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Monday, September 21, 2009

Our Cumberland Plateau


Writing this blog has proved to be very interesting for me. I never dreamed when we bought a house on the Cumberland Plateau that we had come to such an incredibly beautiful place. We moved here for several reasons: 1. it was close to where we lived at the time--and we could come back and forth on the weekends; 2. it was known as a great area for retirees (affordable housing, great climate, lots of amenities, etc.); and 3. because we are 2000 feet above sea level, our temperatures stay cooler in the summer than nearby cities of Knoxville and Nashville.





I am a mountain girl at heart (born and raised in the mountains of southwest Virginia) and have always wanted to move back to the mountains. But when we looked at the Smokies, we didn't like the traffic and found too many people all in one place. SO--we compromised and came to the 'top' of the mountains (so to speak) and settled in a woodsy, quiet area on the Cumberland Plateau.

My blog today talks about the Cumberland Plateau--and what in the world it is!!!!! I have done alot of research and couldn't quit reading about this unique place. Do you know that the Cumberland Plateau is the largest remaining forested plateau in the United States??? It is!!! A land known for its great caves, cascading waterfalls (many of which we have visited), natural arches, and isolated river canyons, the Plateau stretches from northeast to southwest, encompassing parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.





The Plateau varies in width from 50 to 70 miles, and in height from 2000 to over 4100 feet. Black Mountain, Kentucky is the highest point (4145 feet). On the east, the Plateau rises sharply from the Great Valley of East Tennessee; on the west the slope is rough and broken.


The Cumberland Plateau is often called Tennessee's secret mountain range. The Great Smoky Mountains are known around the world. The Plateau, by comparison, has been a quiet peaceful place unknown to most outsiders and even to many in our own state. (That is another thing which drew us here!)





Before Tennessee became a state in 1796, the entire area on the upper Cumberland Plateau was known as the Wilderness. Indian tribes claimed it as their hunting ground. In 1797, the community of Crab Orchard, the first named settlement in the Wilderness, was established. (Crab Orchard is close to where we live.) Crossville (about 7 miles southwest of us) was incorporated in 1901, boasting a railroad, a depot, a newspaper, a hotel, a bank, several stores, a booming lumber and coal industry and 99 people on the first tax role. (Crossville today has over 11,600 people.)





Our soil is typically thin and infertile because underneath the soil is ROCK... When we added flower beds, we had to add soil and raise them above the ground. That's another reason that we have so many of our roses in big pots on the driveway.


When hiking on the Plateau, we have seen dramatic cliffs, arches, rock shelters, chimneys and other interesting features carved into the sandstone of the Plateau. They say that the very early settlers on the Plateau made their homes in the rock shelters. This is truly an interesting place to live--especially those of us who enjoy hiking and being outdoors.





Well, thanks to people like us who BRAG, others are quickly finding out about our little paradise on the Cumberland Plateau. Tourism is GREAT---and people are moving here quite frequently. Of course, since the economy problems, our growth has slowed down some --like most everywhere else. Of course the 14 or so golf courses in the area help bring people here!!!!

But--of all the things that define us as human beings, there are two that stand above all of the rest: LOVE and PLACE. And when you can combine love and place, life takes a new dimension: a place called HOME. This great place has been preserved for all of us. George and I count our blessings everyday that we found the Cumberland Plateau. We bought our home in the Fall of 2002, and moved here fulltime in July 0f 2003.


The pictures throughout were taken by us from atop Black Mountain (near Crab Orchard) showing a view of the Cumberland Plateau in our area from different angles. All of the pictures were taken in September of 2007.





Hope you had a good weekend. We've had RAIN--RAIN---RAIN (for almost 6 days now)--with more to come. Send us some sunshine PLEASE.


Hugs,

55 comments:

cherie said...

i could live there forever. it's breathtaking. morning to you, ms. betsy!

Dorothy said...

Good Morning, Betsy! This is a great and educational post on the Cumberland Plateau. Beautiful pictures! Hope you and George have a great week!

Kelly said...

....loved your post. Lots of info I didn't know--now I do! Such beautiful photos as well. I get to hear how wonderful it is in Fairfield Glade all the time from my inlaws (mary is starting cooking and gardening classes), and when I stayed with them I got to see just how beautiful it is too. A birder's paradise, I wouldn't mind setting up camp there!! I love the Whip-poor-wills that seem to be everywhere singing at night.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

You live in paradise. I hope you know that. I can't remember ever seeing views like these in mom's country, West Virginia, though she used to tell me they were there. I just never saw them.

