Monday, January 19, 2015

The Cave On Buffalo Mountain And Swimming In The Quarry

Friday, I told you about the cave on Buffalo Mountain in Tennessee. The small still we discovered was long since abandoned, but we began to associate the still with the ruins of the cabin near the entrance to the cave.

After exploring the cave, we trekked back to the nearby cabin ruins. One of the first things we saw was the same bean cans we saw in the cave, so putting two and two together, we figured the "Shiners" lived in the cabin. The cabin had been there quite a long time, so the was no way of telling it's age.

Although our original plan was to climb to the top of the mountain, tougher terrain and the excitement of discovering the cave soon nixed that plan. We didn't dare tell any of the adults for fear that we might get into trouble. Hell, for that matter, it could have been one of their relatives' still.

Returning back home, one of the kids told us about a nearby rock quarry that was abandoned when the miners hit an underground stream and created about a very deep 6-7 acre lake. Other than its' beauty, the first thing I noticed was that the quarry had bass in it. The problem was I didn't bring my rod and reel on the trip.

Aside from the drive-in area where trucks came to collect fill, the sides of the quarry rose as high as 40-50 feet and was a sheer, straight drop.The water was crystal clear and I imagine it must have been 50-60 feet deep.

Being kids, the first thing we decided to do was to go swimming. The water was so clear that, diving off a ten foot high rock ledge, you could not tell where the surface began. It was quite intimidating as you felt you were diving off a four story building. You can imagine the number of belly-flops.

It was summer, the water temperature was pleasant and we swam and lazed in this beautiful place the rest of the day. All of this was new to me, The Smokey Mountains, caves, quarries and the serene beauty of the area left me wanting to do and see more.

Grandmother Byrd's House Today

In 1965, Brother Kirt and I left Miami on a Friday night for a one week vacation with no particular destination in mind other than Bessemer, Alabama to see my friend and champion race car driver Red Farmer and to return to Tennessee and meet up with Ron Byrd at his grandmother's house.

We camped at Fisheating Creek around Lake Okeechobee in Florida, caught bass in a small canal in northern Florida, saw Red Farmer in Alabama and went to Ruby Falls in Tennessee.

Our next stop was meeting up with Ron at his grandmother's house. Since Ron and I had originally explored the cave on Buffalo Mountain and related the story to Brother Kirt, our first plan was to climb the mountain again to see the cave.

Unfortunately, too much time had passed, the foliage and growth had changed and, after a couple hours of searching for the original trail, we realized that it would not be possible.

Instead, we opted to go swim in the quarry. This time, I had my rod and reel and spotted a huge lunker bass. The crystal clear waters, however, spooked the bass every time I got a lure near it, so we opted to swim, generally enjoy the lake and, of course, drink a few beers.

As I grow older, I'm happy that I am able to look back in time and relive parts of my youth and the dear friends and family that I shared it with. My thanks to Google Earth for the pictures I downloaded in that if it weren't for them, I could not have pinpointed the locations shown in Friday and today's stories.....

The News As I See It: The Oscar nominations are out and this year's Oscar nominations are being called the whitest in 19 years. Everybody's white that was nominated. Sorry folks, the nominations are based on the Oscar voters definition of talent and not racial quotas.

Logic did not stop the continual stupidity of "Podium Al" Sharpton  for crying Oscar "racism." Perhaps he forgot last year's nomination of "12 Years A Slave" as best picture. The film won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey took a look at the nominees and said, "All white, all white, all white."

The film "Selma" was snubbed by the Oscar voters and some people are saying it's because of the film's historical inaccuracy. Don't you just hate it when accuracy gets in the way of making a historical film.

Liam Neeson ranted this week and said that he believes America has too many guns. Nearly all of them were used by Liam Neeson in "Taken 3." Here's a thought. Let's start with taking the guns and violence out of Hollywood movies and if that stops crime, we'll move on from there.

Senator Rand Paul reflected on Mitt Romney's potential 2016 campaign and said, “It's sort of what Einstein said, that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.” When someone told him Einstein didn't actually say that, he said, "In the words of Gandhi, 'My bad.'"

Rosie Perez, one of the hosts of "The View," may be leaving the show. I hope this doesn't screw up the chemistry.
This pic and the pic on top are actual pictures taken by unknown photographers on Buffalo Mountain.

This Date In History: 1915; The electric neon sign was patented in the United States by George Claude of Paris, France. 1953; Lucy Ricardo gave birth to baby Ricky on I Love Lucy. More people tuned in to watch the show than the inauguration of President Eisenhower.

1955; President Eisenhower okayed the first filming of a news conference for television. 1966; Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India. 1981; The United States and Iran signed an agreement paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.

1997; Yasser Arafat returned to Hebron for the first time in 30 years, as Israel hands over control of the West Bank city to Palestinians. 2001; President Clinton admitted he made false statements under oath about Monica Lewinsky.

