Rock, Paper, Frietjes

“A┬ánational treasure of botanical, geological, and entrepreneurial significance.” I was probably seven or eight when I first saw those iconic “See Rock City” signs; white on black painted roofs over bright red barns. Rock City is a dreamland full of waterfalls, caves, gnomes, faeries, and dioramas of German faery tales. The place was founded by…

You Will Find Me If You Want Me (In the Garden)

UT Botanical Gardens was named official botanical garden of the state of Tennessee in 2013 and shares the glory with sister gardens in Crossville and Jackson. It was a tough choice between Einst├╝rzende Neubauten’s “The Garden” or “Blume” (flowers, albeit a play on words) but here we are. Countless times, I’ve driven by taking mental…

Knoxville, a Town We All Know Well

Let’s not play games. You’re not getting out of this entry without a link to “Knoxville Girl.” My favourite version is by Nick Cave:   Even though I have lived in Knoxville for (I hate to say it) the majority of my life now, I continue to seek out beauty and adventure with my furry…

Anderson County Antics

Anderson County is home to the small towns of Clinton, Norris, Oak Ridge, Rocky Top, and Oliver Springs. Many communities in this area were originally developed by the government as an experiment in urban planning and to support employees of ongoing confidential and/or industrial projects. Nowadays, the secret is out, but the history remains just…

Maryville (Stay Woke)

Just today, I learned that Maryville (mumbled locally as “Murrahvull”) College was founded by abolitionist Isaac L. Anderson and that the city has a rich history in anti-slavery movements. The Society of Friends presence was strong in the area beginning in the 19th century, and one of their core values is opposition to slavery. This…

Seven Future Islands

In Kodak, Tennessee right off exit 402 is a 416-acre state park; a birdwatcher’s paradise where over 200 different bird species have been spotted. The park offers around eight miles of hiking trails and hosts sporadic educational events. Dogs on leads are welcome, bikes are permitted on some trails, and the park has plans to…

Blood, Sweat, and Haggis

I went to the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Highland Games at the Maryville College campus for the first time ever. Despite three layers of sunscreen, I was baked to the core by an unforgiving sun and am struggling to regain energy, but every minute was justified. The SMSF began in 1981 and changed locations…