Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to APRIL!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful TULIPS from Biltmore!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Stone Door in the Savage Gulf , TN

George and I have been hiking many times in the "Savage Gulf" area of the Cumberland Plateau, southwest of where we live. The Savage Gulf State Natural Area is one of Tennessee's most scenic state outdoor recreation areas. At a length of five miles, the Big Creek, Collins River and Savage Creeks each tumble down over 800 feet in elevation through narrow gorges, locally known as "gulfs". Rimmed by sheer sandstone cliffs, the rugged canyons offer visitors a fine glimpse of the true wilderness still remaining in our state's midsection.The rocks which make up the Cumberland Plateau were laid down 250 to 325 million years ago.

SO-almost three years ago, George and I took two of our grandchildren to see Stone Door. As part of the Savage Gulf, the Stone Door was used for centuries by the Indians as a passage way from the top of the escarpment into the gorges below. Like a giant door left ajar, the crack is 10 feet wide and 100 feet deep. The spectacular cliffs offer one of the best scenic overlooks in Tennessee. Big Creek, 750 feet below the overlook, disappears and reappears as it cuts its way through the diverse layers of limestone and shale.

Here are some pictures from our hike to Stone Door in the Summer of 2006. Above is a picture taken from the trail along the top of the ridge. You can see some of the huge rocks which form the overlooks along the trail. Below are more pictures.

Here are the granddaughters standing at a miss-hapen Virginia Pine tree along our trail.... Strange tree, wouldn't you say????

See the grand-girls sitting on that ledge????? Wonder what their parents thought when they saw this picture of their daughters sitting there???? Did Grammy get in trouble for letting them do this???? NO---they really weren't THAT close (even though it looks like they were!)

George is on another overlook, and while he was there, he took a picture of me with my Sweeties. This is an incredible area--and the views are fabulous!!!

Uh Oh--- What is she doing????? WELL---the oldest granddaughter wanted to 'tease' her parents ---acting as if she was hanging off the edge of the cliff!!!! "Help---she cries!!!" Ha Ha

This picture of George on one of the overlooks shows a little of the mountains and gorge below.

We finally made it to the Stone Door... Look at that tree growing up between the cracks in the rocks... Amazing, isn't it?

This is looking into and down through the Stone Door.... The crack in the rock was narrow---and there were LOTS of steps leading down about 100 feet to the area below ---which eventually can lead on down to the bottom of the gorge.

After we walked down all of those steps there were other gorgeous rocks to check out... Aren't they just beautiful?????

Oh No-----I think I forgot that IF we went DOWN those steps, we'd have to go back UP..... Puff Puff Puff... Oh --how I wish I had the energy of those little girls!!!! ha

We did make it back up to the top!! On our hike back, I saw this interesting tree right on the edge of the cliff. My oldest son has always liked trees like this along with driftwood----so I sent him this picture.

This is a proud Grammy ---with two of her grands!!!!! Since this was taken almost three years ago, you won't believe how grown up these two girls are now. We're going to Texas in a couple of weeks to see them play softball. Yeah!!!!!

Hope you enjoyed our hike to the Stone Door.. If you are ever in Tennessee and if you enjoy hiking, we highly recommend the Savage Gulf area.