I don't know what I would photograph first if I lived there. It seems like a perfect spot to me. No wonder you have a smile on your face.

Thanks for visitng my Canon Photo blog.

Nina P. said...

I always Love your posts and learn so much! WOW what a place to visit let alone live. It truly is God's country. I can see no matter your mood, just go out and see the Glorious World around you and your mood will Lighten! As I keep saying, you keep giving me more and more places to visit! (smiles) Love and Light, Nina P

Beth said...

Beautiful pictures, as always, Betsy. And I was so glad to learn all the interesting facts about the Cumberland Plateau. It's a lovely place---no wonder so many people want to move there. But I do hope you don't get TOO many discovering its quiet charms.
:-)

linda m said...

What a lovely place you live in. My husband and I drove through there this summer and thought it was one of the most beautiful places we had seen. Thanks for sharing. Hope you get some sun soon.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: I can remeber the climb to the plateau and thought it was a beautiful area.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a beautiful post and a lovely area you reside in. It is the best thing ever to LOVE where you live. :)
I had no idea the plateau was so big though...amazing.

Harriet said...

Beautiful pictures! I agree I'm ready for some sunshine!

Jayne said...

Oh, you're making me want to head up to the Plateau (pronounced Pla-TAW by some of the locals!) and soak in the beauty!

Arkansas Patti said...

Just beautiful Betsy but like you said, be careful about bragging, It can start the decline of what you love with a migratiion into your area.
My lovely little town was picked by Forbes magazine to swell to 60,000 people in the next 10 years as a retirement and music meca.
Scary when I realize I am part of the problem. Very few of the people I know are natives.

We are drying up here rain wise but still no sun. Good luck to us both. Keep those sunglasses handy.

Susie said...

Wish I could send you some sunshine Betsy but we've got rain too!

You and George live in such a beautiful place. If I lived there I would feel like I was on a permanent vacation. How nice!

Connie said...

Beautiful photographs Betsy. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else but East Tennessee. I love it here.

Ocean Girl said...

Home is where the heart is. Still sometimes, you can feel sorrow in beauty and comfort.

Judy said...

Hi Betsy, Such a beautiful place where you live and the photos are just breathtaking. I can imagine how wonderful it is to live there. We have a Crab Orchard in Kentucky, too. Funny how so many towns have the same names. Your rain arrived here yesterday and is supposed to continue most of the week. I've had enough already!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Beautiful photos. I wonder how many miles can see from that point?

Heard on the news how much rain the folks south of you in GA and AL are getting. I was happy with our .4 of an inch but would have liked a little more.
Marnie

Cher said...

hi Betsy! here I am sending my 'sunhiny smile'! :)

we've had rain, rain, rain -- too but all is well, i even enjoyed my rainy/lazy monday! *winks*

whew! i've called your place a little paradise recently not knowing you are living in such a real huge paradise! would love to live there forever too! ;)

Cher said...

i mean SUNSHINY! too excited! haha!

Mary said...

A very beautiful area...you are fortunate to live there!

Karin said...

Sending sunshine your way! We have a great day so far - but it's only 8 a.m. lol!! Lovely corner of the world where you live! Thanks for all the interesting info! Be blessed!

Sunny said...

What a lovely area you live in. I have never been to that area of the country but it looks very inviting.
Your pictures are beautiful.
Have a great weekend.
Sunny :)

Kirigalpoththa said...

Spectacular scenery!! wow!!!

Love to be there oneday..:)

JKoenig said...

That is beautiful, Betsy...No wonder you love it there. I bet those places you took pictures of are really spectacular when the trees change their colors in the Fall.

Have a Happy Day!

SmilingSally said...

I love the BLUE skies.

Tricia said...

I sooo wish I could travel like you two! I've love to see all the US

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Betsy: I've spent several weekend visits to the Plateau, also at Cumberland Cove, where we did weekend outdoor activities demonstrating outdoor cooking methods, to new State Park rangers. That's a story in itself !
When the leaves are changing, it's the first place I drive to, standing so high above sea level it's the perfect picture of the changing leaves.
I attended a friend's wedding, which was held on the number one hole on the golf course, I shall never forget that spectacular view, when the evening sun was descending, it was stunning.
A lovely, imformative post, about one of my favorite areas.
Hugs,
Jo

Small City Scenes said...

Betsy, what a truly beautiful spot to live in. A plateau--how exciting. Thanks for all the information too. The views are spectacular. We do live in a beautiful and diverse country. We all should be thankful. Now don't brag too much about your area..............MB

Snap said...

