overnight.  We woke up to a very chilly 28 degrees.  They were predicting 24 and I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t get there.  We had the furnace turned down to about 60, but it ran most of the night anyway.  We were snug as bugs under our down comforter.  Peanut split his time between the floor in front of the heat duct in the bathroom and under the comforter.  Cat life is good.

A little nip in the air didn’t deter us from our hike at Devil’s Backbone State Natural Area located about 10 miles north on the Parkway.  With a name like “Devil’s Backbone” you might think it is a tough trail to hike, but not so.  It’s a pretty easy walk in the woods.  According to the signage, the entire trail is 3 miles in length. There is a half mile connector from the parking lot to a 2-mile loop.  The trail starts on the Highland Rim and follows the ridge line for about a mile before dropping down a couple hundred feet to a small creek, then climbs back up to the ridge.  The trail is in good condition, but all those beautiful leaves that were on the trees last week are now on the trail covering a multitude of rocks, roots, and ruts.  We took it slow and easy.

This was the only blowdown we couldn't just step over so we used it for a break spot.
We followed the creek for a short distance.
Hot chocolate tasted good on a cold morning.

On our way back to Meriwether Lewis, we stopped at Fall Hollow pull-out.  There is a short trail which leads to Fall Hollow Falls.  Actually, there are two different falls and the trail passes both.  There was quite a bit of water for this time of year.  Maybe the rains this week had something to do with it.  Even though it was about noon when we were there, there was still some ice around the falls.  We had debated whether to stop on the way to Devil’s Backbone.  If we had, the falls might have been a real winter wonderland.   The wet spots on the trail would have been icy, too.  That wouldn’t have been so good.

Judy of Travel’s with Emma fame, asked if the sites here at Meriwether Lewis are large enough to accommodate big rigs.  They are indeed.  Of course, some are larger than others.  There are two different type sites here.  There are back-ins and there are the half-moon or semi-circular type pull-thrus.  We are in the semi-circular type and it is maybe 60 ft long.  Most of the back-ins are 40-50 feet.  Of course, this is a wooded area and the trees may be a problem with slides.  However, we have neighbors on either side of us in 35-40 foot 5ers with opposing slides and there’s plenty of room.  There is also plenty of room for their trucks on the site, also.  This is the hills of Tennessee and there are varying degrees of level, but most are pretty good.

I mentioned yesterday that the interior roads have been repaved.  On the main road just before the turn into the campground, they have added a pull-out.  I don’t know what their intended purpose was, but it looks like the perfect place to disconnect your towed (or is that “toad”).

There are 2 other free campgrounds on the Parkway.  We have stayed at both of them and they are very similar to Meriwether Lewis.  All will accommodate big rigs.

One of the things on our “to do” list is to drive the Trace exploring its nooks and crannies, hiking its trails, and learning its history.  I expect it would take between one and two weeks to do it well.  There is even a guidebook, I think.

Another thing Judy wanted to know was if I use the generator to keep my computer charged.  I have an Apple computer and its battery will stay charged much longer than Gene’s PC.  I can get almost 3 hours of time on the computer before the battery has to be recharged.  Whenever we run the generator, which is usually once a day for about a hour, I make sure the computer and air card are plugged in.

That’s all for today.  Thanks for tagging along.


  1. another great day for you and Gene!..I will bet the hot chocolate was mighty tasty!!

  2. What a beautiful trail and waterfall! I enjoy hiking in the colder weather. Have a great weekend!