The Land of Country Music and True Barbecue

One of the best benefits of working for a large corporation has to be the fact that there is a manufacturing facility in almost every state in America, and Tennessee is one of those states.  This week I had the great fortune of travelling to our compounding facility to assist with their electrical safety training program.  My last trip to Tennessee involved visiting another large waterfall which was Burgess Falls.  This trip involved a short trip to Fall Creek Falls, one of the many state parks that has a waterfall as the crown jewel of the park.

Fall Creek Falls from the scenic overlook

This Tennessee State park is located approximately an hour south of Cookeville, TN, home of Tennessee Tech.  The park is approximately 900 acres, and has 2 spectacular waterfalls.  I spent about 10 minutes at the scenic overlook snapping some pictures, and trying to imagine the canyons 20,000 years ago, and trying to see the little creek that carved out the deep gorges that I peered into.  After that I decided to head down to the bottom of the falls.  The map only indicated that it was 0.8 miles, but after the hike down and then back up, I knew that it was longer.  I was able to spend about 15 minutes at the base of the falls exploring before the rain forced me out of the gorge.  

It was a great experience that I hope I can share with Meghan someday.  Hopefully it will not be raining like the last time I hiked down to the base of Burgess Falls.  

When we were in college, we spent a summer living in lovely Blytheville (pronounced Bly-vull), Arkansas and working at a steel mill.  While the steel mill was interesting, the whole living in Arkansas thing was a little less than spectacular.  First, we were about 10 miles from the Mississippi, and years ago, they bull dozed the land for farming.  Everything was flat.  And nearly treeless.  And hot.  Coming from Michigan, this was a difficult adjustment.  

There were a couple of benefits to living in the south though.  The first, and probably most important, was the barbecue.  Before living there, I thought I didn't like barbecue.  Turns out, I don't like northern barbecue.  In Michigan, barbecue is grilled meat with some sauce slapped on it.  True barbecue is slow cooked deliciousness.

And then there were the storms.  We both love a good thunderstorm - the more lightening and thunder the better.  More that a few times, we sat outside watching a storm roll in until the rains started.  And then we would go inside and watch from there.  We didn't see any tornadoes, but there were some that went though not far from where we lived.

The other benefit to living in the south was being able to see a different part of the country.  For the Fourth of July weekend, we took a quick trip to Nashville (about 4 hours from where we were in Arkansas).  We tried to take in the sites including the Country Music Hall of Fame, a water park, a showboat, and a botanical garden/sculpture park (by Aaron's request - this was my first introduction to his interest in gardening, something I was mildly shocked by).  Nashville was an awesome city and I would love to go back someday.