Picture Of The Day: It's difficult to gain perspective of the Buffalo mountain area unless you've trekked it. The distance from Grandma Byrd's house to the three-quarter mark of the mountain is nearly a mile and the distance from the house to the quarry is about .7 miles.

Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) There's been a rash of break ins recently involving teenage boys, so I replaced out all the locks in my home with bra clasps. 2) I'm sick and tired of my friends who can't handle their alcohol. The other night they dropped me three time while carrying me to the car. 3) It's unfair to put your toddler on a leash if you're not going to also let them pee on parked car tires.

4) Every time my girlfriend stays over, we reenact the last scene from Titanic. She hogs the bed while I'm on the side hanging on for dear life. 5) I read that four years after pregnancy, thirty-eight percent of all moms were still not drinking. I think it's safe to say this survey was not done on Facebook.....and that's five !

Today's HoroscopeCapricorn - January 19th: Be aware that all lines are not necessarily for amazingly happy things like roller coasters. Some are for terribly bad things like tax returns. So even though everyone appears to be in love with the same person and you see yourself as being at the back of that line, it might be a blessing.

Birthdays: My Sister Jean - Happy Birthday Sis ! 19XX, James Watt, inventor 1736, Isaiah Thomas, patriot and printer 1749 Robert E. Lee, Confederacy general 1807, Edgar Allan Poe, American Writer 1809, Henry Bessemer, engineer and inventor 1813, Paul Cezanne, painter 1839, Alexander Woollcott, author, critic 1887, Patricia Highsmith, writer 1921, Tippi Hedren, actor 1935, Janis Joplin, singer 1943, Dolly Parton, entertainer 1946.

The AREA 51 Retirement Home Bar And Grill: A man and wife are in bed and the wife says, "Honey, if I die would you get married again? Her husband replied, "No dear." His wife said, "I'm sure you would." The annoyed husband said, "Okay, I would."

The wife asked, "Would you let her sleep in our bed?" Her husband answered, "Yeah, I guess so." The wife asked, "Would you let her wear my clothes?" Her husband replied, "No, she's taller than you."

A suspended lawyer, an illegal alien, a pathological liar, a Muslim, a communist, a free-loader and a Black guy walk into a bar. The bartender asks…. "What'll it be, Mr. President?"

A man was out, driving happily along in his car late one Saturday night. Before too long, a cop pulled him over. The policeman walked up to the man and asked, "Have you been drinking, sir?"

The man replied, "Why? Was I weaving all over the road?" The policeman said, "No, you were driving splendidly. It was the really ugly girl in the passenger seat that gave you away."
In my search for pictures, I came across this gentleman atop Buffalo Mountain. To give you perspective, you can see the overpass below, not far from Grandmother Byrd's house. No easy trek, huh?

The Hits Just Keep On Coming: A six-year-old and a four-year-old are upstairs in their bedroom. The six-year-old says, "You know what? I think it's about time we started cussing." The four-year-old nods his head in approval.

The six-year-old continues, "When we go downstairs for breakfast, I'm gonna say something with hell and you say something with ass." The four-year-old agrees with enthusiasm.

When the mother walks into the kitchen and asks the six-year-old what he wants for breakfast, he replies, "Aw hell, Mom, I guess I'll have some Cheerios." Whack!

He flies out of his chair, tumbles across the kitchen floor, gets up, then runs upstairs crying his eyes out, his mother in hot pursuit slapping his rear with every step. His mom locks him in his room and shouts, "You can stay there until I let you out!"

She then comes back downstairs, looks at the four-year-old and asks with a stern voice, "And what do you want for breakfast, young man?" The four-year-old blubbers, "I don't know, but you can bet your fat ass it won't be Cheerios!"

A middle aged woman has a heart attack and is taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she has a near death experience. During that experience she sees God and asks if this is it. God says no and explains that she has another 30 years to live.

Upon her recovery she decides to just stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposuction, breast augmentation and tummy tuck. She even has someone come in and change her hair color. She figures since she's got another 30 years she might as well make the most of it.

After a week, she walks out of the hospital and is killed crossing the street by an ambulance. She arrives in front of God and complains, "I thought you said I had another 30 years?!" God replies, "Sorry, I didn't recognize you."

That's it for today, my little marshmallows. Remember, contrary to the country-western song lyrics "Jesus Take The Wheel", it is a well-known fact that when Jesus takes the wheel, he doesn't just stop with the wheel. He takes the hubcaps and the stereo too.

More on Wednesday.

Stay Tuned !


jack69 said...

It is a guy thing, I love the story and was right with you. YOu see the quarry water, you gotta swim.
Ruby falls is the kind of Cave I go in! (smile)

I don't blame the kid for not asking for Cherrios!
From this end of Florida's main Street.

Julie said...

I loved hearing about your cave and swimming. Are generation had a great era to grow up in, the kids of today miss out on a lot.

salemslot9 said...

great memories, Jimmy!