UpDATE: Old Stone Fort Archeological State Park, Manchester, Tennessee
Jan 18, 2010
Old Stone Fort Archeological State Park
Manchester, Tennessee. 70 miles south of Nashville.
Weather: Cold / Sunny High 50’s Low 30’s
January 18, 2010
Hello Family and very close Friends,
Hello Sun!!! Man we are having a heat wave here in Middle Tennessee. Today the temps are in the 50’s and tonight the low will go down to the upper 30’s. Good improvement since we have arrived in the park. The compartment heater (1,500 watts) we use to augment the onboard central heating system is taking care of the chill at night. Actually, the onboard central heating system did not come on at all last night.
Chris and I continue to be rather alone here accept for the deer that roam at will. We have had only two or three campers set up housekeeping here since the last update. Due to the campground’s close proximity to I-24, it is a magnet for travelers needing an overnight stop off the interstate. So, we see folks coming in around 5 or 6 PM and then early the next day they are off again on their journey.
Back when I was a child, the interstate did not exist this far south of Nashville. Only US 41 was being used back then. US 41 was the major North / South route back then. Most of it was only two lane with lots of narrow bridges in this area. In fact, the park is right off US 41 and brings back a lot of memories of those times.
Thirty years ago, my Aunt Martha worked in the Stone Fort Restaurant located just outside the park entrance, on US 41. The small restaurant continues to be very active and busy, especially for breakfast on these cold mornings. You can see lots of farm trucks and local cars parked there all the time. So, you know what they say….if you see lots of cars in front of a café or restaurant you can bet it is a good place to eat. No doubt, this is still true! If you are in this area you need to check the Stone Fort Restaurant out.
Ok enough of that nostalgic stuff. Today, while Chris was visiting with her mom, I went on an exploration hike of the park. From the campgrounds to the museum is about 1 mile and then the hike around the mounds by the river is about 2 miles. So, I figure I got a bout a 4 mile hike in today.
For you folks that have never been to this state park, the park sets on what is considered to be an ancient 2,000 year old American Indian ceremonial site. You can go to this web site and check out the actual information CLICK HERE .
The park is situated between the BIG Duck and LITTLE Duck Rivers. There are a lot of opportunities to explore lots of water falls and beautiful rock formations along these rivers. The water flows rather fast at points in these rivers and some times it is as smooth as a lake. If you visit the park museum you can find a world of information on the actual formation and use of the Indian mounds that run along these banks of these rivers.
Actually the protected area of the park takes up about 50 acres, enclosed by long earth mounds or walls. Early settlers who found this formation called it “The Old Stone Fort” because the formations resembled a fort wall.
As I stated earlier, I took the trail that followed the mound and saw some spectacular water falls and pools of deep clear water. Some of the ice formations were still clinging to the rock walls along the water. The cliffs overlooking the river are 50-80 foot high. These high perches offer good views of the river and the old rock foundations of mills and water flumes used here in the early 1800’s.
At one point on the trail you walk into a clearing of sage brush. Here I saw some deer grazing and thought how the ancient indians must have hunted these paths 2,000 years ago. I stopped and offered my respects to those early Americans who possessed this land long before the white man set foot on this land.
By the time I made it around the Indian Mounds the two coats I had on had to be shed. The noon day sun was out with all its glory. My walk back to the Cougar was nice as I thought what a great day of exploring this had been.
If you are in this area and want to spend 2-3 hours of exploring an ancient Indian mound…then this is your place. The museum is just great and has a very nice bathroom to make a pit stop. I would also recommend you bring your hiking shoes for this trail.
Some of you have asked about how we stay warm at night since it has been so cold. Well, the use of a good space heater and good warm PJ’s always does the trick. Actually, we have not been cold in the Cougar…this unit is built solid and takes the cold weather rather well. The Central Gas Unit in the Cougar only comes on when the space heater can’t hold temps to around 63 or higher. So, we save on gas that way.
Also...I have had some folks inquire if we were afraid being all alone out here in the boondocks....the answer is NO!!! Since you have asked I will explain. Most folks are nice and civil that we run into on the road. You have to have faith that folks are nice and feel the same way you do about things. However, there are some real crazy people out there and for those folks I carry a .45 Cal Taurus hand gun at all times. Yes...I am certified and licensed to carry. It is always by my side while on the road. Most RV'ers that I know are most likely to do the same if you ask them. Our rule of the road is to not talk about it and to always keep things concealed. The main thing is to always be aware of your surroundings.
For my HAM buddies Carol (W4PCA) and Chuck (W4EQE): This location has many places to string any length antenna you want. So, if and when we return to this location I am going to string the 40M wire. I would like to work you guys of CW then. The local FM repeaters are very strong and I can bring them up rather easily on low power. On the down side ….with the tree canopy it would be rather hard to hit any satellites on FM…so, that would not be a good mode to work.SK
Hope you have enjoyed this update. Chris and I continue to check the site for any e mail that you guys have left us. Please let us know if you have any questions on the places we are visiting.
Check out the pictures at the top of the log…..more to come in the next update. Please sign the guest log to let us know you were here!!!
In memory of my Dad……the adventure continues……
Archie, Chris and Chad (The wonder dog)