Wednesday Friendsday was spent
hiking through Frozen Head State Park located in beautiful Morgan county, Tennessee with A Beautiful Hike & A bit of a Scare.
On the drive, my friend and I detoured a few times slightly to see a couple of notable sites. Brushy Mountain State Prison being one of those places. The drive through Morgan County was lovely & peaceful. We had ample opportunity to talk, share time, & stories together. Many of the tree’s had lost their beautiful leaves already, but the scenery was breathe taking regardless.
As we turned down the 2 lane curvey road toward Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, I noticed that the pressure in the air changed. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was enough for me to notice. We passed by several small homes situated to the left of the road. Every house looked empty, unoccupied, and lonely. Each of the houses were identical in color and architecture. “Guard homes?”, I asked my friend. He didn’t know. We drove onward toward the still gated prison.
Once we reached the sign, my friend stopped the car. “Pictures?”, he asked. “Sure”, I responded after a bit of hesitation. I photographed the presentation sign and then started taking pictures of the mountains all around us. The colors of the leaves were magnificent and the tall mountains rose around 3 sides of the prison.
It resembled a horseshoe. Without refreshing my memory of Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary’s history, I was able to see in my mind how and why this maximum security prison was placed here. It was a perfect location to detain criminals and dissway them from attempting an escape. The emensly tall mountains that wrapped around the castle shaped prison were and still are teaming with wildlife.
I snapped a few photos of the guard shack. *Before I go on, let me explain that I am near-sighted, was not wearing my glasses, and dizzy from hunger.* We were about 25-30 feet away from the guard shack as I snapped a picture. Just as I brought my camera down and took a step toward the car, I saw something move. I took that same step backwards and it moved with me. Odd? I did this stepping forward and backwards a few times more. It was on the upper level of the gaurd shack & it moved with me. I moved slow, it moved slow. I moved quickly, it moved quickly.
My friend said, “Come on. Let’s drive up to the gate”, as he got in the car. I hesitated, then relented. He parked the car at the gate and we got out. We were no more than maybe 10 feet from the guard shack. We snapped pictures of the surrounding beautiful mountains and of the front gate entrance. I saw a guard in the bottom of the shack on a phone. Again, something shadow-like was in the top of that shack moving as I moved. I understand light refraction, shadows, and how it possibly could be explained. It wasn’t from this plane of existence though. I was convinced of that. I felt electricity running through me and those accompanying gitters. That place was ALIVE. Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary closed it’s doors of operation in 2009.
We hopped into the car & left. Sheeew! That place was creepy. Next, we were back on track to travel to Frozen Head State Park. Within about 20 minutes we reached our destination. From the moment we entered the park, the air smelled & tasted different. Peacefully, we entered the mountainous terrain.
After a short bathroom break at the visitor center, we picked a trail and were driving once more. I was starved to death at this point, so once we reached the trail area, we parked the car & grabbed lunch.
There was a small stream of water moderately flowing under one of the first bridges. My friend started throwing tiny smooshed tightly pieces of bread in the water to attract the fish. It worked! First we saw minos fighting for pieces of bread, then some larger fish came. Crawldads made an appearance and scared all the fish away. Look really close & maybe you can see the crawldads in the picture below. Several hikers coming down off the mountain were curious and came to watch. We were live entertainment for a few minutes! Yippee, another adventure 🙂
We began our hike and the weather held out pretty well. We did get a bit wet, but I’ve never melted with water on me. I brought along 2 ponchos incase we may need them though. The trees, moss, lichen, and waterfalls were beautiful! I can honestly say with all conviction that this was the best hike of my life, the cleanest park I’ve ever visited, and the best maintained.
I will go back to Frozen Head State Park again for A Beautiful Hike & A bit of a Scare!
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