Beautiful, beautiful ... paradise right here on Earth!

Cicero Sings said...

What a lovely piece of paradise you live in Betsy! Glad you two found such a place to "park" out in.

Katherine Aucoin said...

I learned so much from your post Betsy. I am hoping my husband and I get over there soon and start doing some hiking. Such gorgeous photos, I want to explore the area and take it all in.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Betsie,
I really enjoyed your post on the Cumberland Plateau. It truly is a paradise! I'm like you, a mountain woman. What a lovely place to live!!!

Janie said...

Beautiful views of your plateau and mountains. I didn't know anything about the Cumberland Plateau, so it's interesting to see the photos and learn about it.
Hope you see the sun soon. 6 days of rain is more than enough!

Cheryl said...

Absolutely breathtaking photos. You are so lucky to have found your "home"!

Salitype said...

such beautiful place you live in!the blue skies and the mountain tops, simply breathtaking!!

Darla said...

Whar gorgeous scenery Betsy! I can hear/feel the love that you and George have for your love + place = HOME! (have wondered why your roses are in containers, mystery solved)

NCmountainwoman said...

Wonderful photographs. Takes your breath away.

Sorry, but if we are fortunate enough to find any sunshine I'm keeping it for myself! Not likely in the next few days.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Thanks for the virtual tour of your gorgeous area.If I could I would drive down right away to see it,but,duty demands that I drive the school bus instead.:(Are you building an ark yet,with all that rain? Ha,Ha.
Blessings,Ruth

Deborah Godin said...

That's a view never to tire of (and no doubt always changing, too)! You picked a perfect spot. But I can see you guys up and take off for Route 66 some day, too...

LV said...

Betsy, I dearly loved your post today. So pretty and informative. If I lived in a place like that, I would not mind staying home as much. You two have been blessed in so many great ways. May your life continue to be a happy one.

Pam said...

You and George live in a beautiful area of the mountains, that's for sure. It is amazing just how far you can see from where you took these photos.... lucky you.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Looks like such a lovely place to me! I understand why you and George like it there.

Rose said...

Hi, Betsy...this is a wonderful post, filled with beautiful pictures. You know I am from Tennessee, and I have heard of the Plateau but really did not know about it. I think living there, I took so much for granted.

Lorelei left about half an hour ago...I am trying to catch up on blogs. I sewed yesterday and didn't do the visiting that I planned.

Lola said...

A great post Betsy. I learned something from your post that I didn't know. As a kid you don't pay attention to some things so being from Tn I learned something.
Thanks.

Jen said...

The pictures are fabulous--and your story says it all...how much you love your home. It sure helps to have someone as special as your hubby to share it with.

Wendy said...

Your pics are superb!!! What a wonderful vista and thanks for sharing. You certainly live in a beautiful spot! I'll certainly send you some sunshine - we've been blessed with plenty of it this month.
Hugs

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

Betsy...the mountains make me wanna be back in Big Stone....Beautiful, gorgeous plateau there that you live on...I guess you and I will always be mountain women LOL

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

In all my travels, I have discovered many beautiful places on this earth. Thanks for sharing yours.

Diane said...

Sounds like a beautiful place to live. And 2000 feet sea level is another good reason with all the rain that you're getting there.

mountain.mama said...

Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm--what a beautiful place to live, even in the rain. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog today!

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Hi there Betsy!

What an absolutely beautiful place you live! It's gorgeous! I'm a mountain girl too...give me the mountains over the ocean any ole day! It's so peaceful and serene...good for the soul! Loved your pics!

Have a great rest of the week! :)
Tammy

SquirrelQueen said...

Gorgeous photos Betsy, like someone said above, it would be like a permanent vacation. I didn't know about the area, thanks for the information.

I will trade you some sun for some rain. We could use a little rain but then ours will be arriving soon and summer will be over.

Judy

diane said...

What a beautiful back yard you have. I'll have to have a look on a map to find out where it is. The photos are stunning.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Mercy! That's a gorgeous area! How blessed we are to have such beauty around us. Love your photos.

Before I-40 was created, the main west-east highway ran right through Crab Orchard, TN. It was where the time zone changed from Central to Eastern. Our family made a trip back east in the mid 60's on that road, and passed through Crab Orchard (the name is stuck in my head forever). It's also where I got my first look at the Great Smokies to the east.

GreatGranny said...

It's 2010 and I'm just now enjoying your photos and blog. I found you on another blog, escapes me at the moment as I got lost in your TN.