Some of my favorite places

By Mike Steely   After some 50 years of wandering around the Southeast I’ve visited many, many places that interested me or my wife. We’ve been in every Tennessee State Park except one, in many parks in the region’s states and many National Parks. Sometimes the things you remember the most are not in parks […]

Want to visit Tennessee’s newest state park?

A DAY AWAY By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com There’s a large new park in the Tennessee State Park systems and it is in East Tennessee in rural Unicoi County. As I’ve written before, my wife and I have visited every state park in Tennessee except this one and we’re planning a summer trip there. “You can’t […]

Indian Mountain State Park, Jellico worth a visit

  By Mike Steely The unique location of Indian Mountain State Park in Jellico, Tn., not only makes it the “First Tennessee State Park” for southbound travelers on Interstate 75 but also gives the park the recognition of being the only state park built on a strip mine. If you’re headed north into Kentucky or […]

Those unusual highway attractions

  By Mike Steely You’re driving down the highway and something catches your eye. Maybe your spouse or kids see it first. “Look at that, wow!” come the remarks, followed by, “Can we stop there, please?!” Yep, the idea of attracting travelers worked and you get off the highway or interstate and find a way […]

Your One Vote Counts

By Mike Steely It’s only local government, right? Your vote won’t make a difference so why bother, right? Wrong. November 7’s city council election might be close in several of the five races. As a city resident you can vote for all five of the contests. District residents decided the top two candidates in the […]

Visiting Historic Bulls Gap

By Mike Steely Want a visit to the past? Interested in ghost towns or almost ghost towns? Probably no place in our region is more typical of small, 1880s era towns than Bulls Gap in southern Hawkins County. Located between Morristown and Greeneville the little town began before the railroad but bloomed during the heyday […]

Visiting Historic Bulls Gap

Visiting Historic Bulls Gap

Want a visit to the past? Interested in ghost towns or almost ghost towns? Probably no place in our region is more typical of small, 1880s era towns than Bulls Gap in southern Hawkins County. Located between Morristown and Greeneville the little town began before the railroad but bloomed during the heyday of the American […]

Getting away to Cumberland State Park

Getting away to Cumberland State Park

By Mike Steely I don’t know which day was more pleasant: an afternoon of camping at a busy campground with children playing all around us or time spent relaxing without all that activity and noise the next day. Both days were pleasant, just different. My wife and I have visited every Tennessee State Park but […]

Taking the Rogersville Loop

By Mike Steely   Rogersville in Hawkins County has a special place in East Tennessee history. If you’d like to drive up to that old city you might want to make it a loop trip and see lots of thing along the way. My suggestion is to go northeast on Rutledge Pike, or Highway 11W, […]

A Day Away: Darrow gets his space in Dayton

By Mike Steely It took 92 years but Clarence Darrow finally stands opposite his historic opponent William Jennings Bryan in front of the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee. Bryan, the defender of Creationism during the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925, got a statue in 2005 courtesy of the Bryan College Board of Trustees.. Darrow, […]

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