The “Taste of Tennessee” trip planned by Cathy Stokes of Seniors-On-The-Go-Travel was a blast! The bus wasn’t full, it was easier to learn new fellow-travelers and the conversations were lively. We left Lawrenceville,GA about 8AM. We typically ride for 2 hours and make a stop at a Visitors Center.
Our first tour stop was in Bell Buckle, TN for lunch at the Bell Buckle Cafe. It was a VERY GOOD lunch with the group in a small back-room and the wait-staff very attentive to our wants. Afterward, we were able to shop in the stores. A friend who loves antiques was able to find an artistic design on a World War I artillery shell that she can use as a candle-holder.
Our second tour stop was in Shelbyville,TN at Clearview Horse Farm. The owner had prepared a ‘show’ for us in a large arena. We saw her prized Arabian horse, two shetland ponies, an Appaloosa, and many other horses. It was an incredible show!! After the show, we were able to tour the stables and pet the horses. It didn’t matter to us that there was a little rain outside. We were inside and comfortable.
< http://ClearviewHorseFarm.com >
Next, we went to Falls Mill Falls. It is a beautiful area hidden from any main roads. We saw the falls which made the area famous and the owner of the mill gave us a great guided tour. Our first stop was at the blacksmith shop. Previously, I have seen blacksmith shops, but never had a demonstration of how the blacksmith worked the tools and fire. The heat of the fire and sweat required to make implements, was amazing. We had to walk in light rain to the nearby mill. This was the first time that
I’ve seen a waterwheel provide energy for machines to operate. In the past, I’ve seen waterwheels, but I’ve never knew how the belts for harnessing the energy from the wheel worked. In the mill, there were many leather belts overhead that the owner/operator started and they would each operate a different machine that she showed us. It was fascinating! She told us how the stones were used to grind corn into meal. In addition, she explained how cotton had to be carded, and demonstrated the manual technique. Then, she turned on a carding machine and showed us how the machine carded-the-cotton. She also demonstrated a single spinning wheel for making yarn and then demonstrated how a spinning maching worked. Upstairs in the mill, there was a player piano, a prized waterwheel quilt, and several other machines used in mills and operated by the power of a waterwheel. I was fascinated. < http://FallsMill.com >
We spent the night in a very comfortable Hampton Inn near Fayeteville,TN. The next day, we had breakfast in the hotel and went to Lynchburg,TN.
We went to the Jack Daniels Distillery Visitors Center.
We didn’t have a tour of the distillery because it is over an hour and a half of walking and the information from the tour is available in the visitors center.
Afterwards, several of us walked the short distance to the downtown area. We shopped and looked in the store windows. Just past the courthouse, we ate a wonderful lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s. The restaurant began operation as a boarding house, then it evolved into a famous restaurant. The previous bedrooms are now dining rooms and we had a ‘hostess’ who ate with us and told us about life in the area. (An irony of the area is that the county is ‘dry’ – meaning that distilled spirit alcohol cannot be sold there. I.E. – no bars.) <Since we were unable to ‘sample the wares’ of the visit, Cathy gave each of us a ‘sample bottle’ near the end of our trip.> Miss Mary Bobo’s was going to be closed as the owner had passed away and the Jack Daniels company bought it to continue the tradition of great food and southern hospitality. We had a great meal and learned a lot at the same time.
We returned home, with stomachs still full of a great meal and great memories!
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